For the third time already , it was shearing day at Shady Grove Alpacas, and high time for it. The temperature was in the 80's and all creatures were hot. These lyrics inspired the title of this blog post, and I often wondered if there might have been a shearing team involved with the product. Our adolescent Darkstar had such a giant, 21 month-old coat on, that it was a job and a half to extract him from it.
|After spending 30 minutes cleaning his coat this morning, Darkstar proceeds to take another roll in the hay.|
|Last minute brush work gets most of hay off the top layer.|
|Lovely locks on the shearing mat.|
|Neck: so much fiber we can't remove it without shaving the rest of the area.|
|Neck is emerging.|
|Truly a camel's neck, long and thin.|
|Post shave, Darkstar was having difficulty getting his show look back together, but his fiber is sooo lustrous and truly perfectly black!|
|Darkstar, left; 'Leven, right - two boys looking for some fun!|
|However, our other show hopeful, Cassidy, has the look perfected. She is also amazingly lustrous and I can't wait to see how her fiber re-grows.|
|Shorn Lady's Tea-time.|
|The Shady Grove Alpaca herd, ready for beach weather!|
|Knitting pattern available from The Fuzzy Mitten: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/alpaca-with-bikini|
And now the true work begins: fiber processing... Here are the numbers that need to be added to the 30 pounds of fiber already waiting on me. Our scale is not quite accurate. It measured the total at 32 pounds of fleece with all bags on the platform, but you will come up with a different sum when you add these numbers together:
The Eleven (at 8 months of growth): 3.6 pounds
'Greta: 4.1 pounds
Bella: 4.2 pounds
Cassidy (at 10 months of growth): 4.5 pounds
Moon Star, the perennial fiber queen: 7.3 pounds
Darkstar: 12 POUNDS!!! of fleece. We vowed NEVER to keep another alpaca in this much fuzz ever again. We'll just show in re-growth in the Spring if it is necessary and convenient.
Did you say you were coming to help? Your shift begins on June 1st. And Thank You in advance!