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Monday, April 30, 2012

"the end justifies the means"

I guess to some my short weekend trip to attend a local alpaca show would be considered a vacation or an excuse to skip out on farm chores for a couple of days, I would call it an inspiration! Many of us go through our work days in a routine, possibly mundane fashion, and I admit that it's sometimes the case for me when the days are dark and dreary. I look forward to the days of sunshine, warmer weather, new crias in the pastures, and flowers brightening the gardens. And it's also the time for our annual shearing, time to reap the true benefit of raising alpacas, their fleece!

What happens to all that alpaca fleece? There are so many options that we are only limited by our imagination. This past weekend I was once again inspired by the creativity of fiber artists. I was inspired to follow through with my plans to create a fiber studio and really get busy with the fleece. I'm not one of those that has a barn or garage full of years worth of fleece since I have participated in the fiber co-operatives like AFCNA and The Alpaca Blanket Project, but that doesn't mean I don't have fleece that I've held in reserve for my own projects. I have sorted fleece that's ready to be sent to the mill for yarn, and I have fleece waiting to be washed and carded for felt. I love to knit with alpaca yarn but the process is slow and end products to sell are limited as a result. I have felting projects in my head but not in production. That's going to change!

My studio plans include a small wet felting machine and a rug loom. I will have a space designated for dyeing and drying skeins of our own herd yarn. I would love to include space where I can have small creativity workshops for kids and adults. And of course, a farm store is definitely a high priority! Online sales are wonderful but I want a place where farm visitors can really see and feel all that can be done with alpaca. How do I plan to make all of this happen? The first order of business is having my "kids" clean out their things from the garage so I have the space. Mother's day is right around the corner, right? Christmas and my birthday didn't work, but maybe Mother's day. Next would be raising the money to cover the costs of the equipment. Stay tuned for some incredible ideas and deals that will help me reach the end that justifies the means!

Inspiration is a wonderful thing!
wet felting machine

wet felting machine

hand-dyed yarns

hand-dyed yarns

making

making "felted" soap.