Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Down on the ALPACA farm!!

So two weeks ago I accompanied the DBF to his parents place in Havelock ON. It was a great chance to hang out with his Nona (who I adore - she has great stories about spinning yarn straight off the fleece to make socks for her family when they were still in Italy). We spent all night Saturday at Casino Rama so DBF and his father could check out a boxing match (SOOOOOO not my thing). I did a lot of knitting once I was done with the slot machines. I've been working on the socks for my Dad out of the yarn I dyed here. I got a tonne of great comments from some of the older gamers.
The next morning (Sunday) I decided to see if there were any farms around that I wanted to check out for fibre and as luck had it there was an alpaca/llama farm literally down the road. I went with DBF's Mom while he slept in. I didn't have my camera with me but what a great time.
The farm is Elmlea Farms. The two owners (Elmer and Lea) were there to show us around. I almost left with as many fleeces as we could fit into Mom's SUV but I ended up only taking two
fleeces home.
The only one I have pictures of right now is the alpaca (a llama fleece also followed me home - pictures to come). It is a lovely mottled gray with light and dark streaks. It's also pretty dirty. This alpaca loved the mud. Luckily we had a couple of great sunny days in Ottawa so I got is all washed out. I used the much described method of laundry bags in buckets of hot and slightly soapy water.
Once I had a decent chunk washed and drying on my patio table I carded up just a fraction of the fleece and spun it on my bottom whirl drop spindle.
It's only thirteen yards but it is amazingly soft. I love the touch of it. I think this will spin quite fine so it may turn out to be lace - there's probably enough (just under two pounds) to make a shawl and maybe a super lacy sweater.
This is the last thing that followed me home (actually I'm lying Lea gave me a small bag of prepared black alpaca roving with a little nylon). This is a hank of black alpaca sock yarn. I think it may be for DBF's father for xmas. He may get very warm alpaca socks from animals in his own back yard.
ElmLea Farm also had angora goats (two had just been born and were adorable). I was tempted to take some of that home with me but it was just so full of lanolin I was worried I'd never get it clean. I loved being able to buy from someone so local. I will absolutely be going back.

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