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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. ♥

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New Yarns

With the recent trip to Vermont, I acquired loads of new fiber. The last trip I took, I bought up handmade yarn everywhere I went. This time, it was fiber! The best shop I found, surprisingly, was not in Vermont at all. It was Rainbow Yarns and Fibres in Germantown, Tennessee. They had a full line of spinning fibers and even had some spiffy bags of bits and pieces to spin into some art yarn from Pagewood Farm. First thing I did when I got home was spin this very unique art yarn.

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It has sparkles and curls and thick and thin places and it is wonderful.

I got a couple of balls of super cool hand painted fibers from A Piece of Vermont:

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I will show off what these beauties look like spun up later this week.

Two more finished yarns to show off…the green was a blended roving I purchased at Vermont Beads and Fiber, the red was from my favorite fiber farm right around the corner from my mom’s, Chasworth Pottery and Farm.

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These two may end up plied together for a nice Christmas Handspun.

Speaking of Chasworth Farm, I have bags full of yummy Vermont Grown Fiber. Much more yarn will be coming your way from this awesome farm. ♥

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Guests are Arriving

Last night, Granny and Grampa Joe arrived safely. Tonight many more family members are coming to help us celebrate Megan’s graduation. In the middle of all the craziness…we got a new car, a Toyota Corolla. It already has The Twisted Purl sticker across the back window so if you see it driving down the highway be sure to give a honk! The hub works out of Little Rock and needed a REALLY good gas mileage car, and this one gets close to 40 per gallon. Sounded good to us!

Amazingly enough, I also got some new fiber posted on Etsy. Here is Clown’s Hair. Next, a little festival inspired Cotton Candy sock yarn.
I do want to get more posted today…hopefully, in between yard work and shopping I can get some fiber listed. It is just so hard for me to part with fiber. I dream of how gorgeous it will look spun.
This morning, I came across this verse:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:26
It gave me great comfort in my stress and exhaustion from the last few weeks of non-stop action. Like a little reminder that God loves me and is waiting for me to come to Him for recharging. I may name this fiber “Rest” after this verse.

As for me, my resting time is done, I have to mow the lawn and get some laundry moving. Plus, shopping for Megan’s brunch tomorrow (at my house) and her BIG party, on Sunday, at Dad’s. ♥