… why, I visited a local alpaca farm with my family, of course!
"Hello, welcome to my farm!"
You may recall that, during KDO, I stopped to chat with Sheri Hunt Smith at the Alpacas of York booth in the Marketplace. She reminded me back then that National Alpaca Farm Days were September 24-25, and I quickly wrote it down on the back of her business card. Then I committed it to my calendar. Because I… love… alpacas. I do. I mean, what’s not to love? They’re sweet, gentle, adorable, easygoing… I don’t have to mention the gorgeous fleece, do I… ?
So this morning, my family accompanied me down to York, PA to visit Sheri’s farm. There was a LOT to see – multiple displays explaining everything about alpacas – their history, care, different breeds, how they’re shown (in contests, kind of like dog shows. There are also contests for quality of the fleece. They even have agility courses for alpacas!), and, natch, what you can do with alpaca yarn. My daughter particularly enjoyed making soap with alpaca fleece – think “loofah with the soap already in it,” and you’ll get a pretty accurate picture… really, really cool!
I took a few pictures.
My daughter with her new friend.
I think these two were pretty young, but not as young as...
... this little one! S/he was, literally, born yesterday! And already smiling for the camera!
Baby and slightly-older alpaca, hanging out.
Just one of the many displays at Alpaca of York's Farm Day.
I couldn’t believe how large Sheri’s store was – it literally took up a whole barn!
A wall of fiber-y wonderfulness, thanks to alpacas.
Don't get freaked out - these are just hand puppets. No alpacas were harmed in the taking of this photo!
Alpaca roving, calling to me...
And yarn. Of course there's also yarn. Looks soft, huh? It is.
I also had the pleasure of speaking with Michelle, who I believe boards her animals at the farm. She happened to be sitting next to the long box that I believed to be a carder…
… but I was was wrong. It’s a picker. It takes the alpaca fleece and sort of fluffs it up in advance of the carding process.
And once again, I was thinking of buying a little bit of roving to tempt me back to my drop spindle… but no, I’ll save the good stuff for when I’m much, MUCH better at it.
Oh beautifully-colored roving, I'm not worthy! Not yet, at least.
As we were leaving, I thanked my husband and daughter profusely for humoring me on my quest for All Things Yarny, but I know that both of them enjoyed it as much as I did. And so… if you’re reading this, I know I don’t have to say it, but I can’t think of a better way to end than by reiterating: support your local farm(s). Every day, they’re doing things that, in some way, are benefitting your life, whether you’re aware of it or not. Now go buy some of that alpaca yarn you were ogling at the LYS…