Tuesday, September 30, 2008

National Alpaca Farm Day

This last weekend was National Alpaca Farm Day and I spent Saturday in Westcliffe, CO at my friend Allie at her Eye Dazzler Alpaca Ranch. I had planned on it being a trip for my mom, my niece, and myself, but then my friend said she wanted to go (no problem) and then my dad invited himself (problem). My dad tends to be rude and has a short fuse with lots of things. It wasn’t until a few miles out of town I ad to roll my eyes and think “I should’ve driven in my car and had them follow.” It would’ve been different if it was just family, but my friend was with me.

I had been to Allie’s place before, but just for spinning. Every time we were at her house I wanted to see her Alpaca’s, but we and her were so busy that we never got around to it. Hailey was excited once we got out of the car. Of course the hour drive down there wasn’t too fun. She was so ready to pick out a pumpkin that sat outside the barnyard doors…even though it was about two-thirds her size.

Inside they had about a dozen alpacas in pens for people to see and if you had permission, to go inside and get to touch some of them. Since I knew the owners I was able to flag down Allie’s husband a he let us touch one of the painted baby alpacas. It was so soft! The momma was pretty cute too…just a touch of white on her nose.

While there they had dry and wet felting demonstrations. They also had an outside area where you could see a few alpacas and even get to have your picture taken with one. There was one black one that seemed to take a liking to Hailey. It seemed to be attracted to her. Hailey did not want to leave. Allie also had a big white dog that is a Polish something or another. My friend Debbie called him, Falkor, the white dragon from The Neverending Story.

Lunch was also provided. It was a Peruvian lunch. It was a chicken soup with red potatoes. I don’t know how to spell or pronounce the name of the soup, but it was good! We all ate on bails of hay while Hailey sat next to the barn cat. He was a pretty good behaved kitty. A total beggar of food though. He kept staring at Hailey, her bowl, and her tortilla.

There was also spinning demonstrations. Rosemary gave spindle demonstrations and Julie and Sharron did spinning wheel demonstrations. While there I kept telling myself “I should’ve brought my wheel and drove myself!!!” After lunch, I removed my shoes and tried out a new spinning wheel that Julie had left vacant. It was a double treadle, but I didn’t like it. I think it was a Majacraft. I liked the different speed settings but not the point where the fiber gets its twist and leads onto the bobbin. You could feel each turn in your hands and it was annoying. It was probably like this when spinning wheels had a actually spindle. Maybe I’m just spoiled with my wheel.

Even though I had bought about 8 ozs of alpaca roving the last time I had been at Allies for spinning I had to buy more. I bought some from my friend Luci and more for myself. Sharron mentioned that she had an alpaca blend that was machine safe and it would be good for making socks! Shame on you Sharron! (Other side of me is saying “Thank you Sharron!!!”) I think I will make a 3 ply on the spindle for the alpaca blend to make socks. Wouldn’t that feel awesome on your feet!?!

Well I better go. Got papers to grade. Are you sure it isn’t at least Nov?

I almost forgot! I got two new drop spindles!!! Aren't they purdy!?!?!

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