Monday, January 31, 2011

A Warm Fuzzy

Aahhh! Warm fuzzies! They can be hot chocolate on a cold winter evening or a pair of warm hand knitted socks or seeing an alpaca hat you made for your grandson that he likes to wear! And the hat I blogged about earlier is the one pictured on my grandson at the right. He likes it! He wears it whenever he and his mom go out. To see this, makes me smile. And we need to spend more time on the things that make us smile in life. Too many times we spend our time and energy on the negative things in life. So, for me today, spend some time doing something that makes you smile. And I'll try to, too.

Talk to you soon,


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Best Thing That I Have Done In A While

The best thing that I have done in a while was constructing this creep feeder for my crias. A creep feeder is an area that only babies can get into and the grown animals cannot. When I had sheep for all those years, I had a door that my husband made accessible for the lambs into the feed room. But now with the alpacas, I have the barn set up differently. At an alpaca show late last fall, my husband and I purchased these foldable panels that you see pictured. I would have bought the 4ft creeper panel he had if it would have fit in the back of my CRV. But it didn't. So--with the addition of a couple of t-posts to frame a small doorway in the center, and baling wire to secure it to the fence on each end, well--it ain't pretty but it works really well! lol  As you can see, the crias have access to their own feed and hay without having to fight with the big girls for it. Now that they are accustomed to it, they are waiting for me in the creeper to lay out their feed. And I don't have to worry about the crias not getting enough to eat in this cold weather. This is the best idea I have had in awhile! Talk to you soon,


Thursday, January 20, 2011


I would like to introduce you to the newest member of Illini Alpacas. Her name is Tricksee. She is my Christmas present from my wonderful husband, Darrell. I know I always say how girls like shiny things and they especially like to get shiny things for Christmas, but--come on! Look at her! She is better than any shiny thing. And she will keep giving back to me for years to come. Her color pattern is called harlequin appaloosa. She is a smoky black color (that's the best I can describe it) with caramel and grey spots. She is just beautiful!
(Thanks, honey!) The first day Tricksee arrived, she made herself right at home with the girls like she had been with them since the day she was born. Yes, she was meant to be here. Many times, new females in a herd are loners for awhile. But not her. She was named Tricksee because she was born on Halloween. How fun! She is a larger girl, full peruvian and 3 1/2 years old.
She has been bred to Griffin, our appy boy, and that will make a rare appy to appy breeding if it takes. I'll find out in the spring. In the meantime, she is adding her genetics and personality to the farm. Tricksee is friendly enough, following me around but not fond of being touched. I'm working on that. Every day we get to know each other a little more. That's part of the fun of owning these animals. Talk to you soon,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A New Hat For A Little One

I spun a three ply cria alpaca yarn from Tabitha a couple of weeks ago. It is a nice grey color. I loved spinning this fiber! And I loved knitting with it, too. I am looking forward to spinning some more of it. It has a wonderful handle to it and seemed to spin itself.
To the right is the hat I knitted for my Grandson, Eagan. It is a pattern I got off Ravelry call Aviatrix. It is the cutest hat! It knitted up rather quickly, too. I used a small pewter button for the closure. I understand that most 1 year olds don't like to keep a hat on their head, but I'm hoping because this one is so soft he might leave it on when he goes outside. Here's hoping, anyway!
I've added a picture of Tabitha from this summer. She is 3 years old and looks rose grey but her fiber is definitely grey. I love her fiber and look forward to shearing this spring. Not sure yet if I'll be selling any of it though! Talk to you soon,


Monday, January 17, 2011

Better Late Than Never

So, I finally finished the Christmas present for Sarah! It is a neck scarf made of hand spun alpaca. The yarn
was core spun from a roving (the last of the batch, actually) I dyed 2 years ago. It was fun to knit and it is
incredibly soft. The pattern is by Robyn Diliberto for Make One called the "Flower Scarf" I used a vintage
button instead of the knitted ball for the closure called for in the pattern.                                                                                
 Above is a picture of the yarn before knitting.

And I added matching knitted mitts. The pattern is from a class I took two years ago at the Jefferson City Fiber Retreat with Kathy Harberbarger. I did add the knitted thumbs as my thumbs tend to get cold so I figured Sarah's would, too. It was a fun class with Kathy and I enjoyed it very much. She is a wonderful teacher! So, there is my better late than never Christmas present to Sarah! I hope you were able to finish all your Christmas presents, too!

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Doing without

I've been doing some spinning lately. I have been without internet service for 5 days out of the last 7. How dependent we are on our technology! What would you do with yourself if you couldn't get on the web or Facebook or Twitter or Ebay or email for a day or two? How about a whole week? I didn't realize how dependent I was on communicating. Right now I am at a neighbor's 'borrowing' theirs. I have been getting some little projects done and some cooking. I find myself glancing at the internet box often to see if its on! Luckily, I can keep myself occupied with spinning and knitting and felting. I have been working on some costuming for our local community theatre's next play, "Bullshot Crummond". So I have been keeping busy.  I will write again as soon as I can!
Maybe we should all try to put down our Blackberrys and Ipads and pick up some knitting. Its very enlightning. To the right is a picture of Jadzia. She is a medium sized girl who has a very pleasant personality. She is mild mannered and will let the other crias eat out of her pellets bowl and Jadzia is pregnant. That is a rare thing with pregnant girls! She is a sweet girl. Well, happy knitting! Talk to you soon,


Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Good Visit

A had a nice visit from my son, Matt (pictured above), and my grandson, Eagan (pictured right). I'm not the only one who enjoyed seeing them, though. As you can see, Vienna fell in love with both boys! She kept nibbling on Matt's sweatshirt hood and trying to kiss him. But he wouldn't let her. She did get to kiss on Eagan a bit. She is a very sociable girl! So far, she doesn't meet strangers. Its like she already knows them. She is a treasure. Talk to you soon,



Thursday, January 6, 2011

Another "1-2-3"!

I finished another "1-2-3 Vest" for my grandson, Eagan. I used a brown cria alpaca yarn and I'm happy to say that this one fits!
 (The previous one was too big) On the previous one, I used size 8 knitting needles and I forgot how many stitches. For this one I downsized the needles to size 5 to match the yarn. I guesstimated the gauge of the knitted yarn on the size 5 needles to be 5 stitches per inch. I wanted the vest to be 20 inches around. I cast on 100 stitches and it worked out right! You see, you write patterns when you want to duplicate an item over and over again. I only wanted to make one vest so making it up as I went along works out. To learn more about how to do this, I recommend reading Elizabeth Zimmerman's books on knitting.  That is where I learned to do it. It is a wonderful read. I own them all. Happy knitting!
Talk to you soon,