Thoughts from an alpaca farm

Dear Readers, I got to do the coolest fiber obsessed thing ever, last Friday! I got to visit an alpaca farm and visit with an amazing fiber artist. It was a dream come true and such a neat experience, and I wanted to share my joy with you.

Alpacas!

Alpacas!

I met Jo from The French Alpaca during a hike I lead on my day job. We had a great time and got to talking and she talked about her alpaca farm and her fiber arts. I so enjoyed chatting with her and she offered to show me around. I had been looking forward to this visit for a few weeks.

As I pulled up I was immediately struck by the beauty of the farm. It’s so scenic and a beautiful piece of Maryland. Jo came up and immediately hugged me, despite me being late. She brought me into the entry room to the barn. It is filled with ribbons. They are world and nationally renowned for their alpacas. In particular they are known for their grey breed.

Ribbons of greatness.

Ribbons of greatness.

Alpacas and the dogs.

Alpacas and the dogs.

So as I took in all this award winning we headed out to meet the girls. We were also met by Jo’s 3 guard dogs who were large and adorable. They clearly do a good job of protecting the heard. One was even so good at camouflage. She was in a pen and I almost thought she was one of the alpaca.

In meeting so many alpaca at once I have to say how struck I was by how human their eyes seem. They seem to follow you where you go. It was so much cuteness. Every face I looked at just got cuter and cuter.

Jo showed me where they take care of the fleeces and how they take the dirt out. So cool to see the process up close.

A box of alpaca fiber.

A box of alpaca fiber.

Then we went to the room where she does wet felting and dyeing. It has a washer and dryer, electric roasters for dyeing, and an amazing array of dyes. I really want to try dyeing this year so it was an inspiration, for sure. She showed me some of her over dyed yarn and it was sooooooo soft and beautiful. I have to say I feel some excitement at trying this.

Some of Jo’s hand dyed yarn.

Some of Jo’s hand dyed yarn.

Over to the boys side of the barn. I met the most delightful stud (literally). I can’t remember his name but his fluffy face was so much greatness. I even got an alpaca kiss. It was a pretty great moment in my life. I didn’t get a picture of him though so I’m afraid you will just have to accept these extra pictures of the girls and a little one.

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After all of this alpaca greatness we headed upstairs where her showroom for The French Alpaca is. It was glorious!!!! It was so inspiring and just got the creative side of me so excited. She has a so many different items and techniques. She is a fiber artist to admire.

So much fiber!

So much fiber!

Coasters made with plants and fiber.

Coasters made with plants and fiber.

She showed me all around her shop. She does quite a few different techniques, bringing the fibers to life in so many different ways. It was all so beautiful and such an inspiration. I sometimes worry that I try too many different kinds of things, that I should just stick to a couple of things. Seeing all that Jo does I was definitely assured that I should do what makes me happy. It was so many beautiful colors and textures. I loved every minute of it.

I’m so grateful for Jo’s generosity in sharing her farm and her work with me. It was so kind and nice of her and it really made me so happy and joyful. It was an inspiration and I’m so thankful to get to know neat people. If you have a moment please give The French Alpaca a like on Facebook.

Alpacas and Fibers,

The French Alpaca.

The French Alpaca.

Katrina