Friday, 22 August 2014

New Alpaca Yarn for Autumn

I've totally failed in my New Year's Resolution of blogging more often. I've finally accepted that I'll probably only manage to do it about three times a year. I enjoy everyone else's blogs though, this can be quite a solitary life so it helps to find out about others trials and triumphs.

I hope everyone's had a good summer. We had a year off mating last year and I've missed not having any cria on the ground this summer. Now we've sold a couple of our boys I plan to try and get some of our good females mated before the autumn kicks in. So hopefully we'll hear the pitter patter of tiny pronking in the paddock next year. In the mean-time we've had lots of grass this summer and our alpacas are slightly too fat as a result. All the muddy areas from last winter are fully pastured again and the hedgerows are hanging with blackberries and elderberries - lovely.

Yesterday the yarn from this year's shear arrived back from the Border Mill. I'm pleased with the quality and can't wait to get knitting. Back in January I bought a LK150 knitting machine as I cannot keep up with demand just hand-knitting. This is a beginners knitting machine and I've found learning to use it pretty easy. I've been churning out scarfs, cowls, socks, wrist-warmers and beanies. The results give a professional, even-tensioned finish. The stitches are different to hand-knitting, I haven't yet got to grips with cabling and it doesn't come with a ribber so you have to do a fake rib. We still produce hand-knits but I have to say I love my knitting machine for speed!

Here's a picture of it in action (I'm making a cowl):

And here's our yarn from the 2014 shear:

It's all hands on deck now to get knitting for the autumn markets!