If you saw my last post about Nuevo Norte Alpacas and my trip into a little world full of alpaca-based happiness, you will know that I one day intend to keep alpacas.
Why? Well, the first time I felt alpaca yarn my mind was blown. I knew on a vague level that alpacas were a thing, but alpaca turned into my gateway drug into the world of fancy, soft, fluffy, amazing fibre. One small skein of pale blue baby alpaca/silk and I was sold on the world of fibre.
That project was one of the early documented ones on the blog, back in December 2011. I had been knitting for about a year and a friend send me the yarn. I found a nice pattern for fingerless mitts, something I’d never needed so badly before I knitted, and spent some of the worst weeks of my life knitting them. I was sick, I was in pain, and I’d had to postpone my year in Canada due to all of the above. (The picture to the side is from when I was bed-bound for a few weeks, and the featured cat is Disney who hated almost everyone but loved me so, so much. Especially when I didn’t move for a while.)
By December I was better and ready to go, but there’s a reason I called them ‘Escapism Mitts’. They gave me the space to enjoy texture and colour and the process of knitting instead of dwelling on the difficulties at the time.
I still have and use the mitts and they still look fabulous.
Since then I would have to say alpaca has remained close to my top spot in terms of my favourite fibre. I knit with wool more often as I knit socks pretty much constantly, but when I have an excuse for alpaca I don’t often resist.
How does that translate into wanting to keep alpacas myself?
My girlfriend and I are animal lovers. We surround ourselves with them, her even more than me (at her work). One day we plan to have a small farm – one they call here a ‘hobby farm’ – and keep a few choice animals. We’ll have alpacas (because I’m deadly serious about it), goats, chickens, horses. Maybe a few cows one day.
I mean, ideally I’d like to have an enormous herd of merino sheep but as I would spend all day running around hugging those giant puffballs, I’ll stick to alpacas.
Wait, alpacas are also giant puffballs. Maybe I should reconsider. (I won’t.)
Do you like alpacas? Would you ever like to keep animals for their fibre? If you do already, how do you find it?