Yesterday some friends and I took advantage of an open barn at Stargrazer Ranch Alpacas in nearby Loveland, Colorado to meet their Suri and Huacaya alpacas. We were allowed to go into the field with the animals, which had been sheared a few weeks ago.
Once I got over my shyness, I got close to the alpacas.
Alpacas give birth year round. Here's a beautiful 3-week old Suri. What a gorgeous chestnut color!
My friend Sarah bought a skein of yarn from this handsome dude (I forgot his name, but I'm sure Sarah hasn't). As far as I know, Sarah hasn't decided what to do with the yarn but she couldn't resist it's softness and deep brown color (notice how it matches her hair).
Not to be outdone by Sarah, I bought a bit of roving to spin. Here's 13 ounces of fleece from Cutie Pie (who has since left the farm) on the left and 8 ounces of barn blend (an assortment of fleeces) on the right. For now, I'm content to just rub the roving against my cheek.
As we were getting ready to leave, we noticed the bags of fleece in the storeroom. Sarah and I couldn't keep our hands out of the bags and ended up buying the part of the fleece that came off of a mahogany alpaca's back (reportedly the best part of the fleece). We split the fleece evenly and each came home with 1.1 pounds. We're thinking we'll process and knit the fiber as a sort of "group" project. I'll let you know how it goes.
I took another trip into the field to snap this photo of Arwen, the grand dam who produced that lovely mahogany fleece. The pink collar around Arwen's neck indicates that she'll be having a baby soon--it makes her easier to spot in the field in case she needs help.