Posts Tagged 'shearing'

National Alpaca Farm Days

The last week of September is celebrated by alpaca ranches nationwide as a time to open to the community and share their love of the animals.  This was Amigami’s second time observing the event, and this time not as a vendor but as a hetman (which is shearing speak for ‘assistant’).  We travelled to Lippencott Alpaca Farm outside of Waynesburg, PA, and were welcomed with open arms by Phil & Lena (the owners) as well as their whole family.  The set-up was spectacular, with a wide array of vendors, and a U-shaped pen which allowed visitors to walk ‘among’ the alpacas. Grandpa even gave hay rides, all weekend long!  Hundreds came to see the alpacas – it really was an event for the whole town.

Phil & Lena’s farm had 6 cria (baby alpaca) which needed their baby fleece shorn, so we agreed to come for the weekend and do the shearing as public demonstrations.  We experimented throughout the weekend with video taping these shearings.  We have one posted on YouTube, and we hope to have more in the near future (particularly once the spring shearing season gets under way).

In addition to working with the cria, we also had time to enjoy the event and the vendors who came to share their crafts.  There were spinners, a local fused glass artist, and even a local winery.  Everyone was so pleasant, and I especially want to thank Ms. Mary Briggs for taking the time to share her knitting prowess with my partner, Ramon.  He is currently hard at work on his first scarf, and he was even able to pass on her knowledge to me – now even I can knit (kind of…)  For my first project I made this cute little wallet pouch by simply knitting a rectangle, then folding it and crocheting up the sides and around the top flap.

Again, I can’t thank the Galing family enough for the incredible hospitality they showed us, as well as every visitor.  The setting was immaculate, and we couldn’t imagine a more enjoyable Farm Days weekend.  We will definitely be returning to Lippencott Alpacas next September!  And if you’re ever near the Waynesburg, PA area, you should definitely try to visit too!

Autumn 2010 at Amigami

Autumn is arriving and it’s time to get back into the swing of things!  Over the last month or so, we’ve been quite busy here at Amigami, and I’d love to catch you up!

We went on vacation to the beaches of South Carolina, as well as Atlanta.  The warm summer sun and southern hospitality was just what the doctor ordered, and everyone had a blast.  Thank you to my family, as well as to Miles & Julie, for opening your homes and making time for our visit.

Since our return, we’ve been busy working on several projects here, which will be posted separately.  Fall also marks the beginning of cria (baby alpaca) shearing, and we’ve been travelling lately to help with seminars & the shearing process.  Between alpacas, art projects, and the websites I’m developing, Amigami never rests!

2 Tone Suri Alpaca Beanie – 100% Handmade, From Cut To Crochet

This is hopefully only the first of many in a very special series of crochet work.  My partner Ramon travels the countryside each spring shearing alpacas, and a few weeks ago he returned with some of the fruits of his labor.

Mother Rasha & cria Morningstar, donors for the White fiber in this hat!

Amongst his clients is Vision Acres Ranch of Berkeley Country, West Virginia.  After the 2009 shearing season, Judy of Vision Acres began processing this high-quality alpaca fiber into exquisite hand-spun dual-toned yarn.  And it’s not just the dual coloring which makes this yarn unique – it is composed of 100% Suri Alpaca fiber.

Herdsire Scimitar (a.k.a. "Sam") contributed the brown yarn for this hat!

Suris, unlike their more popular fluffy Huacaya counterparts, feature fiber which forms natural locks, giving the final product an altogether different consistency and feel than your standard alpaca fiber.  Thank you to the Judy & everyone at Vision Ares Ranch for caring for these beautiful animals & creating the yarn, as well as to Ramon for shearing the alpacas and for bringing me spoils.

The hat is created using a modified version of a stylish beanie pattern I found in the Ravelry databases.  Unbelievably soft & warm, it’s also extremely breathable, making this hat a great year-round accessory.  Accented by a large natural-colored button I found in my mother’s vintage sewing supplies, this luxurious hat has certainly been given the personal touch from start to finish.

Calling Alpaca Ranchers! (and all pet owners)

Hair Mat for Oil SpillBy now we’ve all heard about the Gulf oil spills.  Groups are springing up around the Gulf Coast region to aid in the clean-up process, but they need our help!  You may not realize, a pre-eminent method of oil spill clean-up involves the use of mats and booms made from the naturally discarded fur and hair of both animals and people.  The national organization Matter of Trust is facilitating the donation process; linking willing donors with area groups so that aid can be sent as efficiently and expediently as possible.

Alpacas Want to Help!Coincidentally, it is also shearing season for many alpaca ranchers throughout the country.  Although all hair and fur is being accepted for the clean-up process, alpaca fiber, with its density and texture, is exceptional for the task at hand.  As a ranch owner, if you have any amount of spare fiber which you are willing to part with, please follow the instructions below, and thank you for your contribution.

If you would like to donate debris-free fiber (or nylons for making booms), please send via USPS, FedEx or UPS to:

Hair For Oil Spill Booms
508 Mountain Dr
Destin  FL 24541

Please Mark the box “DEBRIS-FREE FUR” ( or “HAIR”).  Nylons can ship in the same box if packed in a separate bag.

PLEASE NOTE This is a temporary donation spot!  Any donations should be sent out no later than Tuesday, May 18th.  There may be other locations in the near future which needs donations depending which way the spill moves.


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