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Fashionable ladies at work!

Today – one of the coldest days of the year – Tracy and Kari-Helene have decided to work outside(!) skirting alpaca fleeces. We are running low on yarn – you lot have been knitting away this winter – and we are having to make some more! Not that we are complaining, this is what we love doing after all. But could somebody please turn the heating on?

Tracy has got bags of gorgeous fleece in her garage and we are working our way through them one by one. Opening a bag is sort of like opening a Christmas present, you’re not quite sure what is going to be inside or how much you are going to like it! Of course we do know it will be alpaca fibre, that much is a given, but what quality will it be and how much of the edges will have to be taken off? When skirting a fleece (it really has nothing to do with skirts, ladies, believe us!) you remove all the edges, all the debris and any fibre over 25 microns. This means only the very best of the best will go into the mix to make the yarn. So when you open a bag to find a lovely, soft baby alpaca fleece, your first thought is Hurrah! – then you realise this little one has been rolling around in the brambles for a year and the joy vanishes. You have no idea how much stuff can stick to an alpaca! They are like little balls of velcro! So the next time (not that it happens very often) you find a little bit of grass or hay in your yarn think about it as a little piece of joy from the field, a present from a happy little cria bouncing around in the sunset without a worry in it’s young life. 

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One comment

  1. paulineknit: February 22, 2012 5:18 pm

    Nobody sees the hard work and the horrible work that goes on behind the scenes. It can't be easy sorting through the fleeces, dirt and brambles and all, and especially in the cold weather. But, as you say, the end result is well worth the effort. And it is only right and fair that your alpacas are happy in their environment, doing what alpacas should be doing.

    I still don't think those coversuits will catch on fashionwise [smile]. A pity they weren't alpaca lined: then you would have been warm, very warm. At least you both look very cheerful in the picture in spite of the weather.

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