Pretty much every day I browse Craigslist for listings of yarn for sale. I have seen a lot of crappy stuff out there for sale, but have also come across some great deals. A few months ago I came across 6 skeins of discontinued Noro for $30. That was hard to pass up, and I remember being so excited, hoping that no one had bought it before I could snag it up. Turns out the seller was the owner of a LYS in Tacoma, selling from her personal stash. After meeting her in the store for the purchase, I spent some time browsing every nook and cranny of her store, petting and fondling all the beautiful yarn. About a week ago a listing came up for a yarn shop that never got off the ground, and the owner was selling his inventory at a reduced price. I almost snagged a couple skeins of Himalaya Shokay until someone else came before me and bought it all. That was pretty disappointing, I was so excited to make a project with yarn from a Himalayan YAK!!!
Earlier this week I did my daily search for yarn and came across a listing for a local farm that raises Alpaca's and sells yarn spun with their fiber. I quickly sent out an email to find out more about what the farm had to offer. After a brief exchange we set up a time for a tour and yarn shopping. I drove out to the farm yesterday on my lunch break. It was only a couple miles from my work, and although it was raining, and I was slightly nervous (meeting a stranger! by myself!), I parked in the driveway, let myself into the backyard gate and was met by the cutest Alpaca! He was munching away on some hay, but as soon as he spotted me, he started walking right over to check me out. All black, with the longest eyelashes and a curly mass of hair on top his head, I was soon formally introduced to PJ by Leanna, the owner of the farm. She took me into the barn to meet the rest of the crew, most of which were taking refuge from the rain, with a few in separate outdoor pens. Looking at each of them you could tell they have their own personalities, and would be great animals to own and raise. There was one baby (called a crias) who was just born last August, and one pregnant female, expected to give birth next month.
If you are a knitter, you know just how awesome Alpaca fiber is. It's super soft, really warm, and actually more light weight that wool. Leanna took me inside to the room of the house she uses for displaying the yarn, finished projects, and specialty alpaca items she has for sale. She sells yarn spun from the fibers of the alpaca's she raises on the farm, the skeins all wrapped up with a picture label of the alpaca it came from. There is yarn from neighboring alpaca farms, some dyed, most natural, and some spun with silk to make it even more luxuriously soft. There are stuffed animals made with baby alpaca hair so soft you almost can't feel anything when you touch it, it's like touching air. She has some beautiful hand knit items and some woven items. After much yarn petting and some self control, I left with two skeins of alpaca from a tan colored alpaca named Lucky, and a desire to go back for some splurging in the future! It was a great lunch time adventure, despite the rain, and I look forward to returning and meeting more of these sweet animals soon!
This is PJ!