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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Introducing Simone and Quin (Seamus' extended family)

Seamus the Edward's Menagerie 'alpaca' was one of the first ten things I ever crocheted. At the time the design made perfect sense, a long-necked standard form with a heavy top-knot and short spear shaped ears, I didn't really give it a second thought. But I perhaps (given my expertise in the area) I should have been more specific: Seamus is a mid-brown huacaya alpaca, and a sheared one at that! 

So in the two years since I hooked up my first alpaca, I have had having a go at a few more on the bottom of my TO DO list. Finally in the last couple of weeks that list got short enough that I could grab enough time to create two slight modifications to my original pattern. 

Meet Quin. 

Quin is a light-fawn 'elite' huacaya alpaca, and is in full fleece. He is a reflection of the quality of the cria that are being born here at TOFT this year. Our new-generation alpacas are stunning and have very full and dense fleeces that extend over their faces. 

To create this I have simply extended the ch8 loops all over his face and body. WARNING! This is not for the impatient crocheter- it does take a lot of time. This took a whole 100g ball of oatmeal DK and I worked on the standard 3mm hook tension using our pure wool oatmeal. He does have eyes in their somewhere and I would recommend sewing this on before starting to work the fleece loops over the head. 

Meet Simone. 

Simone is a light-grey suri alpaca in full fleece (possibly two years' worth of growth!). There are two different breeds of alpacas, huacaya and suri. Huacayas form 96% of the population and are the classic teddy-bear shaped crispy-fleeced variety. Suri alpacas have a straight and silky fleece and as a result have a wet-look dreadlocked appearance. Sometimes suri alpacas are only sheared every other year to allow their lustrous fleeces to grow into long curtains- this often gives them a bad-hair-day look! 

To create this I have used the standard Seamus pattern to create all the parts. Stuff and sew these together as normal. To create the suri-style fleece I have chained 10sts and then slip stitched back down that chain to create a 'spine'. I have then slip stitch traversed three sts away and repeated another spine. I simply traversed round and around the head and then down the body. EVEN BIGGER WARNING! This takes even longer than the chain loops! 

So there we have it. The trouble with making these guys is that they are highly addictive, and the idea of building your own alpaca herd in all our different natural colours really appeals. For now I've certainly not got enough time to start a fudge huacaya or a cream suri, but I'll put them back on the wish list. 

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