What is a Ruana?

So what is a Ruana, anyway?  Quite fitting, both alpacas and ruanas are originally from the Andes region of South America. The word Ruana means “Land of Blankets”.  Simply put, it is a blanket you can wear!  Usually they are thick, soft, sleeveless, and about knee length.  The shape is square or rectangular, with a slit for your head and the front piece split down the middle to drape over the shoulders.

 

Garnet Gem Ruana

Ruanas are quite easy to throw on and take off, and add an extra layer of warmth without having to be all buttoned up as you would in a coat.  They can also be worn over a winter coat for extra warmth and style.   Ruanas are great for dressing up, or dressing down.

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Small Business Saturday Prize Program Starts Monday

Small businesses in Richland County will be participating in the Small Business Saturday program, and Alpaca Meadows is one of them!  The program will kick-off this coming Monday, November 25th and you’ll have chances to win prizes all week long.  So we’ll be closed on Thanksgiving next week, but we’ll be open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 12pm-4pm.

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Free Crochet Pattern – Ribs ‘n Ridges Alpaca Infinity Scarf

This pattern is fairly simple, and I love the post stitches that create the ribs and the ridges in this infinity scarf! The pattern I started with is The Ribs and Ridges Scarf on the The Friendly Red Fox website.

I altered it just a bit. Rather than crocheting a rectangle and sewing the edges together when finished like the pattern instructs, I crocheted the scarf in the round. I just like to be finished, when I’m finished. Do you know what I mean?

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Tour our Farm Store

Holiday Hours in the Farm Store are Wednesday thru Sunday, 12pm-5pm, through the end of the year.  Take a look at what you might see by clicking below.

 

Purchase Gift Certificates online for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list, to use in our Online Store.

Or purchase Gift Cards in our Farm Store.

Happy shopping!

 

 

Free Crochet Pattern – Squish Cowl

I love this pattern by Tamara Kelly that she calls her Squish Cowl.  She uses a special stitch called Split Bullion Stitch that involves yarning over six times which creates lots of gorgeous texture and squishiness!
Tamara’s pattern is FREE and can be found on her blog that she calls Moogly, by clicking here.

Squish Cowl - Snuggle Yarn

I chose our Snuggle Hand Dyed Yarn, which is a soft and lofty, bulky alpaca blend yarn, and used a 9.0 mm (M/N) crochet hook.  This color is called Knot of Naturals.  I love the effect that the shades of grey produce with this yarn and pattern.

Squish Cowl

SPECIAL STITCH

spbs: Split Bullion Stitch – Yo 6 times, insert hook in first indicated stitch, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 4 loops (5 loops remain on hook), yo, insert hook in next indicated stitch, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through all 7 loops on hook.

 There is a video tutorial on Tamara’s blog for both right and left hand folks demonstrating how to do this fun stitch.

squish_cowl (2)

 The finished measurements of my cowl were 42″ circumference (21″ laid flat) x 8″ wide which took 172 yards of the Snuggle Yarn.  To customize the length, begin with a starting chain in a multiple of 2, plus 1.

squish_cowl_3

 

Tamara Kelly is a Craftsy instructor and offers an online class you might be interested in called Quick & Easy Crochet Cowls (w/Tamara Kelly).

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.

 

Adult Coloring Books on LeisureArts.com

Free Crochet Pattern – Striped Triangular Shawl

Striped Triangular Shawl - Astral Yarn

SKILL LEVEL

Easy

HOOK

4.0 mm (G)

MATERIALS

Total of 512 Yards of Astral Yarn

This pattern is a good one for using up leftover yarn, which is what I was doing.  For this shawl, I used five different colors of our Astral Yarn.  If you happen to be using leftover yarn, use your smaller lengths of yarn first. The rows will get longer as you work, so you’ll want to save the yarns you have more of for later in the project.

The pattern instructions won’t tell you when to change yarn colors.  Change colors as you see fit, making sure to switch colors after completing a row so each stripe is a solid color.

NOTES

This shawl is worked from the center of the wingspan out and downward. Constructing it in this manner means that you can continue until the shawl is the desired size without making any modifications to the pattern.  Each row of the shawl increases by 4 stitches. There will be 1 stitch increased at each end and 2 stitches increased at the center point. Using locking ring markers to note the center 2 stitches will help prevent loosing your place. The pattern notes when to begin using them.

Striped Triangular Shawl - Astral Yarn

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

I crocheted 52 rows and the finished measurements were approximately 60 inches/ 152.4cm across the top, is 29 inches/ 73.66cm long from neck to point of triangle, and 76 inches/ 193cm around the bottom edge.

Striped Triangular Shawl - Astral Yarn

DIRECTIONS

Ch 4 loosely, 2 hdc in 2nd ch from hook, 2 hdc in each of the next 2 ch sts — 6 hdc.

Row 1: Ch 1, 2 hdc in 1st st, 1 hdc in next st, [2 hdc in next st] twice, hdc in next st, 2 hdc in last st — 10 hdc.

Row 2: Ch 1, 2 hdc in 1st st, hdc in next 3 sts, [2 hdc in next st] twice, hdc in next 3 sts, 2 hdc in last st — 14 hdc.

Place locking stitch markers on the center 2 sts. To do this begin counting at one edge and place marker on the 7th and 8th hdc st.

Row 3: Ch 1, 2 hdc in 1st st, hdc in next 5 sts, 2 hdc in next st with stitch marker, replace marker on last st made, 2 hdc in next st with marker, replace marker on first st made, hdc in next 5 sts, 2 hdc in last st — 18 hdc.

Row 4: Ch 1, 2 hdc in 1st st, hdc in next 5 sts, 2 hdc in next st with stitch marker, replace marker on last st made, 2 hdc in next st with marker, replace marker on first st made, hdc in next 5 sts, 2 hdc in last st — 18 hdc.

*Continue working Row 4 until shawl is desired measurements. Be careful to place the stitch markers on the second of each increased stitch or the center point will begin to veer off in the wrong direction.

Finishing
Fasten off and weave in ends.  I always like to block my projects for a nicer finish.  To do this wash or simply wet your shawl, roll in a towel to absorb excess moisture, then stretch your shawl out on a flat surface. Gently shape your shawl to your satisfaction and let dry.  Did your shawl come out slightly smaller than you anticipated? It is made out of natural fiber so you can block it to larger dimensions.

Striped Triangular Shawl - Astral Yarn

Crochet Abbreviations
* = a repeat in the pattern
[ ] = repeat instructions within brackets as many times as indicated
ch = chain
hdc = half double crochet
inc(‘d) = increase(d)
st(s) = stitch(es)

See more Shawl Patterns

 

 

How to Make a Suri Alpaca Doll Wig

Lara Nance, doll customizer, author, (and frequent customer of doll hair from Alpaca Meadows), has a YouTube channel called Artistic Adventures.  She has done videos on many aspects of doll customizing, and most recently put together a video on Processing Alpaca Fiber for Doll Wigs.  It seems there are various techniques for making doll wigs.  Lara makes a wig cap out of T-shirt material and glue that is molded to fit the doll’s head, as shown in the following video.  This is much easier and less time consuming than another doll wig technique called rerooting.

This video focuses on how to prepare Suri Alpaca Fiber for doll wig making.

In this video, Lara completes the wig by sewing the glued alpaca wefts to the wig cap with needle and thread for a beautiful finished wig with bangs and a center part.

How to Make a Suri Alpaca Weft for Doll Hair is a mini-tutorial by Fabiola at Fig and Me.  The method she illustrates involves sewing suri fiber onto yarn with a sewing machine, then sewing it onto a crocheted cap.  For a tutorial on how to sew weft to a crochet cap, see this video by Gabi Moench-Ford or this tutorial on her blog called Fairywool Dolls.

Be sure to see:

Using Suri Fiber for Doll Hair
Tips for Purchasing Suri Fiber for Doll Hair
Cleaning Suri Alpaca Fiber for Doll Wigs
Doll Makers – Customer Gallery

Shop for Suri Fiber and Suri Locks at Alpaca Meadows!

Free Crochet Pattern – Two Tone Mitts

I love these fun two-tone gloves, each glove with colors opposite from the other.  The pattern is by Pollyfoofoo and her website is pollyfoofoo.blogspot.com.  Her pattern calls for a bulky yarn, but I’ve chosen our Astral Yarn, a dk weight yarn, which comes in some gorgeous colors.  I think you could mix-n-match almost any two colors of this Alpaca/Merino/Tencel blend yarn and be pleased with the combination.

astral-fingerless-gloves2

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Needle Felting Ornament Kits and Videos

Needle felting has taken off in our area.  Even those who don’t think they have the skills required or aren’t creative, have been enjoying felting classes in The Farm Store here at the farm, and going home with projects they are pleased with.  There is no need to have to pay attention to a pattern, such as with knitting or crocheting, so felting is a fun craft to do with a group of friends or in the evening while watching TV.

Needle Felting Ornament Kits

Just in are some new felting kits!  Among them are a variety of felted ornament kits, with instructional videos to follow.  Keep scrolling to see the videos.  Click on the images below if you’d like to order the kit.

     

Happy felting!

Be sure to check out the pictures from some of our felting classes!

Free Knitting Pattern – Seed Stitch Knit Scarf

Seed stitch, also known as moss stitch, is a basic texture stitch. It is made up of alternating knit and purl stitches.

Seed Stitch Knit Scarf

The fabric is firm, does not curl, and looks the same on both sides. It is ideal for small knits, scarves, cowls, mittens, gloves, and knits up into super cute baby items!   This is a stitch you will want to learn!

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