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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Kerry gets her skates on!

Whilst the building works proceed at a scarily fast pace the yarn store has had to be moved.  Until January our temporary store will be a short truck ride away and then a two man opening job.  So today Carrie and Kerry took new batches of yarn to the store and did a bit of sorting out, it also allowed us a chance to assess which colours and weights we need to send to the mill next- a mushroom DK for instance and a new steel DK.

In other shop news Kerry, fresh back from her holiday, took receipt of some vintage roller-skates today. Here she is testing them out in the office and also taking an important call with the pattern book designers.  Luckily amongst all the sorting out we've found some knee pads that may well come in handy!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The ultimate festival companion...a moss snood.


Beautifully modelled by Lucy Gilbert. Our easy peasy chunky knit snood is great for keeping the chill off as we move into Autumn.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Great yarn labeller, shame about the noise!

Scott (aka Bai Zude as featured on Toft Alpaca Stud's blog) has been super helpful this week after about 100 kilos of chunky and aran alpaca yarn arrived back from the mill.  Carrie, womaning the fort whilst Kerry suns herself (quite deservedly so) just wouldn't have had a chance to do it so Scott stepped in.  What a happy yarn labeller he is I think you'll agree.  Shame about his dreadful taste in music heard emanating from the snooker room but it's a price worth paying for all that yarn labelling to be finished this week!


Friday, 19 August 2011

Festival of Quilts 2011

It's been another hectic week here at Toft Towers.  We've done another photo shoot with Gianni this week and also been editing lots of press releases - Toft seems to be getting about even more than usual so look out for us, you never know where we'll pop up!  Our media page features details of where we've appeared but if you think we've missed anything just let us know.

Kerry had a fantastic time at the Festival of Quilts last weekend.  Felicity our intern who helped Kerry at the show on Thursday and Friday took some great shots of all the goings-on, it certainly was a busy and exciting show, one we look forward to attending again next year - perhaps by then Carrie might have actually made the quilt she keeps threatening to after buying some gorgeous fabric at Knit Nation!

We've also had two more births at the farm, the last two of the season in fact.  A girl born on Monday called Elom (Star Wars planet) and a boy today called Ikrit (Star Wars character) were our last cria of 2011.  We now look forward to seeing their fleeces in 2012's shear - wow how weird does that sound?!  Here is Elom taking her first steps and a little friend looking on.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Whilst some of us were frantic with a photoshoot...

Monday's photo shoot with Gianni, photographer extraordinaire, was frantic
to say the least. Carrie's technical knitting videos took up most of the
morning although once she had one in the bag the rest were done in just one
take, how professional. The afternoon was knitting kit shots and new
products but there's still lots to whizz through after the parcelforce lost
box debacle! Toft also had another visitor on Monday in the form of Hannah,
Kerry's little niece. It was obviously an exhausting day here at the farm
and she had a lovely snooze on the sofa with Pete whilst the photo shoot was
going on around her. It's alright for some!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Toft Alpaca Shop's 5th Birthday Party!

The Toft 5th Birthday Party 2011


To celebrate The Toft Alpaca Shop’s 5th Birthday we held a two day celebration of all things alpaca and textiles.


We kicked off the party on Friday with a lunch for our knitters.  Although only twelve were available to join us it meant we had a great time and we could all sit around the large table together and chat.  After a walk and talk around the farm to ensure that these ambassadors of our craft were up-to-date and well informed in ‘alpaca’ we enjoyed a leisurely lunch and then some bunting knitting ready for Saturday’s party.  Several of our knitters managed to join us on both days, and others that couldn’t make it Friday enjoyed coming along with their families at the weekend.

Saturday was brilliant.  The first car entered the car park at 9.45am and the last one left at 5.30pm! we had a full day of activities for all the family, including farm walks, alpaca halter training, wet felting, knitting lessons, and spinning.  Well over two hundred of you passed through the gates of Toft this Saturday (we were so busy we had no way to count!) and the fifty car carpark was full from start to finish.

We couldn’t have made the day so successful without the help of all our staff and volunteers- and I am sure those of you that came along would like to share in a pat on the back to:

Carrie :  for endless enthusiasm in shop serving and stopping all the knitters getting in a tangle!

Linda:  for proudly showing off her halter trained alpacas (and managing to squeeze in the shearing of four too!)

Emma: for being wonderful with all the children and helping create Bertha (the lifesize felt alpaca).

Izi: for boldly diving in at the deep end and learning and then teaching wet felting to all the children.

Myra (gran): for providing an endless stream of tea and coffee to all.

Lorna: for providing a wonderful welcome to all and being the best shop sales assistant around- she now knows her knit from her purl alright!

Doug: for always helping out those who needed it whether washing cups or doing truck tours of the farm.

Joel:  for his help with all the wet felting.

Jack: for expert car-parking management.

Scott: for some fantastic farm tours (the feedback has been wonderful!)

Felicity: for demonstrating knitting all day.

Laura: for getting stuck in at the knitting all day.

Kate:  for doing a very long drive up to show her support for the Toft she has helped create (and take all these great photos).

Jen: for being on hand to assist with whatever needed doing.

And of course Rob and Shirley:  for allowing us to once again dominate their home for a whole weekend, and for their tireless ability to chat alpaca, run halter training, and help wherever help was needed.

And all those others who did your bit (hog roast team, the Lord family, the Newport family).

We hope you enjoy the pictures.  I fear we may be celebrating each year from now on!!!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Two more sleeps 'til party time!!

With just two more sleeps to go until the Toft Alpaca Shop Birthday party it's all hands to the pump- there isn't much left to do now. Kerry or should we call her Miss Fix-it has today, with a little help from some friends, created a near life size alpaca from MDF & chicken wire. Here she is, her name is Bertha (Birthday, get it?) & on Saturday we'll be inviting our guests to do some wet felting which will cover Bertha giving her a lovely alpaca fleece.

Other preparations today have involved the making of numerous signs, finger knitting for some planned yarn bombing and a little more blanket cutting for the giant yarn.

Tomorrow is our Knitters lunch. We can't wait to say thank you to these marvellous ladies. Photos to follow.

Answer to Friday's question & some huge balls of yarn!

So so sorry not to have blogged since Friday, it's been a crazy week here at Toft. Preparations for the birthday party this Saturday are going swimmingly (no pun about the weather forecast intended!) & we're all very excited about the fun & games we've got planned for all our visitors.

This is Kerry cutting up some alpaca blanket that was made over 5 years ago, in order to make some giant yarn to knit up on giant needles. With the size of the needles being broom-handle, you'll probably only want to knit a row or two each but once we've all done that it'll look marvellous!

Oh & the answer to how many knitting kits we have? Over 70- wow!