Saturday, 8 August 2009

Fibre of the Gods


Well, now I really know why alpaca is known as "the fibre of the gods"!

Sheila from Scalpay Linen came to visit today to show me the fibre samples she had spun for us. Wow! I just can't stop touching it - it is unbelieveably soft and looks amazing! Thank you Sheila!!

Jasmine's fleece is the small, golden - caramel coloured sample (Maybe it could be called "Highland Toffee" - remember those chewy bars you used to get at school?)

The skein underneath came from only a handful of Tara's blanket (the best part which is shorn from the alpaca's back), and it is a beautiful, creamy white colour. (Crowdie and Cream??)
A few alpaca fibre facts:
Alpaca fibre is incredibly soft, fine and lustrous and although it is less well known than cashmere, alpaca has all the same qualities that makes cashmere a sought after luxury
It is lighter, warmer and three times stronger than sheep wool
It is one of the strongest natural fibres, second only to silk
The fibre grows continuously, and an alpaca will produce 2-3 kilos per year on shearing
There are 22 natural shades of alpaca, from white through shades of grey to black, and from cream through shades of fawn and chestnut to chocolate brown
Alpaca fibre doesn't contain any lanolin so is suitable for those who have allergies to sheep wool
Sheila has taken Jasmine's blanket away to handspin into yarn - now I need to get my thinking cap on to come up with some super designs and patterns to do Jasmine and Sheila justice!
Just one teeny, weeny problem...I can't knit!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Alpacas at Sunset









Spent half an hour taking photographs of the girls tonight...here are a few. Can't wait until I have some babies to photograph too...only about 29 more days to wait! (see the Cria Countdown at the bottom of the page!)

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

A Walk on the Wild Side

Well, we had a couple of wildlife encounters today...unfortunately the first one resulted in a death...
Iain was feeding the rabbits in the barn when he stepped on something...a little baby hedgehog. Now I know we are trying to eradicate hedgehogs in the islands, but it is supposed to be through capture and rehoming to the mainland. Poor little thing.
Our resident buzzard appeared today, but despite Iain's best Simon King impression he only managed to get the picture below.
Meanwhile, now that our alpacas have settled in we have increased their field size, so they had a wander round to exlore their "extension". Took some more photos...also took some of our poor flock of hebridean sheep - think they are feeling a little neglected!











Sunday, 2 August 2009

Feeding time on the croft!

Still getting to grips with how the technology works here...am going to try to upload a video...fingers crossed!


video

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Jasmine


Little Croft on the Prairie

Well, I still can't quite believe that my begging has finally paid off. But the picture above is proof that, two years after falling for my first gorgeous alpaca, we have the beginnings of our own little herd, on our own little croft.

We brought Jasmine, Tara and Nicholette back from the mainland two weeks ago, and they have settled into their new life very quickly! However, I seem to spend a little too much time gazing at them from the bathroom window...

Anyway, welcome home Jasmine, Tara and Nicholette - we hope you will enjoy a happy and pampered life here at Black Sheep Croft.