It seems like an age since I have made any projects. Moving interstate, starting a new job and setting up our small holding 'Winter Creek' has taken up every ounce of my spare time.
My craft room is set up and ready to go but each time I go in, I can't seem to string enough hours together to make starting a project worthwhile.
However, all that changed on Friday with the arrival of our shearer. That's right .. I finally have access to a supply of wool and what's more, the wool is from our very own alpacas - Martha, Sally, Jefferson and Little Bear.
|Grazing happily before the big shear.|
Being newbie alpaca owners, we were a bit concerned when the shearer said that we needed to round them up in a pen because, firstly, we didn't have a pen and secondly, how do you 'round' them up?
We improvised by enclosing our chicken coop with some pickets and wire which took about an hour and when we turned around, our girls (and Jefferson) were lining up at the entrance - couldn't have been easier. Just called them in and shut the gate. They are easier to handle than our dog.
I was really looking forward to seeing how it is all done. Growing up in Australia, everyone knows about sheep shearing. We learn all about the importance of wool in establishing the colony that went on to become our nation - but very little is known about alpaca shearing.
|Happy smiles - before the wrangling started|
|Genuine wrangling in action|
Then the fun started. I picked the fleece to get out the debris (or VM as it is called), washed and soaked it in hot water, picked it again to get the clean fluffiness I was after and carded the fleece using my hand carders.
It didn't take too many hours to realise that hand carding just wasn't going to cut it, so, as I type, I am eagerly awaiting the delivery of my new drum carder. Let the games begin.
|Finally, some spinning action|
In the meantime, I was thrilled to be able to get 'Evie' out and begin to spin our hand fed wool. I can't begin to tell you how wonderful that felt.