We were on holiday in New Zealand and were fortunate to be invited to visit one of the largest and indeed most successful Alpaca Farms in the Southern Hemisphere.
Within minutes of arriving I was smitten not just by the their cuteness, their friendly impish nature, but most especially their magnificent fleece. It is no wonder it is know as the Fleece of the Gods.
I was hooked !!. I had to learn everything about them. It was this quest for information on all things Alpaca that reignited my interest in fibre crafts and I learned the joy of spinning and especially working on Alpaca fleece.
Now my stash didn’t just have fabrics, buttons and accessories accumulated on my travels over many years, it exploded, primarily with Alpaca Yarns and spinning wheels!
Though Alpaca breeding is still in its infancy stage here in Ireland, countrywide interest is growing rapidly, be it in breeding for world class fleeces, trekking, family pets, guardians of sheep herds and poultry flocks (they are very effective in chasing off foxes or stray dogs), making guest appearances at special events like Barretstown camps or just mowing the lawn😉.
My mission is to make the best possible use of the fiber, create awareness of the wonderful properties of Alpaca products and to generally make it more accessible to everyone.
To all Alpaca owners I can offer a fleece processing services, hand spinning or to have it spun commercially in the Uk.
At present numbers of fleeces available in Ireland do not justify commercial level of a mill, so for now it’s the individual Crafters who are benefiting, developing and most certainly enjoying working on and producing some magnificent unique Alpaca garments and crafts with the very finest Irish Alpaca Fleece.
Alpaca owners are generally a very passionate bunch and know how special the fleece their flock produces so they too are keen to find ways to use the fleece. Many are also learning to spin. What better way to learn and enjoy this ancient craft than by joining one of our small personalized workshops, suitable for absolute beginners or indeed those who have already tried their hand at spinning other fleeces …
Hushabye Farm Alpacas has almost become a second home to me and I now do regular workshops there for people who would like to learn to spin yarn on a selection of traditional and modern spinning wheels and meet the Alpacas who provide the beautiful fleece for us to work on at the same time.
Visit Irish Alpaca Yarns Facebook page for dates and venues of upcoming workshops which includes Skerries Mills in County Dublin and Amberly Alpacas in County Tyrone or maybe you might like to like to have your own venue for a special workshop for you and your friends to try your hand at spinning.
Written by Patricia Kerr of Irish Alpaca Yarns