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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Alpaca A.D.D. what a tangled mess I weave...

cat helping with scarf

cat helping with scarf

Warning, you may have Alpaca ADD, a version of Attention Deficit Disorder if you love too many things about alpacas to count, have multiple projects going simultaneously, are equally enthused about each one and would prefer to let other tasks such as eating and sleeping go LOL.

I thought I could write a little bit about creative alpaca uses. Personally, I am not a crafter. My mother on the other-hand, she sewed, knitted, crocheted, took cake-decorating classes, painted ceramics... It all looked like torture to me. In fact stepping on a knitting needle is exactly that, I believe I may have a scar to prove it. While standing still for measurements and being pinned for home-made clothing articles was torture enough, actually reading a knitting pattern or worse yet, pulling out a pattern, cutting and sewing, NO way! Would rather trade for a speech class, drama, singing, dancing, soccer ball, basketball or run with a baton or walk the dog. I even said to her one time, teach my daughter to crochet or knit and when I get old and think it looks interesting she can teach me.

Now gaining quite a few pounds and approaching grandmother-hood may have had something to do with my shifting of the tides, but mostly it is the other talented alpaca owners that have inspired me to channel my inner creative side.

I was invited to go to a "fiber retreat" by mostly other alpaca owners and initially declined. In fact I declined more than once figuring I was doing a room full of women spinning wheels, knitting and felting a huge favor than to put up with a distraction of me trying to learn something useful over the weekend. I'm not one to sit quiet and the thought of being holed up in a room, at a convent no less, certainly was stretching --- my comfort zone. However, I eventually gave in and just before heading to wine country for fiber retreat googled a couple menial craft ideas and came up with felting soap -- at least that was clean fun right? Really we went to wine country for the weekend and literally did not have enough time to enjoy all of our crafting projects, let alone go around the corner to a winery. I barely snuck in a swim in the pool between delightful meals. That wasn't the main point of the retreat.

I could share on this blog pictures of some of the awesome things others made, but I should probably get permission first and people may be trying to sell their products so it could get complicated. I will try and describe these items to you in a nutshell. I saw a really amazing Nano felted scarf, a beautiful woven shawl, loads of yarn spun, felted vests trimmed with luminous suri locks to the making of felted sculptured arts in all kinds of unbelievable figurines, jewelry & practical dryer balls. Oh the woven things including the rugs were my favorite. You really do want to think about putting your feet on an alpaca woven rug. So there I was with my silly soap. I at least was smart enough to just get Dove soap in bulk and it least gave me something to do. I tried to watch a you-tube video on my tiny iphone on how to use the little loom someone had given me also. At least after multiple times rewind and pause, I got a start to a scarf. When I got home I thought you put that down and you will forget it and never get back to it.

So, 5 scarfs, a dozen alpaca dryer balls, dog & cat toys later. I have pictures and a blog LOL. I am sure my dearly departed mother would be so proud. I am now receiving texts from a talented friend who is sewing dog beds to stuff with our discard-type alpaca fleece and we are researching creative decals or patches to decorate with. I can hardly decide whether to finish a baby blanket or a scarf that I am doing on 2 of 2 looms and I also want to get back to dryer ball making, but darn it I had to clean the house on Labor day weekend instead - though my bunco buddies will appreciate that.

Meanwhile, enjoying the kudos & encouragement for my posted pictures of loom scarves that any amateur could do (take my word on that one). Not only seeing is believing. You really want to touch whatever is made of alpaca. Even if you aren't a tactile learner, you will very likely appreciate it. Who knows one day I may find old speech and drama skills could come in handy giving a demonstration somewhere. With me at least it is bound to be entertaining. Next thing on my bucket list is alpaca fleece/rug stomping (with or without wine) you decide how entertained or serious you would like to be.

Hence try something out and see if you have Alpaca ADD. Go Alpaca! I mean run alpacas, because next I'm coming out there to give you a hug. Guaranteed I will see something shiny when I get out there...

p.s. Note; Hobby Lobby carries an alpaca yarn 30% alpaca the rest synthetic. Michaels had 0 alpaca and a little specialty yarn shop that carried 100% alpaca from Peru does not feel very nice. We need to do something about that. All alpacas and yarns are not created equal. Uh oh, I feel another blog coming on.
finished product after tangle mess

finished product after tangle mess

felted dog & cat toys

felted dog & cat toys

attempt at baby blanket & scarf simutaneously lol

attempt at baby blanket & scarf simutaneously lol

alpaca stuffed dog beds- in process

alpaca stuffed dog beds- in process