10 Reasons to Raise Alpacas

Why did we start raising alpacas? We fell in love with them, and the alpaca lifestyle! There are soo many more reasons to choose to start an alpaca farm…here’s just ten of them!

1. Love of the Animals

Like I said, we fell in love with the animals! When we visited that first alpaca farm and saw those intriguing looking animals, it was love at first sight! There is a peacefulness about these gentle animals, with their long elegant necks, large eyes, long lashes, and gentle humming. Alpacas continue to transfix us, making them irresistible for those of us who have taken the “taken the plunge.” 

We raise both suris and huacayas!

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Free Knitting Pattern – Drop Stitch Swizzle Alpaca Scarf

Scarf Crocheted with Swizzle Alpaca Yarn

I love how this scarf turned out!

Scarf Crocheted with Swizzle Alpaca Yarn

The yarn I used is 100% alpaca so of course it is soft and lovely!  This yarn is hand-dyed.  The color is Academy Blue, one of the nine beautiful shades in the Swizzle line from The Alpaca Yarn Company available at Alpaca Meadows.

Swizzle Alpaca Yarn Scarf

 The pattern is by Christine Vogel of Frazzled Knits.  She is right, it does look beautiful in a variegated yarn.  The horizontal drop stitch makes it fun to knit … as the yarn overs are dropped, the lacy design is created!

Swizzle Alpaca Yarn Scarf

April Yarn of the Month

The Alpaca Yarn Company has launched a new program, and will be introducing a Limited Edition YARN OF THE MONTH!  The first yarn is from the Suri Elegance yarn line and is called “Curiosity Cabinet”.  It is a beautiful yarn with deep, rich tones!

Suri Elegance Yarn of the Month

Suri Elegance is an elegant, lustrous, lace-weight yarn made of 100% Suri Alpaca. Each 3.5 ounce (100g) skein has approximately 875 yards and is perfect for lace projects.  The manufacturer’s suggested gauge for lace knitting is 7 stitches per inch using US#3 (3.25 mm) needles.

The Suri Alpaca is the rarer of the two types of alpacas. A suri in full fleece is absolutely breathtaking, with its locks of fiber blowing in the breeze. Draping locks are what characterize these elegant animals. The fiber grows vertically and hangs down their sides. It is straight and has a slick, silky feel.  It has a high degree of sheen, often referred to as luster.

The alpaca pictured above is a Grand Champion named Matterhorn and he resides at our farm!

If you order Curiosity Cabinet during the month of April, you will receive a FREE downloadable pattern of either Bouvardia (knitting pattern) or Mithril (crochet pattern).  Just send me an email and let me know which one you’d like!

Helpful TIPS on knitting lace can be found here:

Majoring in Lace: Introduction

Majoring in Lace – Part II

Learn To Crochet Class

I am offering a Learn To Crochet Class this Saturday here at the farm.  I’ll be teaching the basic crochet stitches and we’ll actually get started on a scarf using a bulky yarn called Snuggle.  I know practicing and making swatches is important, especially when making something that needs to fit, but I’m one that likes to see results for my efforts so we’re going to jump right in with a project!

Crocheted Red Alpaca Scarf

Using a fairly large hook and bulky yarn, this Fast and Easy Scarf works up quickly and is good practice at the same time.  The pattern calls for chain stitch and double crochet.

We will also make some of these cute little butterflies using Beginner’s Butterfly pattern by Erin Burger.  This will give us practice at chain stitch, slip stitch, double crochet, treble crochet, and How To Whip Stitch In Crochet.

Crochet (pronounced /kroʊ’ʃeɪ/) is a process of creating fabric from yarn or thread using a crochet hook. The word itself is derived from the Middle French word croc or croche, meaning hook.  Crochet is an extremely versatile and popular technique for making a variety of fashion and home decor accessories. To crochet, you need a hook
and yarn. Depending on the type yarn you use, you can create a variety of different fabrics. By combining crochet stitches and lighter weight or softer yarns, you create a delicate, drapable fabric; a thicker yarn produces a sturdy fabric. Beautiful textured and raised stitches are especially easy to make in crochet. You can also crochet with fine threads to create lacy projects like doilies or even string or cord.

No one would call it the art of crochet if it wasn’t first and foremost a labor of love. It’s an intricate art, it’s love at first sight, and it holds the lover’s attention for hours on end.

While preparing for this class, I found some links I would recommend if you are wanting to learn how to crochet.  Stitches – For Dummies has great pictures of the different stitches and simple, easy to understand directions.  At the Craft Yarn Council there is a Crochet Abbreviations Master List, Crochet Chart Symbols, and help for How to Read a Crochet Pattern.

If pictures and written instructions don’t work for you, the You Tube video below may help.

Are you left-handed?  My mother is.  There are Crochet Lessons for Left-Handers available on the Crochet Guild of America website.

Kids may have fun learning how to Finger Crochet…

If you find you just can’t stop crocheting once you have learned how, you could always Crochet for Charity.  There are many worthwhile causes and people in need that would benefit from the work of your hands.

Some sites I found with FREE patterns are:

Crochet Pattern Central
Lion Brand Free Crochet Patterns
Naturally Caron Free Crochet Patterns
Ravelry
– Just do a search for Free Crochet Patterns.

Of course, there are lots of good books on crocheting too!

Mark Twain Craft Bazaar

I am headed to the 26th Annual Mark Twain Craft Bazaar this weekend, November 6th,
in Westerville, Ohio.

fiber, festival, boutique, bazaar, show, craft, alpaca, yarn, hand made, hand crafted, unique, gifts, kits, Christmas, Alpaca Meadows, Westerville, Ohio

It is being held at the Westerville North High School at 950 County Line Rd, from 10am-3pm.

fiber, festival, boutique, bazaar, show, craft, alpaca, yarn, hand made, hand crafted, unique, gifts, kits, Christmas, Alpaca Meadows, Westerville, Ohio

The Mark Twain Craft Bazaar is one of the most highly anticipated holiday bazaars in Westerville.

fiber, festival, boutique, bazaar, show, craft, alpaca, yarn, hand made, hand crafted, unique, gifts, kits, Christmas, Alpaca Meadows, Westerville, Ohio

As it enters the 26th year, the Mark Twain Craft Bazaar has grown to include over 125 unique artists from throughout Ohio and welcomed 2000 patrons last year.

All items are beautifully hand crafted.

fiber, festival, boutique, bazaar, show, craft, alpaca, yarn, hand made, hand crafted, unique, gifts, kits, Christmas, Alpaca Meadows, Westerville, Ohio

The pictures are from my booth at A Wool Gathering this year in Yellow Springs, Ohio and show a sampling of what I will be taking to Westerville.

I had to include a picture of my helper, my 13 year old daughter, doing what 13 year-olds do best…

Alpaca Meadows