Monday, April 9, 2012

Shearing day!  It’s what we wait for all year, harvesting all that fiber, my favorite part is seeing the young ones shorn for the first time.  Sometimes their true colors don’t come out until they are shorn.  You get to see how beautiful the fiber is because its never dirty way down at the skin, so as it comes off you see clean shinny (luster) fiber and you remember why alpacas are so special.  Only the Gods could wear it in ancient Andean tradition.
  Then again, I dread this day.  Each alpaca is lead to the matt one at a time,  there are laid out on their side and ropes tied to their feet,  they get stretched out tight so the shearer doesn’t cut them.  Some of them spit thru the whole process.  For this we put a sock on their mouth.   They look like heffalumps.  One of mine pees every time I do this, and you certainly don’t want the fiber to get wet.  Uggh!   They also get their toenails cut, and get their vaccinations.  Not a lot of fun for the alpaca.  Fiber is flying!  The blanket, or prime fleece (the part around their middle) is put in one bag then their neck and hip and shoulder in another.  The leg fiber I let blow into the wind for animals to use as nesting, but some people save this too.  Alpaca is so soft its all useable
   Its very funny to watch as you release them,  some times their herd mates don’t recognize them,  some times babies don’t recognize their mom, or vise versa.  Get away from me child, you’re not mine!  Oh, sorry I guess you are…. Bhaaaaa!  Look how skinny your little neck is! Didn’t recognize you with out clothes!
  By the time this is over I am exhausted, every muscle is sore and I am blowing fiber boogies out of my nose and coughing up fur balls.  I have been kicked, spit at and knock on my can more than once.   I can not wait for a long long soak in the tub.
    And now the fiber!  Which will go to shows?  What shall I list on Etsy?  What will I spin, or dye, or felt?   Or sell or save…..  Thanks alpacas.