|Newly shorn lovelies.|
Whilst Ben is shearing we do an initial 'skirting' wherein the coarser fibres from the legs, neck and belly regions are separated from the finer quality saddle region which is passed onto the expert fleece graders for sorting. You can read more about this process in our intern Olivia's previous blog entry. Its a very skillful process to ensure only the finest fibres make it into Toft yarns. Baby alpaca grade heads straight into Lace, Fine and DK bags, young adult into Aran and adult into Chunky bags. These will all wing their way to the mill in the next week or two. Fleece that doesn't make the grade is used for duvet and cushion fillings so nothing goes to waste.
On Thursday I led my first felting workshop at Toft. It was quite nerve wracking as I'd seen and experienced Carrie's workshops before and knew I had a lot to live up to, but everyone was really supportive so I knew I'd be ok!
Before the workshop we went on a walk around the farm, so that everyone had the chance to see the shearing and grading process before heading out across the fields. I have never seen the alpacas so lively, the boys especially were prancing about seeming to relish their new found lightness. We were also very fortunate to witness a birth whilst we were walking which just made everyones day.
|Getting to grips with felting.|
|Just look at all the space we have in our new workshop studio.|
|Just one of our new Cria.|