Archive for July 2013

Basket Making with Alpaca Fiber

We are very excited to announce a brand new fiber art class at Peaceful Heart Alpacas. On August 24, we invite you to join us as we weave baskets using alpaca fiber.

Using our chunky ‘rug yarns’ in a variety of natural colors, we will weave baskets around a reed frame.  The yarns are spun with all natural alpaca fiber around a cotton core.  These thick yarns give the baskets a unique texture and incredibly soft feel.

The class will be taught by local fiber artist, Karen Carney.  The class will meet from 8am-5pm on Saturday, August 24.  The class costs $80, plus a $30 fee to cover the materials. Class size is limited. A $25 deposit will reserve your space.  You can register online, by phone, or at the store.


During the month of August, we will also be offering a new wet felting class.  Join us on August 17, 2013 as we create two beautiful, 100% alpaca scarves. Using a technique that combines machine and hand felting, we will use baby and superfine rovings to design and make one of a kind scarves in natural colors.

We will meet from 1-5pm, Saturday, August 17 in our fiber art studio, surrounded by pastures full of beautiful alpacas. The class will cost $40 plus a $20 materials fee. Join us for this fun class designed specifically for alpaca farmers and alpaca lovers. Class sizes are limited and preregistration with a $25 deposit is required.

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Alpaca boy moves to his new home

Congratulations to the Ashby family on the addition of Tennyson’s Arthur of Peaceful Heart to their new herd of alpacas.  Arthur joins two other alpaca boys and a donkey on the farm, and seemed to fit right in when he got in the pasture.

The Ashby’s came to the farm and picked out Arthur last month.   They came and spent time with all the boys on our saleslist, taking the time to find the right boy for their needs.  We spent time talking about the personality and fiber of each boy, and haltered up the boys so they could get a close look at them.  Liz is interested in using alpacas in therapy with children, and Arthur proved himself to be a perfect match.  He has a particularly gentle personality and incredible fiber.

They were not ready to take Arthur home that day, so he stayed on the farm until this week.  Due to Arthur’s young age and small size, we opted to take him to their farm in the back of the jeep, rather than our trailer, so we could keep a close eye on how he was handling the move.  Arthur almost immediately cushed down (as is common for alpacas while traveling), and seemed to enjoy the view.  He was quiet for the whole ride, until we arrived and he saw his new pasture mates.  After meeting everyone, Arthur set right to grazing.  We know he is going to be happy and loved in his new home.

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AOBA Spin-Off Results


We are very proud of our alpacas’ results from the 2013 Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association’s National Show.  We entered several alpacas in the Spin-Off portion of the Show, and they all came home with ribbons.

A Spin-off consists of sending in a 2 ounce sample of fiber from the blanket of the alpaca.  It fits neatly into a gallon size zip lock bag.  The judge takes the sample and spins a portion into yarn, judging the yarn, it’s spinability and the quality of the finished product.  She or he provides detailed feedback, which gives us information that is helpful in processing our fiber and future breeding decisions.  The fiber is scored and ribbons are awarded for each color and age group.

June Delight, one of our new moms this year, and Shareen, our lovely gray girl, both brought home 2nd place ribbons, as did one of Lord Tennyson’s sons, Timbuctoo, who sold earlier this year.  Coriander, who will be moving to his new home in a couple months, competed in a large class and brought home a 5th place ribbon.

We also received a copy of the slide that featured our herdsire Powergrid, who ranked number one in the nation in Standard Deviation of Average Fiber Diameter, which measures his ability to pass on his incredibly consistent fiber to his offspring.  You can read more about this honor here.

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Wet Felting Classes – July 27 & 28

We still have space in our wet felting classes next weekend.  Join us to felt unique purses, scarves or hats using colorful wool and natural alpaca.  We have 2 spaces left in the purse class, and a few more in the scarf and hat classes.

Contact us today to join us for any of the classes July 27 or 28.

We will be felting purses from 8-12  and scarves from 1-4 on Saturday.  On Sunday we will design and felt beautiful hats or if you prefer, a unique totebag.

You can see pictures from our previous felting classes  in the photo albums on our Facebook page.

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Weaving an Alpaca Shawl

Last weekend we had our first weaving class of the year.  We had 6 people join us for a weekend of weaving, food, fun and alpacas.

Our Weaving on the Triangle Loom classes offer the chance to design and create your own alpaca shawl during a weekend at the farm.  We start in the store on Friday evenings at 6pm to discuss design options related to size of the shawl, weight of the yarn (DK, worsted, aran or bulky), edges (fringe or crocheted), and patterns (solid, hand dyed, plaid).  Once a plan is in place, everyone chooses their color(s) and we head up to the Fiber Art Studio to get started.

The first evening is dedicated to getting our shawls started and learning the weaving technique.  We use the continuous strand, or continuous loop, weaving method to create the shawls, which allows us to create both the warp and weft at the same time.  This is an easy to learn method that requires no previous weaving or fiber experience.  We generally weave until 9 pm, giving everyone a chance to become comfortable with weaving.  Last Friday, we had to stop early, though, due to a power outage right before the class started.  Luckily our Fiber Studio is designed with a lot of windows which let in enough light for us to weave until right before sunset.

On Saturday and Sunday, we weave from 8am to 5pm, with breaks for lunch, snacks and just walking out to say hi to the alpacas.  Sunday afternoon, we work on finishing up the weaving and getting the fringe put on around the shawls before taking them off the loom.  We always end with a quick modeling of the shawl and photograph.  We use those as inspiration for future classes and to put up an album on our facebook page.  Weather permitting, and alpacas cooperating, we try to get pictures of the finished shawls with the alpacas in the background.  You can see pictures of the most recent weaving weekend here, and previous weekends and other fiber art classes in our facebook albums.

We have two more weaving classes scheduled for this year if you would like to join us.  There are still two spaces in our September class, and plenty of room in our October class.  We also have multiple felting classes coming up in July and August, and a knit loom class in August.  You can keep up with information about upcoming classes our “Classes” page above.

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