Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Alpaca love

At the beginning of this month I went to a local alpaca farm to demonstrate spinning and weaving for the national alpaca open day. There was a good stream of visitors despite the chilly weather. Didn't bother the alpacas who were all snug and warm in their fluffy coats.
Orlando even has an alpaca tattoo above his hind leg! A fluffy one, maybe a picture of his mum. I love his two-tone hair style.
The alpacas were relaxed and photogenic despite all the visitors.
Alpaca nuts always brings everyone running.
                                           Suri female.

Other news - After the abrupt closing of Qualityarns at the Milton Mill it looks like production is going to be underway very soon on our next batch of alpaca yarns.  I believe the mill is going back to its original  name - Bruce Mill.
Andy has delivered several hundred kilos of his white fibre to be spun into 8ply, 4ply and blends. I am very low on stocks in the shop and his website is looking equally empty, but the yarn drought looks like ending fairly soon.
 I have been visiting the mill shop a few times since the mill closure and there are still plenty of yarns to buy.
I bought merino and perendale top to dye plus a few finer coned yarns which I'm weaving with.
                                           Gone Fishing

 However, I'm looking forward to dyeing up more skeins of the alpaca which is my favorite yarn. The 4ply weaves beautifully too. I'm planning some new colourways but will repeat some of the most popular ones too when the new batch of yarn arrives. Can't wait..


I also wish the new Milton mill owners and shareholders a good spinning future. It is the only yarn spinning option for small producers and companies here in the South Island. It has a long history with the area as both a spinning and weaving mill. There are so few NZ grown and spun knitting yarns despite all our sheep.
I have toured the mill on several occasions and find the process of turning fleece into yarn fascinating.

So keep buying and wearing NZ wool and Alpaca (or possum,mohair, angora etc) and help keep these mills alive. In fact stick wool carpet on your floors too. Oamaru wool mill (spinning carpet yarns) is also feeling the effects of the recession too with more job lay-offs this week. Although my son's job is safe for the time being the mill's future is by no means secure.
                             Naturally dyed alpaca yarn being woven Saori style.

No comments: