About 4 weeks ago, we had Alpacas move in in the field opposite our house. we know the owner quite well after 15 years of chatting when he works on the land, so we went over to have a look. They have 20 Alpacas, male, female and 3 x 3 month old Crias (babies). Mostly white, but about 3 of varying brown shades, including a male called Cadbury. They will be breeding them, in fact several of the females are pregnant again and should produce next June. They will also be keeping pigs, chickens and opening up the lakes for fishing. Nice little enterprise.
Toft Alpacas will be taking their fleeces, I have been wanting to go over there for ages, so this gave me an extra incentive now we have the car back on the road (such a relief). We went Tuesday, it was raining when we got there so we browsed round the shop looking at all the lovely yarns, carded fleece and sample garments, They mainly deal in kits, supplying the yarn and pattern, also needles if you need those. Very expensive, but beautiful. They also supply raw fleece, although the majority is sent to Banbury to be spun. Harriet, the young lady who has just started working there, was on her own, so as she had to get some orders labelled for the courier, we went for a walk and looked at all the Alpacas, taking some photos. They have 250 animals. Harriet then took us over to the barn so I could look at the fleece. Uncarded it is £15 for 500 gms, so I had 500 of black and grey respectively. As it is so light, there is a surprising amount of fleece there. I plan to blend these and spin singles to ply with the North Ronaldsay wool which I am spinning at the moment. This should make a lovely soft, warm grey/black yarn. Not sure what I'll be doing with it, sweater maybe.
Toft also run workshops, they have one on dyeing in February which I might treat myself to.