Sunday, April 20, 2014

In which I feed alpacas and buy yarn, because I can't not buy yarn.

Lately I've been thinking about how big the world is, and how many things there are to learn how to do - mosaic tile, stained glass windows, masonry, woodworking, welding....and how there are so many opportunities to go out and learn some of these things. 

So this weekend I was fortunate enough to have a bit of a learning-related adventure!  On Saturday morning, I met a group of fellow yarn enthusiasts (read: knitting nerds) for a tour of the Bluebonnet Hills Alpaca Ranch in Navasota, TX.  We had a great tour of the ranch, and got to pet and even feed some of the 70 alpaca that live there.  The area where the ranch is located is so pretty - hilly, lots of trees, and right now covered in wildflowers (including, yes, bluebonnets - the national flower of Texas).

The ranchers were super nice and showed us all about the caretaking of alpaca, which is in the camelid family (think llamas) that come from the Andes in South America.  They're known over the world for the awesome softness of their fleece.  And they're really cute too!

We saw some funny ones with derpy-derp haircuts:

And some whose fleece grows in wavy locks:

There were also BABIES.  I LOVE THEM.  And Noel is very proud that I did not, in fact, bring one home with me.

This one is called Sweet Talking Man.  He was a charmer.  :)   

The ranchers raise these alpaca to both sell to breeders, and for their fleeces for yarn (they shear them - no worries about alpacacide!)

There might have been some yarn for sale there.  I might have accidentally bought some.  It's hard not to, when you just fed the little guy whose fleece made the yarn!

So we had lunch there, and then went to a gorgeous yarn shop in Navasota called WC Mercantile - such beautiful stuff in there!!  And they have lots of supplies for spinning yarn as well, and that might be something I'll do in the near future (since I don't have any other hobbies - sigh).

Anyway, we spent the afternoon there learning how to dye yarn!  It was really fun, and honestly much easier in some ways than I imagined.  I can see how people get addicted to it.  We got to keep the skein of yarn we dyed, and I was so happy with the way mine turned out:

(Purple, blue, teal.  Of course.  I am in a very happy rut).

Now to find patterns to use for all this gorgeous alpaca fluffiness!

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