Spinning Without Lures

Baby alpaca

Steph & Chris Dagg run Notaires & Alder lakes. Through this personal Blog, Steph is going to describe her experiences of moving to France and living the dream of many UK carp anglers.

I’ve realised with a shock that it’s over a year since I went on my wool-spinning course. And I still haven’t produced a ball of my own yarn. We have a small herd of six alpacas and seven llamas. Spinning was going to be my winter project, but we did a lot of work in Notaire’s House instead (including varnishing woodwork and installing a shower). And life generally got in the way.

But it’s still at the top of my ‘to do’ list. And my alpaca shears came this week so there are no more excuses. Seamus and Brendan, our two huacaya alpacas, desperately need a haircut. So does Amélie, but since we’re pretty sure she’s pregnant, we’ll have to wait until she’s had her baby before we get trimming. Alpacas are easily stressed, and having me wielding the shears on her could push her to the limits. I know I’ll be stressed! Up to now I’ve cut my camelids’ hair with scissors. That is as hard as it sounds but I didn’t feel ready for using anything with its own source of power. But the time has come.

Plunkett, the Suri alpaca

Plunkett, the Suri alpaca

Our two suri alpacas, which have very fine, corkscrew hairs, can keep their coats for now. I want to show Plunkett in the autumn so must keep him intact. And his mum Ciara is possibly expecting, so we won’t stress her either.

But the llamas need shearing too. They have less hair than alpacas so a trim every two years is enough. Windermere Lady Coulemele, our one woolly llama (the others are all classic llamas) is the exception. She’s incredibly hairy, as you’d expect from the name! But like Amélie, she’s pregnant so she gets a temporary reprieve too. Her baby is due any day now. I’m checking her every few hours. Her favourite spot is at the very bottom of our largest field, so the maternity watch patrols are keeping me fit. We’ll be shearing her once baby’s arrived. We could do it now since Windy is extremely laid back, but I’m not, so I shall put her off for a while longer.

I’ll let you know how I get on with the shearing and spinning.


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