Saturday, December 27, 2008

Knitting Travels: Brier Run Alpaca Farm

Oil Springs, Ontario, Canada

My parents and I drove through the fog and melting snow to visit Brier Run Alpaca Farm this morning.

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The owners, Heather Blanchard and Norris McAuslan, opened the store for us and then gave us a tour of the processing facilities.

The store includes many kinds of yarn and roving, most of them made from a single alpaca and named after that animal (i.e. McDermot, Glen Fiddich, Tukie). Some are blended with silk for extra softness. Heather and Norris currently sell hand-knit products on their website, but soon they’ll be opening an online store for their yarn as well.

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They also sell roving and raw fibre for spinning. It was fun to manhandle the bumps to compare the color and softness of each alpaca.

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In the processing plant, their friendly cat showed us this wonderfully soft roving from one of the cria (baby alpacas)—it felt like air.

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Later this will be spun into yarn in their machines:

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They also spin lower-grade alpaca fibres around a twine core to make yarn that will be woven into rugs:

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Or batting for alpaca duvets:

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The alpacas were hiding out from the rain and mud, so we only got to see a few of the 75 or so that live on their farm:

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Thanks to Heather and Norris for the tour! I can’t wait to get some of this yarn on my needles. Oh, and did I mention that I really really really want an alpaca of my own??? Look how cute they are!!!

1 comment:

KRGP said...

i want to LIVE there.