My husband and I were having our lunch on a day when I was working from home and he was off, swapping sections of the newspaper back and forth. “Are you going to this?” he asked, pointing to a small ad in the paper. From across the table, it looked like one of those Christmas ads with a silhouette of a camel on it.
“Going to what?” I asked back. My plans for the weekend included some food preservation and other autumn-readiness tasks, but for once, I wasn’t completely booked.
“This alpaca thing. It’s right over at the fairgounds this weekend,” he replied, passing the newspaper over to me.
Alpaca thing? Gee, just when I thought I knew about all the wooly, fibery festivals within decent driving distance, there was another one. This weekend, and right here, practically in my own back yard. And I wasn’t so overly scheduled that I couldn’t go.
I’m interested in alpacas. I’m also interested in sheep and other animals that provide fiber for yarn. I enjoy meeting the folks who raise them and seeing the animals. When I went to the Estes Park Wool Market, I saw alpacas, llamas, rabbits, as well as sheep. I bought a skein of divine alpaca yarn in the alpaca barn at Estes Park, and had already knit it up and placed it on the Finished Objects shelf in my sewing room, ready for Christmas gift-giving. I was more than ready for additional skeins.
So, a little coordination and checking of schedules, and I’d made room to check out the alpacas at Alpacas on the Rocks for a half-day on the weekend.
I saw lots of cute alpacas:
I also attended a seminar that went through the steps from alpaca fleece to yarn:
I talked to lots of friendly and enthusiastic alpaca ranchers, and learned a lot about what it takes to produce a fine-quality fleece. I also bought some skeins to knit up:
That’s a skein of hand-painted, handspun that will become a cowl:
Two skeins of a variegated blue:
And a skein of lovely dark green that is most likely to become a cowl, as well:
You know it’s authentic when the skein sports a photo of the alpaca that produced the yarn.
Just to make sure I don’t miss this fun festival next year, I signed up to receive a reminder card before next year’s event.