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Thursday, 30 April 2015

The sunshine, alpacas and the countdown to shearing.

It used to be that my job here at TOFT was very seasonal. Generally we did the majority of our sales September-February and the summer months were quieter times for designing and planning the next season. 

With the growth and popularity of our workshops, the coffee shop and the Studio in general, this has all now changed. With the sunshine of the last few weeks people have visited the farm in droves to come and enjoy seeing the alpacas at their best. 

Photo by Ella Harlow. 

We shear for three days from the 20th May, and we'll see the herd transform from the cuddly teddy-bears currently standing in the fields to skinny creatures bounding round the paddocks with renewed energy. It is an exciting time of year for me as we grade our fleeces and send them off to the mill. Nine years ago the fibre from the TOFT herd sustained the sales of the whole business throughout that busy winter sales period. Over time the level of business has massively expanded and we now not only buy fleeces in from other alpaca farms, but process several tonnes of wool too. This year our TOFT fleeces are going to be spun into our FINE yarn range, and we hope to have these in stock by September. 

So if you've got the chance over the next few weeks then come over to see the alpacas in their full glorious fleeces. You can even join us at shearing for a farm tour and cream tea if you would really like to experience this process yourself.  It's where it all starts, and a great reminder to all knitters about where the yarn on their needles comes from. 
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