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Alpaca Shearing Day at Sweet Clover Alpaca

Baby Alpaca Gale Storm Thrilled for the invite to the annual alpaca shearing day, out at Sweet Clover Alpaca, I could barely contain my excitement.  This year, Deb invited 5 alpaca farms to bring in their alpaca for the spring shearing.  There was a whole lot of shearing going on and a tremendous amount of adorable, undeniable cuteness.

Painted LadyI was able to visit a few favorites from last year, like Caspian, Painted Lady, and Zorro.

Also, the opportunity to meet new cuties like Gale Warning was priceless.  She was born 2 weeks before the shearing day, during a very stormy evening.  She is awfully sweet and follows Deb, the owner of Sweet Clover Alpaca, around everywhere she goes.

It was wonderful to meet so many alpaca farmers too!  The passion for their animals is palpable.

Along with the alpacas, there was one llama.  Llamas need haircuts too!  He was a beast in size compared to the alpaca.  The poor guy was very upset though.  He was so hard to get into the laying down position required for shearing and once he was there, he screamed.  Like seriously screamed.  Screams that would have made Alfred Hitchcock proud.  He was definitely a drama llama.AlpacaI adore watching how the alpaca greet each other after being sheared.  When a new alpaca comes back, all the alpaca gather around the freshly sheared one. It’s like they are checking out the new do and either approving or humming out laughter at how skinny they look and other inside alpaca jokes.  It only lasts a moment but it’s interesting to watch the gathering. AlpacaSheared and NotAbove is a sheared alpaca next to one that’s still waiting her turn.PaintedLadyShearingDSC03197Last year I was able to buy the very first cria (baby alpaca) fleece from Painted Lady.  This year, I am hoping to get her second year fleece as well.  Here she is above just before shearing.  On the right, you see the experts from Top Knot Shearing, gently shearing off her beautiful fiber.

Although it looks a bit uncomfortable,  shearing the fiber off the alpaca is a total necessity.  Think about the hot summer days ahead. These poor babies would die of heat exhaustion without the spring shearing.  They need their coats in the winter, but come summer, they are happy to have them gone.

Here’s Painted Lady’s blanket from this year’s shearing.  It’s okay to drool.  I hope to have some yarn made from this to share with you soon. Painted Lady FiberGiddy being outside on such a gorgeous day, I adored observing each alpaca’s individuality.  Plus the fiber…oh the fiber!!!  Delicious.  I wanted to roll around in it.  I took a lot of pictures (probably too many, but who can resist those faces???) and will share more in future posts.

I’m super appreciative to Deb, at Sweet Clover Alpaca, for letting me in on this annual experience.  Just wait, lots of new alpaca yarn is on the way!

Post from last year’s shearing day: Journey of Alpaca Fiber From Farm to Scarf

This year’s shearing day made the front page of the newspaper.

On a side note, special thanks to Courtney Spradlin. She came out from the paper, took beautiful photographs, and wrote up the lovely story posted in the paper.  Her journalistic adventure is taking her outside of Arkansas.  I’m going to miss seeing her around all our local events and wish her the very best of luck in all her future endeavors. ♥