A word from Kathryn
It was the huge dark eyes that got me first. From then on I was hooked, but it was another ten years, and a move to a house with a field or two, before we could buy our first alpacas. We went intending to buy a starter herd of three, and came back with eleven! Before long I had quickly accumulated more fleece that I had imagined. But what should I do with it all?
If I had been sensible, I would have sent it off to a mini mill for spinning, but somehow that didn't feel quite right. I was taught to knit and crochet by my two grandmothers and my Mum around the age of 5 to 6 years old, and I loved the process of seeing a garment grow from a ball of yarn. Now I could take it a stage further, and create the yarn too.
A lady from a local spinning guild very kindly lent me an electric spinning machine to try for a week, and I was off. Before long I was carding and spinning our own alpaca, and found I loved doing it. I could see the whole process through from our alpacas being born, feeding them, shearing them, and then creating whatever took my fancy from their fantastic fleece.
I went on all the courses I could fit in to learn how to sort it, dye it, spin it, felt it, and even add beads to it. Before long we had fleece in almost every room of the house at various stages ofprocessing. My family are very patient!
Feeding and looking after our alpacas early each morning and every evening is a lovely way to start and end my day. Making all sorts of things from their wonderful fleece is an added bonus, and I love every minute of it.