Monday, October 06, 2008

Alpaca, Alpaca & more Alpaca!

Last Wednesday evening, the Purling Petals took a little field trip to Sallie's Fen Alpacas. We got an informative behind-the-scenes tour of the mill (thank you Sallie), a visit with the gorgeous animals (thank you Jack), and a unique shopping experience with the most knowledgable person there to tell us all about the yarn (thank you Nicola).

So, have you ever wondered just what it takes to get from this... SalliesFen_alpacasC

... to this?
SalliesFen_100108f

Lots of processes... and lots of machines!

Fiber needs to be washed... (then carded, but somehow
my camera missed the mega huge carding machine)...
SalliesFen_100108e

Roving needs to be made...
SalliesFen_100108

Then its spun...
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Then its plied...
SalliesFen_100108c

And the final product gets wound
into hanks... check out this swift!
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There were lots of drying racks for the fiber before it moves along in the process... and lots of barrels of roving waiting to be spun.... such a fun place!

Even though it was dark, we still got to check out the animals! This cutie pie was only 8 days old...

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SalliesFen_alpacasB

Jack even brought several of the girls out of the pen for an up close & personal visit!

After the tour, it was time to shop till we dropped!

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Mmmm... a wall of alpaca!

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I did bring a few friends hanks home...

This super soft, dark brown baby alpaca (a blend of 3 different babies' first shearings) will be a pair of fingerless mitss for me, using this uber soft alpaca/silk blend as a trim...

SalliesFen_darkbrown SalliesFen_alpacasilk

This is their new sock yarn, which pictures do not do justice! The tones and little shimmers of color are gorgeous. Joanne test knit a sock for them and it was so stunning, I had to have some! Its 48% alpaca, 20% soysilk, 20% wool, 12% nylon...

SalliesFen_sockyarn

Pictures also do not do justice to Nicola's hand dyed alpaca... this skein was very fallish and well, it just had to come home with me!

SalliesFen_HANDdyedalpaca

Thank you again to Sallie, Jack and Nicola... it was a wonderful night!

9 comments:

Dianne said...

Looks like fun! There is nothing cuter than a baby alpaca!

Anita said...

Oh cool! What a great trip!! I'm always amazed at those who start their yarn on the hoof so to speak.... me? I'll just buy the fiber or yarn ready to go! LOL

Sonya said...

Wow what a field trip. I love those baby alpacas.

gypsyknits said...

Fascinating. I love those goodies that you brought home. Looks so soft. Enjoy!

Bubblesknits said...

What a neat field trip! I can't believe the size of those machines!

Channon said...

I WANT - as in NEEEEEEEED - that chestnut colored alpaca. Sure, fiber would be nice, but I'm talking the whole dang critter. I've never been so taken with an alpaca before. Sigh...

Joanne said...

As always, My PR Girl does a great job of pic taking and blogging!! What would we do without her??!! My camera onl;y had 5 pics left...gotta get more memory...The mill looks SO great!! Thanks Nic...J

Turtle said...

wow what fun! they're open to the public? will have to send mom their link..sounds like a good day trip. ( i so want alpaca)

salliesfen said...

Wow Nichole - thanks for posting all those neat pics!

- we had a BLAST entertaining all you guys! You were interested in all our favorite topics (/obsessions) - FIBER - yarn-ALPACAS (in general - including breeding and showing and CUTE BABIES) :)

Come back any time!!!

Nicola
http://www.sfalpacas.com
(603) 664-2916

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