Monday, August 27, 2007


We went to Sid and Susan Crane's home in Chico for an Irish session on August 18th. They raise Alpacas. I took some photos of these comical, beautiful animals.

Doesn't this one look just like it came out of a Dr. Seuss illustration?

Susan said their care is not very time consuming. She spends about 20 minutes each morning, composting their droppings, which look like deer droppings. And then she throws hay around for them in the evening. That's pretty much it. She has nine animals in all. Two of her females are pregnant.

They don't require brushing. In fact, it's bad for the coat. Susan says there are two ways to go. You can purchase breeding animals, which are more expensive, or you can purchase non-breeders, and simply harvest the fleece. Susan sends hers off to a mill to be processed into yarn. They hire people to shear them once a year. These animals were all shorn in April. Their coats will get much thicker by next spring.

Alpaca yarn is very, very soft. Wonderful fiber. I wanted to buy some from Susan, but it was all spoken for!

The stag pillow is finished. Blocked, stuffed, and all sewn up. The widdershins socks are finished, too, but I neglected to get a photo. I sent them to my son, Andrew. He actually wrote a lengthy email (3 paragraphs!) thanking me for them. Now THAT was worth the effort.

Here's the way our parlor used to look.

And here's the parlor with the addition of the beautiful new round rug from IKEA.

Saturday was session day. We had a nice turnout and made some great music. For more details, go to