We moved from Denver to Wyoming almost 3 years ago. One day I called Gordon to see how their move to the ranch was going. “We have alpacas…” he said, as my brain scanned for “alpaca” – was it a barn rodent … or maybe an unusual medical condition? WOW! Several months later, going down the long driveway to the ranch revealed some alien-looking creatures that appeared to be straight out of a sci-fi movie…. adorable, long-necked, fuzzy-headed animals with curious large eyes watching us approach. We all fell in love with them long before we knew anything about fiber or making yarn. Alpacas are delightful creatures that are beautiful, gentle, intelligent, and curious. They provide us all with joy and exquisite fleece.
Since these alpacas can only grow so much hair so fast, I sometimes search the web for other small farms similar to Cliff House. On a recent sojourn, I discovered Scythia. She is owned by Golden Pine Alpacas in Goldendale Washington. Scythia has exceptional Royal Baby Grade (18 microns) fleece, and I thought the price they were asking for her rovings was a misprint. But, they were looking for an “ambitious” spinner that could remove all the tiny particles of cardboard while spinning. Scythia was purchased at the National Alpaca Show in Denver and the bedding provided at the show was finely shredded cardboard – a poor choice for fleece. Their processing mill was not able to remove the cardboard specks without using acid and therefore did not process the fiber into yarn.
WE CAN DO THIS! I respected the fact that they did not ruin excellent fiber by over-processing it to remove the shreds and felt fortunate to be the new “ambitious” owner of this roving. See how the fleece currently looks and then follow Scythia and her fleece on our blogs as she goes from farm to shawl! I will show you as it progresses (after I finish tax returns ) and I will also be blogging about alpaca fleece structure and quality in more detail along with some fun alpaca history and alpaca characteristics.