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Friday, 8 October 2010

October Alpaca Adventures

We've had a couple of misty mornings here at the farm this week, the day then clears to reveal the warm autumn sun and a glorious view over Draycote water - we are so lucky to work in such beautiful surroundings! Why not come and visit the shop during this gorgeous time of year and see what we mean?! And if it gets too cold there's always lots of alpaca goodies to keep you toasty!

The past few weeks have been super busy at Toft Alpaca Shop and Stud Farm. Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd October were workshop days- we had two lovely groups of ladies who joined us for a tour of the farm (a rather wet and blustery one on Friday) and then tuition in Felting techniques and on Saturday an introduction to knitting.

All the felt bag designs were marvelously creative and everyone surprised Kerry by enjoying wet felting more than needle felting, usually it's the other way round.

After their two walks adventure dogs Ace and Harvey were too tired to even eat fleece- a favourite pastime during felting workshops!

Saturday's knitters all gave the craft a real shot and were so engrossed with their chosen projects that the snooker room was unusually quiet! Tongues were sticking out with concentration and there were frequent shrieks of either joy at a finished row or horror at a dropped stitch! Everyone went home well on their way to a finished item whether it was a necklace, cowl or wristwarmers - there were a few twisted pearl stitches but it all added to the fun of the day and the uniqueness of each item.

Kerry set off to Ally Pally last Wednesday with a new set of shelves 'hand crafted' on the farm by Rob, which made the stand look even better than usual- showing off Toft's 100% baby alpaca garments and natural colour yarns to their very best. The show was a great success with lots of newbie knitters visiting the stand to buy knitting kits. Ally Pally gave us the chance to debut lots of new knitting kits and the large Toft Cotton Totes- and as usual we sold out of buttons!

Talking of new knitting kits, Gianni, photographer extraordinaire, will be photographing all the new items for inclusion on the website soon, including these two beautiful scarf patterns, the Bobble Scarf and the Chunky Cable Lace, which were big hits at Ally Pally.

In other Toft Alpaca news, Kerry visited a sock factory recently and despite expecting something out of Wallace & Gromit she came away raving about the factory and the process. Here you can see some of the yarns they had going at the time and this next photo is not a piece from the Tardice but it is in fact a sock knitting machine - the yarns run along the top and feed down, knitting a kind of complex french knitting style tube that pops out of the bottom as a perfect sock. So coming soon will be a new range of Cream and Black Alpaca socks to replace our current Knee High
and Walking Socks, with Charcoal and Silver coming in the new year. We can't wait here at Toft Alpaca Shop Office!

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