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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

SPRING FARM ALPACAS...

Last weekend found me on the mainland, deep in the Sussex countryside at Spring Farm Alpacas, home of Vicki & Chris Agar and their herd of prize-winning alpacas. 

I had been invited there to hold a workshop specifically to show a group of alpaca owners how to felt alpaca fibre. The 110 acre farm is in a wonderful location, close to the Ashdown Forest in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Vicki has over 80 alpacas at the moment including many show champions.

 

When I arrived on Saturday afternoon the 'girls' were being bought back 
to the farm to spend the night in the barn...
 ...see the wide range of fleece colours - click on the photos for more detail.
Everyone of these amazing animals are treated as individuals, with their own 
identity and character. They even respond to their own names! 
They are handled with such care and kindness by 
Vicki and her dedicated team. 
They are incredibly friendly, inquisitive and very difficult to photograph!

On Sunday morning I met with a lovely group of ten enthusiastic ladies. 
Many were new to wet felting so making lattice scarves was a perfect 
introduction, taking the beginners through the basic felting techniques and 
getting them used to handling the fibres. 
It is also a relatively quick process - laying and wetting out, then rolling, 
throwing and shocking the felted fibres in the final stages. 
Physically quite hard work, but easily achievable in just a few hours! 

Here is everyone at the end of the afternoon with their felted scarves - 
just in need of a final rinse to remove all the soap before drying.

And here are a couple I made earlier so you can see the effect when dry.


Made from alpaca fibre in natural shades of grey with a black/silk blend
and pale fawn with browns.


These lattice scarves are light-weight yet warm, with a very distinctive 
organic look and feel. Their characteristic twisty locks & fringes are 
quite reminiscent of their original owners!
 
It was a really great weekend at Spring Farm Alpacas and I'd like to thank Vicki & Chris for being such generous hosts. 

Everyone created a wonderful scarf - totally unique, practical & wearable - and hopefully this will inspire them to continue making felt using the fibres from their own alpacas...  

For more information about the alpacas at Spring Farm follow this link






Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New ETSY...


At the top of my list of New Year's resolutions was to re-launch 
my ETSY shop for 2014...



The shop was originally opened a few years ago when I first started up the felt business. At the time I was expanding the workshops as well as designing & making felt for the different shows, and I quickly realised that I couldn't keep up with everything so the ETSY shop had to close...

Now seems a good time to re-open as I'd really like to try and reach a wider audience with my felt work. I plan to keep my on-line FOLKSY shop open for the moment selling my packs of Merino tops and kits as the ETSY shop will be purely for felt designs like these...




So I hope you will take a look by following this link!

Not only will there be plenty of special opening offers, but I will be giving some extra surprises and give-aways to my first customers...

The page view total on the blog didn't quite reach 100,000 today - just a few 100's short - but I'm certainly not complaining. I'm just amazed at how many people do check in here everyday, especially over this busy holiday time, so again my sincere thanks for looking 

And a very HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all...!!!






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