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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Making felt whist the sun shines!

In preparation for Toft's Felt Jewellery and Shearing Workshop on the 17th May, Carrie and Emi have been making some felt jewellery and enjoying the sunshine here at Toft. They've been coming up with some new designs and ideas as well as documenting it all for the new workshop notes.  Today Emi is busy mixing colours and dying fleeces like some kind of mad professor of colour!  So far we've got a rich gold, an orange, lilac and a beautiful green (Carrie's favourite so far). 

If you would like to join us on the Felt Jewellery and Shearing Workshop there are still some places left.  We're hoping for a lovely dry day so that we can get lots of animals sheared and show you how we literally get alpaca from field to fashion!  The workshop date is Tuesday 17th May and for a mere £45 we include tuition, materials, a tour of the farm and shearing demonstrations, not to mention refreshments and a home cooked lunch!  To book just follow this link 


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Emi's first trip to the mill...chunky yarn back in stock!

We are very pleased to have Emi staying with us at Toft at the moment to complete a three week internship in all things alpaca. Admittedly she has had a couple of dull mornings this week...with mountains of yarn labelling to be done! But most of the time she has been getting stuck in and enjoying getting to grips with alpacas and the processing of their fibre. We have done a trip to the mill and packed the truck to the rafters to get is back to base. We picked up two gorgeous new grey batches- a dk charcoal and a chunky Heather. For the rest of the week Emi will do fleece sorting, yarn categorising, and even some hand dyeing...not a filing cabinet in sight!

If you are interested in doing work experience with us don't hesitate to get in touch.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, 11 April 2011

A great end to a glorious weekend at Wonderwool Wales

For all of you serious about your fleece and fibre, you will have been aware that this weekend we went to celebrate British wool at Wonderwool Wales. Following a very early start through Worcestershire and Herefordshire over to the Royal welsh Showground we setup the stand in record time and got ready to meet lots of lovely spinners, weavers and dyers. Doug, Harvey and I had a great weekend meeting lots of old friends including Lynne Wallace of woolly wonders and Carol Keats of willow studio. I met these lovely ladies for the first time five years ago when toting with the idea of setting up TOFT. They were and still are very supportive, and I would recommend checking put there work- Lynne is a knitwear designer and Carol does amazing handspun and woven one-off pieces. Despite it really not being my usual thing I painted a smile on my face and took to the 'sleepwalk'. This runway display of all things knitted, woven and felted was a great attraction for all those at wonderwool. Thankfully I had Harvey as a prop modelling a new dog coat knitting kit by Woolly Wonders. A style statement for any well-heeled pooch!

On the way back we managed to enjoy the countryside in the sunshine and stopped off at a great pub for some supper- Live and let Live- a great watering hole that is very dog-friendly. Harvey was pooped after so much attention from ladies over the weekend!

I have a bit of breathing space now before the British Alpaca National Show at the beginning of May- just enough time to get all the new designs typed up, printed and onto the shelf! Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Joys of Spring

Spring has sprung at Toft Alpacas and we are busy with the obligatory spring clean.  Carrie has a new knitting machine out of the deal and the shop has a new roomy sewing box - at least it was until we did a spring clean.


It's lush knowing that we've got new designs on their way from Peru and our local knitters not to mention getting lots of odd-jobs done in a rare quiet week!  When we say quiet we mean 'Toft quiet' which is very different to the OED definition - there has been near riotous fleece and halter judge revision with Rob & Shirley, new bed deliveries for the holiday let, food deliveries for the Alpacas, work experience girl Emi who is with us for 3 weeks, some random and impromptu fleece dying in preparation for the felt jewellery workshop in May and lots of press cutting work to name but a few events so far this week.


Kerry and Emi have gone to the mill this afternoon to collect new batches of DK & Chunky.  It's a great chance for Emi to see the all the processes at the mill and reports are she's taken thousands of pics so we'll get those up very soon.


Remember that now is a great time to take advantage of our on-going sale! 


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A Marvellous Mother's Day

Toft Alpaca’s visited Hampshire last weekend in the beautiful National Trust setting of The Vyne, near Basingstoke.  Their Mother’s Day event promised to be a lovely spring day with tours of the house, tea and cakes and a selection og stalls from which to purchase something unique. 

It being an old stomping ground of Carrie’s she packed up her car, leaving just about enough room for the husband and spent a weekend in the area, culminating in an early Sunday start to set up in the cute marquee complete with handmade bunting. 

The weather stayed dry thankfully and the house and ground were soon full with fudge and cupcake eating families.  Toft’s hand-turned buttons were a big talking point as usual and the classic Net and Flower scarves made many a Mum’s day.

Thank you to all at The Vyne for a lovely Sunday and we hope to see you soon!  Next stop on the Toft 2011 Tour – Wonderwool Wales 9th & 10th April.