All about the Alpacas

I’ve been a bit absent from the blog for the last week or so; it’s all the fault of the alpacas.

Last Monday, I was selling and demonstrating weaving at Houghton Hall Alpacas.  I’d intended to get two looms set up: the rigid heddle loom with a ‘give it a go’ project, and my Klik with an 8 shaft project.  I ran out of time, though, so the Klik spent the event sitting elegantly, with a warp chain draped over it, so people could see how a multi-shaft table loom differs from a rigid heddle loom.

I ended up putting a plain cotton warp on the RH, and taking along lots of miscellaneous blue and white scraps.  I wove a firm header (using the same cotton, doubled), and then went for random blue and/or white stripes in the weft:

The idea was that weft-faced would be graphic, not difficult to weave, and easy to get decent selvedges on.  A few people had a go, but most were convinced they could never do anything ‘so complicated’, and were scared of ‘messing it up’.  Those who did give it a try seemed more than pleased with the experience, though!

It was a relatively small event, from a fibre point of view; apart from myself, there were two spinners (demonstrating rather than selling), and Purl Alpaca Designs:

As always, their stand looked wonderful.  I think they were previewing their new designs for Autumn, and had done a lot of work telling their fans about the event: a lot of die-hard fans had come to see them, some from quite a distance!

Even a small event takes a lot of time and energy to set up, though, and I had difficulties for this one.  We were told, two days in advance, that we needed to bring our own tables and chairs.  Since I was already planning to bring two looms on stands, my stock, shelving, books and samples (oh, and I drive a Polo!), it just wasn’t possible to fit much in.  I took my sewing table, which is effectively a large bench, and built a low display area out of straw bales.  Looking at the photo of my area, I can see now that it was too ‘spread out’ from the point of view of people coming into the building: something to remember for next time:

Sales were low, but I met some wonderful people, and we had some wonderful chatting time, all day long!  (Oh, but it was cold!  August Bank Holiday it might have been, but we were working in a wind tunnel, and it’s been feeling autumnal here, lately…)

The real attraction of the place, though, was the alpacas.  Lots and lots of wonderful animals were for sale, and I couldn’t resist taking a few minutes for some snaps (even though I’d left the good camera at home – no room for it in the car!)

Alpacas are, of course, desperately cute, and they hum!  Which is also cute, but one of these little black beauties did not shut up all day.  Even a cute noise gets a bit wearing after the fourth hour or so, I can assure you.

6 comments


  • aww..alpaca babies! they get me every time!..

    2nd September 2011
  • I love the idea of humming alpacas getting on your nerves after four hours! I can see that your exhibition space may be a little spread out but it looks very smart.

    (I have ordered some of your lace weight from Affinity, looking forward to knitting with it, I will make sure I link to your blog when I blog about it.)

    2nd September 2011
  • Anne

    A-cute-ly annoying, says hubby, and ‘yes, they do hum when you get up wind of them’. They are seriously cute though!

    3rd September 2011
  • It was lovely to meet you last weekend. I hope the gorgeous alpacas made up for such a quiet day! (well, quiet except for that black female who didn’t shut up!)

    5th September 2011
  • Oh, they are so adorable!!! Thank heavens I have not taken up spinning–I’d be out in the back yard measuring space………

    12th September 2011
  • […] weaving is the warp I started for the Houghton Hall Alpacas event – finally off the loom!  I have some finishing work to do on this, but I think I will […]

    5th December 2011

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