National Alpaca Farm Day

This was my second time participating in National Alpaca Farm Day, and once again, I had a wonderful time. There was so much to do! So many activities! So much to see!

Here are some highlights -

First of all,
Phil and Allie welcomed everyone to their farm in their friendly way.

Phil spoke to visitors about how to raise alpacas, and taught folks about how to select the right alpacas when buying. Phil and Allie have lots of alpacas for sale - if you are interested in buying, you should contact them at their web page, Eyedazzler Alpacas - gosh, they have some beautiful animals for sale! Click here for more information about sale animals.

One of the day's activities was that visitors could have their photo taken with an alpaca, and could lead the alpaca on halter. My daughter, Emma, was the official alpaca wrangler, and she had a great time.This was loads of fun for all who participated.

There were also many demonstrations -
Pat demonstrated wet-felting alpaca fibers, and...
Karin demonstrated needle felting. She also let some folks help her out - just take a look at this enthusiastic young needle felter.

There were other demonstrations, too.

Julie and Sharron demonstrated spinning on the wheel,
Men seemed particularly interested in the spinning wheels. Julie does a good job explaining what all of the parts do.

Julie and Sharron also taught visitors how to spin, here you can see Sharron helping a student, and Julie is giving her some pointers, too.

I demonstrated drop spindling,
and I taught quite a few students, too. I LOVE the look of concentration on the students' faces!

As an aside - for all of you spinning teachers - Allie has some alpaca roving which was a side-by-side mixture of black and white. If you enlarge the photo below, you can see it wrapped around my arm. This day's spinning students learned amazingly quickly, and I an certain that it is because of this "skunk stripe" roving - the students could easily see the twist, and understand the concept of twist and of keeping it out of the drafting zone.

The speed at which these students picked up spinning was completely amazing! I'll never teach spinning without it.
I tried to teach this alpaca how to spin, and while she was very interested, she didn't really take to this new skill. Alpacas are such curious little creatures, it appears that they hang on your every word. It is very satisfying.

By the way, how did my baby daughter end up so tall?

I also ran the "till" as all of the items you see on the tables and shelves, as well as all of the spinning wheels, were for sale. We sold roving, fleeces, dyes, spinning wheels (Ashford, Louet, Schacht and Majacraft), handknitted items, knitting and crochet kits (coffee cup cuffs, cell phone holders, scarves), and balls of yarn. If you are interested in any of it, email me at and I'll send more info.

But, that's not all -
Peggy had a dye studio set up in one of the alpaca pens,
and demonstrated dyeing -
Peggy teaches precision dyeing methods - here are two of her Triads. This is a very precise, very accurate method of mixing dyes, and by learning how to do it, you can match any color you want to - you know, sort of like the guy does down at the paint store. You can see a better picture of one of Peggy's triads here, Triad Photo.

Peggy (in the black shirt), discussing her methods of dyeing with one of the Farm Day Visitors. If you want more info, email me, and I'll put you in touch with Peggy.

WAIT! I'm not done!

All visitors to farm day were treated to a lovely lunch of Aji de Gallina - a Peruvian chicken stew. Oh my goodness, this stuff was Completely Yummy. As you can see, I cleaned my plate!

To top it all off, Jack the barn cat did his part -He hung around, looking handsome,and he entertained the younguns. He is the friendliest cat!

BUT - the best of all - Take a look at Homeschooling in Action - -

Homeschooling at its very finest - go to an Alpaca farm for a day, thinking that you are going to wrangle alpacas, and end up learning about dye chemistry, proper use of various measuring devices, and laboratory safety. I love it when this happens.

Life just doesn't get any better.
Thanks Peggy.


Jennifer said...

No it doesn't!
From one HS-ing mom to another - Thanks!
What a great day!
I feel all warm and fuzzy from just reading!

Fran said...

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing your day.

Lyndi Markus said...

So exciting to see pictures! Peggy's my second mom... and an amazing dye artist. I learned a ton from her when I lived with them for a year- though not just about what goes into dyeing, spinning, and knitting! She'd told me about this event and sent me the link to this blog. It looks like y'all had a really fun day. Yay for dyeing and for Alpacas!

fleegle said...

Oh gosh, that looks like immense fun! We don't have anything like that around here, alas.

Thanks so much for your nice words about my Triinu shawl! I did enjoy knitting it, but a large part of that was because I was fooling with Seasilk :)

Sara said...

That looks like so much fun!!! Looks like you all had a blast.

Traci said...

Great post! Love the hands on learning! My girls would have been in heaven there.