Friday, April 30, 2010

Shear Madness!!!

Some of you may know that Alpaca With A Twist wasn't always Alpaca With A Twist, and the yarn company that is now was once an alpaca farm: Copper Ridge Alpacas. There are significantly fewer alpacas there now, but they still need to be sheared to get that crimpy awesomeness turned in to yarn. And so a week ago, I met Jennifer at the crack of dawn (okay, 8 am) and we jumped in the car and first headed to Sheep Street in the Martinsville area to drop off some stuff and talk briefly about shearing (and meet the Sheep of course. Plus Jennifer keeps 2 alpacas there still) and were on our way to Georgetown to shear those Copper Ridge alpacas.I had never sheared alpacas before, only sheep, and I wasn't really sure what to expect. With sheep, you throw them over on their backs and shear from there, and by the time they figure out how to get upright again, they're pretty much done. Shearing alpacas is a much more....involved process. It starts with looping ropes around their wrists and ankles (can you still call them wrists and ankles? Must ask Jennifer) and then lowering them to the ground, pulling the ropes tight. Someone has to hold their head so they don't get spooked and try to get up and get all cut up in the process, and for a while that was my job. Jennifer did all the shearing, and we had a couple other people there to help. Each alpaca took around 45 minutes to shear, vaccinate and trim up their legs and head into a nice little mop-style that only works for alpacas and punk rockers.
But who cares about the process! The pictures are so fun! And check out the baby- she was only 4 days old when we went down to shear!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Single Skeins: Temptation

Name: Temptation
Color: Spearmint
Sign: Gemini
Yardage: 109

"Hi there! I'm Temptation, a fun loving silk/alpaca blend that's looking for someone to love and knit me into the object of their desire..."

Perfect Match:
"I think that my perfect match is someone who is bold and can appreciate the silkier things in life. My ideal match uses size 7-9 US needles, but I'm open for anything! I am very flexible and can be your perfect scarf or that sumptuous sweater you've always dreamed of...want to try me on, baby?"

Perfect Date:
"A candlelight dinner, a walk on the beach, a trip to your favorite yarn store- I'm up for anything!"

"I love all sorts of movies. I adore foreign films- if it's been to Cannes, it's probably been in my DVD player. I love a good slapstick comedy, and I love everything but scary movies- I hate getting my stitches dropped! I'm not much of a reader anymore, but in my spare time I like to tackle some Tolstoy, get lost in some Orwell, and I'm super-sweet on Shakespeare. As far as music goes, I'm really in to alternative music like Ingrid Michaelson and Fiona Apple. What about you?"

Anything else?
"You can get to know me a little better at your local yarn store. Can't wait to see what you can do with me..."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What do we do besides yarn?

So in the last couple of years I have decided I like plants. Maybe because I have some friends who do really well with them I wanted (needed) to try it too. This year I have cucumbers (the pickling kind), zucchini, catnip, cilantro, oregano, and lavender started in the house. I brought a table into by breakfast nook just to hold the pots. Could be fun or a real disaster.
My other great passion is dogs. Many of you may have seen the 2 puppies that came with me to TNNA in Columbus a couple of years ago. Unfortunately having a dog that needs a home has become a little bit of a habit. Our latest resident was Huckleberry from Indianapolis Animal Control. He went to Vermont to a new home but was with us for 12 days before he went on his journey north.