Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fiber on the Hoof

Now that we've done our last pre-holiday show, I can get back to the loom. I've got yarn ready to beam a dish towel warp, and just a little design work to do before I start throwing shuttles.

However, first I spent a wonderful couple of hours today visiting Art and Lynn Kishiyama, who raise olives and alpacas in Paso Robles. In addition to artisan olive oil and adorable critters, their place is home to Lynn's studio, where she creates beautiful paper and fiber artwork.

DH and I had tasted the Kishiyama's olive oil at the Paso Robles Olive Festival during the summer, and later I met Lynn at the Central Coast Handweavers show and sale in November. She wanted to find a source for yarn thrums to be used in her artwork, and invited us to visit the alpacas.

So today, Nancy Weber, a fellow spinner/knitter/weaver, and I gathered up a bag of thrums, and with DH took a tour of the farm. We met the critters, including this darling cria who was only 1 day old:

Newborns haven't yet developed the ability to regulate their body temperature, so the winter babies need to be jacketed until they reach 72 hours old. He looked pretty stylish in this fuschia quilted number. Like all babies, he spent most of the time we were there nuzzling up to his mom.

The barn was full of female alpacas and their offspring. The males were in another pasture, but because it was raining pretty hard, we declined to venture out to visit them. The moms and babies were entertaining enough. All these alpacas have top quality fleece, but petting the babies was incredible - soft as air.

These guys are curious, and crowd around visitors, but are hesitant to get close enough to touch unless Lynn or Art persuaded them. However, Nancy got a kiss on the ear from one of the alpacas, and was inspired to purchase a bag of white roving, and to volunteer to come help when shearing day rolls around in May.

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