The fiber artists at Cliff House Alpacas have knitted/crocheted/felted/spun ourselves into carpal tunnel preparing for our next show. We’ve been invited to bring our wares to a private silent auction and craft sale to benefit the wild horses at Cimarron Sky Dog Reserve.
As an ecologist, what I like most about Jackie Fleming’s approach to horse rescue is her whole ecosystem understanding. The Forest Service and BLM take wild horses off the range because they have exceeded the carrying capacity of such a dry, resource poor environment. The horses are destroying the ecosystem and starving in the process, and there is no easy answer for what to do with them.
From the range they go into holding pens, sometimes for years. Jackie adopts them, and keeps them on her 50 acres during the winter. During the summer, they are free to range over the 420 acres of land she has painstakingly acquired for them. To prevent them from overgrazing, she runs less than 30 horses on that land, and never in drought conditions. Jackie is preserving more than their freedom, she’s also protecting the open spaces from development.
Together, our fiber artists (aka family members) have created at least 75 items for the sale. Mom started loom knitting less than a year ago, and many of our products are her creations, some made with yarn from our friends’ alpacas, and a few made with my handspun. Aunt Geri has taken up wet felting; she also knits (with needles) the most beautiful patterned and warm scarves, most from sustainable yarn producers and all luxurious. Even Grammy, who just started knitting a month ago, wants to contribute a scarf or two!
For my part, I have lost track of how many yards of yarn I’ve spun. When I go to bed at night, my right foot feels like it is still treadling (my wheel only has one treadle). We skirted and sorted and carded like mad people, and from that carefully processed fiber I’ve made all sorts of yarn: hair fine Brittany/bamboo silk “Purple Rain“, strong and structured glitzy Brittany “Dark Heart“, Brittany plied with Mikayla….and more I can’t remember. I’ve also crocheted two shawls.
We only have room for so many people at the host’s house, so I couldn’t invite everyone! But whatever inventory we have left, I’ll be sure to post pictures.