Picnic in Alpaca Pasture is Highlight of Farm Tour

 A group of gals from Columbus, Ohio came for a Farm Tour over the weekend.  They had asked if they could bring their lunch, then do a Drop Spindle Class in the afternoon.  Though they enjoyed learning to spin, and they enjoyed shopping in The Fiber Studio, their picnic in the alpaca pasture was the highlight!

Picnic in the Pasture

When given some options where they could have their lunch, they opted for in the pasture under a shade tree.

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What a spread they had … they were very kind and invited me to join them!

Picnic in Pasture is Highlight of Farm Tour

Mabelle, Martha, and our guard llama, Silver Beauty ventured over to the picnic spot to see what was going on.

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Before long, curiosity got the best of some of our other girls and they ventured over to check out who was in their pasture.

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Having been a little disappointed during the tour that our alpacas were not more social, our guests were now getting undivided attention.

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I thought they might end up having to share their lunch with their new fiber friends.

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 That is what “Miss Miami” was hoping!

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Lunch in the pasture after a Farm Tour was definitely a first, and very much enjoyed by our guests!

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See it live!  Watch it on YouTube.

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Little Martha enjoyed some lunch too!

How to Make an Alpaca Fiber Wreath

I try to find a use for every grade of alpaca fiber, even short fiber or more robust fiber from older alpacas.   Alpaca Fiber Wreaths are my latest idea.  Find out how!

Peacock

Recently I had a special order for one of these wreaths and the customer wanted “peacock colors”.

Click to Purchase Alpaca Fiber

I started by gathering together small amounts of my previously dyed fiber, in colors that I thought resembled a peacock.

Grapevine Wreath

I used both huacaya and suri fiber.  The huacaya was a good filler, as well as added color.  The suri added color in wisps and curls.

Dipping Fiber in Glue

Using glue in a shallow plastic dish, I dipped small bunches of fiber into the glue.

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With a nail punch (any pokey thing would work, a pencil for instance), I poked the fiber down into the grapevine wreath.  Very easy to make!

Suri Fiber Wreath

 Voila’, the finished project!

FREE Crochet Pattern – Cluster Headband with Daisy

I love the texture of the clusters in this simple headband crochet pattern, and think it is lovely made of our Astral yarn, which has just such a beautiful sheen to it.

Silky Alpaca Headband

The pattern is a FREE one, that I found on a blog called Flower Girl Cottage and will share with you here.

Silky Alpaca Headband Closeup

HOOK

US Size G Hook

MATERIALS

1 skein of Astral yarn (took about 100 yards)

PATTERN NOTES

Note: This band is approx. 5″ wide to adjust size, adjust foundation chain in multiples of 4

DIRECTIONS

Row 1: Chain 20, (dc, chain 2, sc) in 4th chain from the hook, skip 3 chains, 2 dc in next sc, chain 2, sc in the next sc: repeat 3 more times; (last one) skip 3 chains, (2dc, chain 2, sc) in the last stitch.

Row 2: Chain 2, (dc, chain 2, sc) in the chain 2 space, *(2dc, chain 2, sc) into chain 2 sp*(repeat from* to * 4 times) for 5 total cluster stitches.

Repeat Row 2 until Strip Measures 18”.  Join by slip stitching ends together or sew together with yarn needle. Weave in ends.

FIVE PETAL DAISY CROCHET PATTERN

Daisy Crochet Pattern

HOOK

US Size G Hook

MATERIALS

1 skein of Astral yarn (about 15 yards)

PATTERN NOTES

To work the 4x Crochet Stitch, add one more stitch to a regular triple crochet stitch in the middle or at the end.

DIRECTIONS

Crochet 10 sc into Magic Circle, join with slip stitch.

Petal Cluster:  Working in the same joining slip stitch, chain 3, work a 4x Crochet Stitch 3 times, chain 3, slip stitch all into the same stitch.

Skip 1 sc, ss and repeat the petal cluster 4 times.  End last petal with slip stitch.

Flower Center:  Ch 15, trim the ends of chain stitch string.

Twirl the chain stitch string into a circle and use fabric glue or hot glue to place in the center of flower

 

Astral Yarn - Libra

  ASTRAL YARN

 The Astral yarn used for this headband is a heavenly blend of 30% Alpaca, 20% Wool, and 50% Tencel with incredible luster.  The DK-weight yarn combines Alpaca and Merino wool to create body and softness, while the Tencel produces a lovely drape as well as adding durability and strength.  There are currently 15 rich shades of Astral.  The one used for this headband is called Libra.

Enjoy!

Spring Open House 2014

We had more families with children at our Spring Open House than we’ve probably ever had.  Fortunately I remembered to take some pictures, especially of kids and alpacas!  Gentle and curious by nature, alpacas respond  very well to children.  Kids got a chance to pet the alpacas and walk Sunscape, one of our Spring babies born last year, just shy of her first birthday.

Kids and Alpacas

We had neighbors we had never met stop by to see what was going on.  Others planned their visit intentionally to learn more about alpacas and what we do with their fiber.  Visitors saw spinning demonstrations throughout the weekend in The Fiber Studio and took advantage of our Spring specials.   Stacy Swesey was the winner of our drawing for a FREE pair of Alpaca Socks, congratulations Stacy!  We enjoyed two awesome days of beautiful weather … thank you to all who visited!

Schedule an Alpaca Farm Tour at Alpaca Meadows

If you’d like to visit our farm with your school, your scout troop, 4-H Club, civic organization, Garden Club, Mother’s Club, guild, family, or group of friends, find out about scheduling an Alpaca Farm Tour.  If you would like to be keep abreast on what’s new at our farm, upcoming classes, new products, free patterns, and other fun stuff, click here.

Bunny Felting Class

 Enjoy pictures from the Bunny Felting Class held a few weeks ago in The Fiber Studio here at the farm!

Bunny Felting Class

The craft I was teaching is called needle felting.  This is the process of poking a special felting needle with barbs at the end of it,  into fiber, which agitates, compresses, and locks the scales of fiber together into a more dense mass of fiber, in this case a bunny rabbit!

Bunny Felting Class  Bunny Felting Class
Bunny Felting Class
Bunny Felting Class IMG_1263 (561x640) Bunny Felting Class
 Bunny Felting Class  Bunny Felting Class  Bunny Felting Class at Alpaca Meadows

It is always fun to see how different each bunny turns out!

Bunny Felting Class - Jill's Bunny

One gal purchased roving and tools to take home and later added some color to her bunny!

Needle Felted Bunny - Sweet Pea

This is “Sweet Pea”, one of my bunnies.  See more of my needle felted one-of-a-kind creations here.

Purchase Felting Kits

Interested in learning to needle felt?  See the Class Schedule and register for a class!  Don’t live nearby or want to try felting on your own?  It is not difficult.  Felting kits are available in The Farm Store online and in The Fiber Studio at Alpaca Meadows.










 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FREE Crochet Pattern – Head Hugger Hat with Brim

This is a very simple hat crochet pattern that I have used over and over again.  It has been adapted from the pattern called Crochet Head Hugger by Christine Marie Way Tyler & John Wesley Tyler for use with our bulky Snuggle Yarn by The Alpaca Yarn Company.

Snuggle Hat with Cuff - Group of Greens

 For this hat, I used the colorway, A Group of Greens.

Snuggle-Alpaca-Yarn-Group-of-Greens-Bulky-Yarn

Here’s the pattern:

HOOK

US Size J

MATERIALS

1 Skein of Snuggle Hand-Dyed
1 Skein of Snuggle Solids

Body of hat requires about 90 yards, brim takes about 15 yards.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

This hat measures 21″ around at the widest point and is 8″ from the top to the bottom of the turned up brim.

PATTERN NOTES

CH 2 always counts as 1 DC.

DIRECTIONS

CH 4 or 5 (which ever you usually like to use to make a ring). SL ST in first ST to form a ring.
Round 1 – CH 2, 11 DC in ring. SL ST in top of CH 2. (12 DC)
Round 2 – CH 2, DC in the same ST. 2 DC in each ST around. SL ST in top of CH 2. (24 DC)
Round 3 – CH 2, *2 DC in next ST, DC in next ST*; Repeat around. SL ST in top of CH 2. (36 DC)
Round 4 – CH 2, DC in next ST. *2 DC in next ST, DC in next 2 ST*; Repeat around. SL ST in top of CH 2. (48 DC)

Round 5 – *CH 2, skip 1 DC, SC in next DC*; Repeat around. SL ST in top of CH 2.
Round 6 – SL ST into CH, CH 2, DC in same CH 2 space, *2 DC in each CH 2 space around*. SL ST in top of CH 2.
Round 7 – CH 2, skip the first 2 DC, SC in space between 2ND & 3RD DC, *CH 2, skip 2 DC, SC in space between DC’S of previous round*;
Repeat around. SL ST in top of CH 2.
Rounds 8 thru 13 –  Repeat rounds 5 & 6 until cap is the length that you want, ending with either round. Finish off here or add brim.

Round 14 – Change colors for brim.  Repeat rounds 5 & 6 until brim is the width you want.  Finish off.

Snuggle Hat - A Plethora of Pinks

Here is the same hat using A Plethora of Pinks.

 

FREE Pattern – Alpaca Rug Yarn Purses

Finally, I have written down the pattern, and yardage for purses made from our Suri Alpaca Rug Yarn.  Using a big crochet hook, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can make one of these purses.  Choose one of the three sizes, or any size you want to make a purse.

Alpaca Rug Yarn Purses with Strap

IMG_1065 Medium Rug Yarn Purse with Strap Large Rug Yarn Purse with Strap

Here’s the pattern:

HOOK

US Size S

MATERIALS

Small Purse with Strap (6″ x 2.5″ x 7″) – 25 yards
Medium Purse with Strap (12″ x 3.5″ x 10″) – 55 yards
Large Bag with Strap (20″ x 12″ x5″) – 115 yards

If you’re lucky, you can reach down inside a bump of rug yarn and find the end. Working from the center keeps the bump from rolling and the yarn is much easier to work with this way.

Center Pull Alpaca Rug Yarn

DIRECTIONS

Make foundation chain of 7 for Small Purse, 10 for Medium Purse, and 15 for Large Bag.

Turn and sc in 2nd chain from hook. Sc around chain increasing one stitch at each end.

2nd Round—Continue to sc around in front loops only.

Crocheting in Front Loops Only

3rd Round—Continue to sc around.

4th and following Rounds—Continue to sc around until desired height is reached.  Medium Purse has 9 rounds, Large Purse has 10 rounds.

Slip stitch into top of last sc from previous round.

Cut yarn and weave in end.

STRAP

Chain stitch to desired length.  Pull through stitch on each side of bag.  Knot.  Weave in ends.  Stitch for reinforcement.

Alpaca Rug Yarn Purse with Handle

Medium Rug Yarn Purse with Handle

Medium Purse/Bag with Handles  (11″ x  6″ x 10.5″) – 60 yards

To make this purse follow the pattern above until Round 7.

8th Round  Sc in next 5 sts, ch 6, skip next 6 sts, sc in next 5 sts, ch 6, skip next 6 sts, sc in next 5 sts. Join.

9th Round   Sc in next 5 sts, 6 sc under the ch 6 sp. Sc in next 5 sts, 6 sc under the ch 6 sp, sc in next 5 sts.  Join and finish off.

Weave in ends.

Click Image to Purchase Alpaca Rug Yarn

Super Bulky Suri Alpaca Yarn

 For a FREE Rug Crochet Pattern, click here.

FREE Knit and Crochet Patterns – Go Green!

In the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day I’ve made a few items out of the colorway Group of Greens – Snuggle Yarn by The Alpaca Yarn Company.  There are two FREE patterns below, one a crochet pattern and the other a knit pattern.

Snuggle-Alpaca-Yarn-Group-of-Greens-Bulky-Yarn

KNIT

 The pattern used for this scarf was adapted from Purl Soho’s Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf.

Knit Scarf - Group of Greens Snuggle Yarn

  Ribs do pull in and will make this scarf narrower than you might anticipate.  If you want to add additional stitches for a wider scarf,  just make sure your cast on is in multiples of four stitches.

NEEDLES

US Size 11

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

60-inches long by approximately 6-inches wide

PATTERN NOTE

Mistake rib is a multiple of 4+3

THE PATTERN

Cast on 29 stitches.

K2, p2, repeat to last 3 stitches, k2, p1.

Repeat this row until desired length. So easy!

Weave in ends, hand wash, block and let dry.

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CROCHET

 

Ear Warmer Headband - Snuggle Yarn

FREE Simple Ear Warmer Pattern

Crocheted Ear Warmer Headband

 

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Found this recipe on Pinterest posted by Spoonful, so simple just had to share , in the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day!

Ingredients

Canned refrigerated bread stick dough
Colored sugar
Cinnamon

Directions

1.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat it with cooking spray.
2.  To create the clover shape, mold 3 sections of bread sticks into hearts and press them together as shown. Attach a small stem, decorate, bake according to the package directions, and serve them up to your lucky guests.

Yards Per Ounce Calculations – Alpaca Yarn Company

I wish I would have written down how much yarn it took to make that …
Resolved to get better at keeping records, I’m adding this post to my blog for your reference and mine!

Alpaca Cowl Neck Warmer

 Using the formula from my previous post on Figuring the Yardage Used in A Finished Project,  I have come up with the following calculations for each line of yarn from The Alpaca Yarn Company.  Figuring the yardage used in a finished project made from any of these yarns, can be found by multiplying the weight of the item times the yards per ounce of that yarn.

Astral Yarn

Astral – Alpaca Blend Yarn
197 yards in a 3.5 ounce (100g) skein = 56 yards per ounce

Paca de Seda Yarn

Paca de Seda – Alpaca Blend Yarn
91 yards in a 1.76 ounce (50g) skein = 52 yards per ounce

Paca Peds Yarn

Paca Peds – Alpaca Blend Sock Yarn
360 yards in a 3.5 ounce (100g) skein = 103 yards per ounce

Paca Paints Yarn

Paca Paints – Alpaca Yarn
220 yards in a 3.5 ounce (100g) skein = 63 yards per ounce

Snuggle Yarn

Snuggle – Alpaca Blend Yarn
104 yards in a 3.5 ounce (100g) skein = 29.71 yards per ounce

Suri Elegance Yarn

Suri Elegance – Suri Alpaca Yarn
875 yards in a 3.5 ounce (100g) skein = 250 yards per ounce

Swizzle Alpaca Yarn

Swizzle – Alpaca Yarn
215 yards in a 3.5 ounce (100g) skein = 61 yards per ounce

I am in the process of creating Pinterest boards for each yarn, with links to FREE patterns for each and yardage required!  Be sure to check back!

 

Figuring the Yardage Used in a Finished Project

How do you figure the yardage used in a finished crocheted or knit project, you ask?  Well I think I’ve finally figured out how to figure this out.  If you have the label of the yarn that was used, you can find the weight of the skein and how many yards are on the skein.

Snuggle Yarn Label

This yarn label, for instance, shows that the yarn weighs 3.5 ounces (100 grams) and there is 104 yards.

If you don’t have the label or know what kind of yarn you have, there is a way to calculate the yardage, read Determining Yarn Yardage from an Unlabeled Skein.  A digital postal scale works well for weighing the yarn.

Yards divided by Ounces = Yards Per Ounce

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Using the formula above and the information from our label, I calculated 104 divided by 3.5 = 29.71.

Click to purchase Chunky Alpaca Wool Cowl

How much yarn did I use?
I used the number from the above calculation, multiplied by the weight of my finished project, and got the answer!  The Basic Chunky Cowl weighs 4.6 ounces (see pattern here).  The yarn used  has 29.71 yards per ounce, so I can multiply 4.6 times 29.71 to come up with 136.67 yards to crochet this cowl.  (If I were to knit a cowl of a similar style and size, I know it would take less yarn because knitting takes less yarn than crocheting.)

Ear Warmer Headband

This Ear Warmer Headband weighs 1.2 ounces.  This multiplied by 29.71 = 35.65 yards.

Snuggle Yarn - Plethora of Pinks

 I have this much yarn left.  This little ball weighs 1.1 ounce, multiplied by 29.71 = 32.68 yards.  Now I know that I don’t have quite enough yarn to make another headband, unless I made it a little narrower.  Or I could make a flower for the headband, or a small heart, or put it in my bag of yarn ends until I figure out how I might use it!  Hope this helps!

Video – How Much Yarn Did I Use

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