Friday, 31 December 2010
We had a good year birth wise with 14 healthy cria, 7 boys and 7 girls, 12 of which were from our own stud boys. These were the first of the Legend of Spartacus and Gianmarco’s Masterpiece progeny and very impressive they are too. We also had our first Golden Guinea offspring and what a remarkable and friendly bunch they are, every single one of them have inherited their fathers disposition.
This summer Loki has also begun his working career so we are eagerly awaiting his first babies next year (or maybe this depending when you are reading this!).
I managed to part with a few animals which I always find difficult, but all of them have been sold to fantastic new owners and they have fabulous new homes. I still shed a tear for every single one of them (especially Kazuo who now lives at Willowbank Alpacas).
The knitwear sales have far exceeded my hopes for the year so thank you to all our customers new and old. If wasn’t for the hard work of my mum and Carol I would never have managed to get even close to the stock levels required – ladies the bar is raised even higher for 2011.
Without Dave carding, and my dad polishing hand crafted buttons we wouldn’t have been able to knit such unique items, so thank you.
Finally a big thank you to all my blog readers, without you and your comments my babbling blog would be pointless. So it just leaves me to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Thursday, 30 December 2010
As Dave has become such a competent carder I'd decided to set him a challenge to blend some of Loki's black fleece with some white to achieve a grey. Anything in our grey yarn from Kate always sells immediately and with only one grey alpaca I never have much.
Anyway he has done a fabulous job with the sample he bought last night I wanted to get spinning. I'm just spinning a second bobbin so I can ply it tomorrow - it's so exciting!!!!! I would have got it done today but we had to brave the Metro Centre to return a couple of Christmas presents after the feed run this morning.
Thankfully there is a little more grass showing this afternoon the top of the rigs in the girls field has grass poking through as does Golden Guinea's. It looks like the other boys will have to wait until tomorrow as their field doesn't seem to be thawing as quick.
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
I have had a busy but nice Christmas and received some lovely gifts including an extremely nice warm Peter Storm thermal top, very handy indeed.
Friday, 24 December 2010
I had helpers for this mornings feeding routine, Mum and Faith wanted to help, although I'm not sure Faith is quite used to the arctic conditions we have here at the minute. The ride on the sledge was good and helping to clean the girls shelter ready for their bedtime was OK but after that she was a little bored and very cold. I doubt she will be offering to help later.
Looking at the amounts of presents in my spare bedroom Santa may need the whole of the Barnacre herd to assist his reindeer's tonight. I better give them extra rations of carrots tonight or they'll be pinching all of Rudolf's!
It just leaves me to wish you all a Merry Christmas, have a good one, stay safe.
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
I have now wrapped all my presents with the help of Smudge (the cat) who insisted on sitting on the wrapping paper.
Paul took the car in for an MOT this morning and gave Mrs T a lift to Morrison's. I thought I'd leave my food shopping until tomorrow although from what everyone is saying this may have been a bad move.
The alpacas were all in high spirits today, I think they must be getting excited at the though of Santa visiting.
Minimus had Paul and I in stitched this afternoon, the was having a disagreement with Imala. He has this habit of sneaking in underneath people to the troughs and then defends his space like the best of them.
Well today I'm not quite sure who was entering whose space but they started pushing each other necks and Imala being at least four times Minimus's size and weight she started pushing him along the snow. He had his legs spread, head back spitting away at her, it was so funny.
I'm slightly concerned, my mum and Carol have been exchanging emails over their knitting quotas for next year; I'm slightly concerned as they've stopped copying me in!
Monday, 20 December 2010
The story hasn't changed on the snow front, we still have plenty. I was supposed to be at the vets first thing yesterday morning with the kittens for a wound check, however due to the atrocious weather I was already cutting it fine when I left. It takes so much longer to feed and water everyone when you have to take out warm water and the hay gets eaten as quick as you can up it out.
Despite a number of traffic obstacles we did get to the vets only 20 minutes late, we weren't alone, the place was deserted when we arrived! We've got to go back again next week for another check up, hopefully the weather will be better by then.
The roads are still bad today, I had a knitwear order that needed to be delivered so we had to venture out. It was an eventful trip but we got there and back safely and we managed to deliver Dave a couple of pallets too which I'm sure he will be pleased with.
At lunchtime I noticed that Minimus has cut his leg, he didn't seem to have noticed! Poor little man it looks quite sore so I will have to keep an eye on it. I have no idea what he has caught it on, but I'm assuming in the cold weather he's bashed it on something.
I have finally managed to find time to put up one of the Christmas trees, I like a nice colour co-ordinated one in the lounge and then I have a second one in the dining room with all the colourful and sentimental baubles on. If I don't get time to put that one up before my mum arrives I'm sure she'll help - she's good at it and enjoys it (I hope).
We do now have some oil!!!!!! Paul was able to collect 400 litres yesterday borrowing one of Alan's bowsers. We went halves with a friend who had also ran out and had family coming at Christmas with a baby. Hopefully this will now last us until our delivery arrives, just in case we only have it set very low!
Sunday, 19 December 2010
Friday, 17 December 2010
I am just finishing off the last item of the year, hopefully Carol and mum aren't reading this as they are still knitting. I say this year what I actually mean is until after Christmas.
I have been so busy with 'Barnacre' duties that I am far from prepared for Christmas. I haven't even finished writing my cards, the tree's aren't up yet and I haven't even sent out my Christmas Day menu let alone got anything prepared for it. Oh well with no heating oil running round like a headless chicken or should that be turkey, at least it shoulf keep me warm.
Paul & I nipped over to see Carol and Dave this afternoon, partly to pick up some knitting and secondly to warm up! Thanks for the heat, tea and chocolate; we'll see you again next week :-)
The temperature hasn't risen above minus three all day but the alpaca's haven't batted an eyelid, this evening I broke the ice on Golden Guinea's water when I fed him and by the time we'd fed the girls and walked back past Guinea there was already a film of ice developed.
At least the snow hasn't arrived; yet. Poor Jayne has had another huge dump of the white stuff, but I'm sure she is keeping nice and warm.
Thursday, 16 December 2010
I think burning the candle at both ends and being so busy has finally caught up with me. I have a cold, and this morning I over laid and didn't wake up until 7.45!
This was only possible because double trouble, Tilly and Izzie, the two kittens were spayed and Izzie had her hernia repair op yesterday. We didn't get the early morning madness, they were obviously still feeling a little sorry for themselves, poor Izzie is still feeling a little delicate.
We woke to more snow this morning, just a light dusting but then came the big heavy flakes; great just as the alpacas were starting to get a green landscape back. It is now absolutely freezing both inside and out as the heating oil is running very low; we need to save it until Christmas as we have family up and the oil company aren't delivering the new supply until the new year!
As it is so cold and the snow is back I separated Tenzing and Sandstorm from the big boys this evening and they are shut in with the hay supplies. They happily trotted off in the opposite directs to their daytime mates, clearly remembering it was much better to be on their own. All being well Tenzing and Sandstorm will be out meeting and greeting the public at Sanderson Arcade in Morpeth on Saturday.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
It is much more user friendly, and not only can you pay by paypal but you can also pay by all major debit and credit cards at no extra cost. All of the sold items have been removed so all that is showing is available now, there isn't much left and we are at Sanderson Arcade, Morpeth at the weekend so if you have your eye on something don't delay, get it today.
This morning we had a business meeting booked, in a previous life I would have had colour co-ordinated suit, shoes and nail varnish, but not any more, for starters nice nails are a thing of the past!
It was a very useful and hopefully beneficial meeting so now that the main backbone of the shop is in place Paul can start working on the next project on the list. I have got three more days of manic knitting and then I can concentrate on Christmas.
Monday, 13 December 2010
Sunday was a busy day, we had a house viewing which was a story in itself, but I won't go into that on here. Then we were off to the Cambo Christmas Fayre, which isn't too far from home which was nice and we did well.
After the weekend sales I spent the morning updating my stock lists and the on-line shop. There really isn't all that much left now which is good for me, but not so good for those people who have not yet done their Christmas shopping.
We are at the Sanderson Arcade in Morpeth on Saturday which will be our last event of the year so I am busy knitting the last couple of bits to add to the depleted stock. Hopefully Carol is knitting too! Anyone not able to visit Morpeth at the weekend might be interested in the new online shop which should go live in the next 24 hours.
There is still snow and ice on the ground which means we still haven't been able to return the trailer to its rightful place, although Paul has been busy smashing up some of the ice so hopefully it will be back to where it should be tomorrow, just in time for the next lot of snow we have forecast.
All the alpacas have obviously heard that we have more snow on the way as they have been munching on the exposed grass like crazy today. The poor lambs field is still pretty much snow covered so they are having to dig the snow to find grass.
Saturday, 11 December 2010
The boys weren't too impressed with their early start but once they'd woke up they happily trotted up the road and into the trailer. Then came the first issue, getting off the drive, that wasn't pleasant we got stuck! I dug and pushed and we were off, it was slightly hairy until we got to the main road, but we arrived safe and sound at 7.30 as requested.
We've had another good day, so hopefully no one will buy anything from the on-line shop this evening because I haven't got time to update it this evening. I've got another fair tomorrow, someone coming to view the house and have to wrap some Christmas presents for my parents to take back to Nottingham - no sleep for me tonight then!
Talking of no sleep I don't think Carol could of had any last night the amount of things she has knit today, she's a real trooper.
Friday, 10 December 2010
I'm pleased to say that my parents have arrived safely, we have had a tremendous amount of snow melt today, so much so there massive river flowing all over the roads and huge puddles appearing in the snow in the fields - great from snow back to mud.
Not only did mum bring up knitting for me, she bought up carrots for the alpacas, food for the cats, copious amounts of Christmas presents and her wellies so she could lend a hand.
We are at Alnwick Christmas Market tomorrow so if my mum was hoping to come up for a rest she was very much mistaken, she's more than lending a hand tomorrow she's on feeding patrol solo handed all day because we will be up and gone before day break! She is good to me.
I've already had her sewing in labels in the knitwear she bought up and what I picked up from Carol this afternoon. They really are great I don't know what I'd do without the pair of them.
As Paul has already headed off to be I'd better go and fight for my space, one husband, one cat and two kittens means the last one in struggles for quilt and space.
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Hopefully it will be warmer than last Christmas when our heating broke, however I have just been talking to a friend who has ran out of heating oil and can't get any delivered until 2nd January; we have been trying to book a delivery all day without any success!
We have been out with the knitwear again today, over to a new venue for us in Sunderland. It wasn't the most successful event we've been to but, at least it means I still have some stock left for the two weekend stalls.
Being out meant that the herd were a little late getting their tea which they were not at all impressed with, there was even more pushing and shoving going on than normal. I wouldn't mind but there is plenty of trough space they just all insist on trying to eat from the one you are filling up!
Time to get back to the knitting......
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Talking of neighbours our little lane is so bad even the tractor got stuck today! Julian was trying to get past the boys field and was going nowhere, eventually with the help of a second tractor and some road salt he managed to free himself and hopefully with the huge ruts that have been dug and copious amounts of salt we may get a little bit of thaw down there as it is lethal at the minute.
Having just read Barbara at Beckbrow's blog I think we must have been muttering the same thing this morning about filthy cria fleeces. If she thinks hers are bad just look at Layla, Lucia is even worse; I couldn't bare to even take her picture.
The girls pathways are getting really dangerous, they are so icy and slippy we humans are finding it hard to walk on. This evening Paul went all his length and ended up on his back, thankfully he was ok, just a sore arm and no doubt a bruise or two by the morning.
All the littlies went over to make sure he was ok, or was it to see if he had anything else to eat - I'll let you work that one out yourselves.
The alpacas seem to have no problem with the tracks, in fact some of the youngsters have been pronking round in their triangle track.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
We woke to more snow this morning, only a sprinkling, but more none the less. It has been absolutely freezing all day too, so no sign of any thaw yet.
My mum is hoping to come up for a couple of days to bring some knitting and Christmas presents but there's not much chance of that just yet. We actually got post today for the first time in two weeks, I'm not sure the postman will be back tomorrow as he got stuck and Paul had to give him a push!
The alpacas have finished another big round bale today, that's only lasted them a week, and they've had some small square bales during that time. I can see there is going to be a shortage of hay round these parts if the weather continues.
Monday, 6 December 2010
We are very busy bees at the moment. Debbie has taken a rest from the snow-day job of supplying the alpacas with what seems like a conveyer belt of food and is knitting like crazy (although not as fast as Carol) to ensure we have enough stock to make the end of the year (no hope!) meanwhile, I have been working on our new online shop.
The evening's conversation has been enthralling and repeated below in full:
Debbie - "you've made me lose count of the rows, I'm going to have to pull down the last six rows now."
Paul - "ah, I nearly had that working..."
Night all. (Paul)
Sunday, 5 December 2010
It has been a bitterly cold but sunny day today and there has definitely been a bit of melt going on which is good. As you can see from the photo below of Golden Guinea, the snow has now pretty much melted from the trees and the fences.
Saturday, 4 December 2010
Unfortunately due the the weather we weren't able to take the boys with us, there was no way we could even get the trailer off the drive let alone try and tow it to the main road. To be honest I think the boys were pleased they got left at home, standing in a cold market place wouldn't have been much fun for them today.
Despite not having the boys to draw the attention of passers by we still had a very good day and sold lots of knitwear. I find it such a complement when people come back year after year to either add to their collection of Barnacre knitwear or by presents for others. There is no better endorsement for our products than a returning customer.
Thankfully it was slightly warmer today and we've had no fresh snow, in fact there has been a slight melt during the day. I think my three pairs of trousers and three pairs of socks was probably slightly over kill, but at least I didn't get cold.
I took a couple of orders (despite promising myself I wouldn't), I'd rang one through to my mum before we'd even packed up! I've already given Carol a list as long as your arm to work her way through and I've got two pairs of gloves that need doing. We are back in Morpeth 18th December at Sanderson Arcade so the customers are collecting them then.
Having had two glasses of wine I decided making up a pattern tonight is not a good idea so my next job is going updating the online shop instead.
Friday, 3 December 2010
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Talking of knitting, despite being on holiday Carol has been busy and returned with a pile of goodies for me. I think I prefer her knitting location to mine......
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
The wind has also picked up today so the lying snow is starting to drift, at one point when I was looking out of the study window the snow was coming down from the sky and up from the field!
Thankfully all the alpacas seem to be coping remarkably well, as long as they have food, water and some shelter to retreat to, they seem happy enough.
Saying that, this morning during a blizzard Minimus was trying desperately to get his mum to go into the shelter with him but she was happy enough outside. He was humming to her, pushing in front of her and generally making his feelings well known to everyone, except it seems Chiquita. In the end he decided to go and sit with his Grandma, Willow and her daughter Layla who were camped down in the shelter.
As we were running low on human supplies (we've been without milk for two days), we decided that we were going to have to try and dig the car out and attempt a trip to Morpeth. The windscreen was covering as quickly as we could clear it!
We finally managed to get off the drive (after a few sideways slides and a lot of welly) and very slowly we made it onto Morpeth, so I was able to get some food, post some knitwear which had been purchased from our on-line shop and get some petrol for the quad.
Hopefully the postman might make it soon, we've not seen him for a week now and I am waiting for a number of things including Barnacre Knitwear labels which I am desperate for, particularly as the rest of the team (Carol & Dave) are currently travelling back from their holiday in Cuba and Carol is bound to have some knitting for me. They are in for a shock aren't they!!!!
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Things haven't improved on the snow front, in fact its just getting deeper. By this evening when we went to feed the footprints in our pathways had completely vanished from 3 hours previously!
I've had a bit of a treat today, one of our friends is currently doing a massage qualification and wanted a bit of hands on practice. I wasn't too sure about exposing all my wobbly bits, but he was fantastic, I'm glad I did. Thanks Chris, we can both thoroughly recommend your services.
After a relaxing massage it was back out into the snow to hump feed about.
This was Golden Guinea taken yesterday with my mobile, I forgot to take the proper camera with me. He has walked a pathway from his shelter to the gate where he comes to meet me. If it's snow he waits until the last minute and then makes a run for it - he has to beat you there!
And here we have Tilly walking her path
Unfortunately Tilly's path is no more, last night we had major avalanches from the roof and it is now under about 4 and a half foot of snow! Tilly wasn't in it at the time so don't worry.
Monday, 29 November 2010
On Saturday we removed the snow from the shelter roofs, today you could not tell that it had been done so it was back out with the ladders to start all over again. We don't want any collapsing under the weight of the snow.
I measured the snow on the garden table today, we are now up to 48cm's. That is not in the drifts or where Julian has gone past with the plough, places like that are past my waist. If poor little Minimus was to stand directly behind their shelter he would vanish under the snow!
We have been giving everyone extra rations which is going down well, even Freyja and Rory have begun eating hard feed. Both started eating sugar beet for a few days then decided that Camelibra was good to.
All the water is still frozen so it is back to carting it about to fill up the water troughs. Thankfully the quad is managing to get through two feet of snow and Paul is around too so I'm not having to do everything on my own.
The alpacas seem much happier than Paul and I, as long as they have something (lots) to munch on and a dry bed to sleep on they are ok. The chickens however haven't come down from their coop for days.
I was supposed to be taking the kittens to the vet this morning to be spayed but as the snow was so bad there was no chance so they have a short reprieve.
Sunday, 28 November 2010
Debbie has been keeping you all posted with the heavy snow fall here in Northumberland and there just seems to be no let up.
Jayne at Zanzibah - you thought it was bad in Scotland, we had the worst snow fall yet overnight. The wind has picked up to and the snow has started to drift in places.
It was really hard work getting down to the rented fields down the lane. They say owners take on some of the persona of their animals and we have to agree with that. In the same way that our sheep and alpacas like to tread the same path, so do we. Our route through the field sure seemed much deeper than it was yesterday.
For illustration purposes only I have put a well known London landmark next to the sides of our snow passage:
After a few minutes walking we were sure that we had crossed into the girls field but could find no sign of them. We rattled the food bucket to see if that attracted any attention and Princess Mallika (of course) just had to give the game away - her stomach always comes first!
After checking that the rest of the main herd were o.k. we set about finding the boys.
Guess what - no sign of them.
"Hey Loki, do you want a carrot?"
Up to our necks in it!
Saturday, 27 November 2010
Friday, 26 November 2010
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Thankfully we managed to get out to civilisation, however even the main roads were bad, it was well worth it though because we had the best day of knitwear sales I've ever had. I'm not sure how I am going to have enough stock to do the remaining 5 events, not to mention the on-line shop.
There were a couple of disappointed people today who passed by and had their eye on something but when they came back I'd already sold it. Most of our item are unique and one offs, so if you miss it its gone.
It has continued to snow on and off all day and we now have in excess of half a foot of snow on the ground and it is forecast to last for a week or so. I thought we'd had more than our share of the snow last year.
Morpeth made the BBCs's nattional news tonight and one of the reports featured my vets camel not looking too bothered by the white stuff.
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Thankfully there was only the odd shower followed by autumn sunshine, until this afternoon that was. Paul also got the all clear from the consultant so no more excuses that he can't do this or that - I will have to get him back to the job list.
I had a very nice lady visiting today, she was looking for some very special Christmas presents to take home to LA. She has bought knitwear from us before and was very impressed with it, so wanted some for her family in the States.
She choose some very nice scarves and managed to treat herself to a lovely shoulder cowl, it is one of our latest designs. It was only labelled up yesterday and hadn't even made it into the shop!
Shortly after my visitor had left it went very black, so I decided to head out to the field to put Minimus and Rory's coats on pretty sharpish. It's a good job I did as I arrived the girls were running into the shelter which meant they too had realised it was about to pour down.
Not only did it pour there were malteaser size hail stones beating down on me whilst I was putting the coats on. Minimus is such a sweetie and stood happily whilst I fastened him in, Rory on the other hand always grumbles and wants to get back to his mum.
Monday, 22 November 2010
It has been absolutely horrible here today, wet cold and very grey all day. The mud patches are growing, in fact the boys are making a mess. Tenzing is filthy and has obviously been rolling, he has mud everywhere.
Rory is enjoying his bottle again, the novelty of the new grass has obviously worn off. I'm still wanting to weigh him but I like to do it when he's dry, so it may be a little while yet. We have rain and snow forecast fro the rest of the week.
Thankfully we had a delivery of oil today so the heating is back on, we had a slight technical hitch in that Paul forgot to order it and we ran out, so we've been without heating for a few days. Hence the lack of blog last night I didn't want to leave the log burner and venture into the cold study.
Saturday, 20 November 2010
This morning I was greeted in the chicken coop by a dead hen. It was the last of our original brown hens, she was a ripe old age and had been getting slower and slower and not venturing far for a little while now. In fact I had to put her to bed last night as she didn't seem able to climb the ladder. So it came as no surprise, poor chicken!
This now leaves us with three young birds, none of which are laying, in fact we've not had an egg for weeks now.
The jury is actually out on one of them as to whether is it a hen or cockerel . This Light Sussex has never laid an egg but equally it has never cook-a-doodle-do'd. It is quite a bit bigger than the two Marans and has started to run at my legs. If there are any experts out there here 'it' is, what do you think.
Friday, 19 November 2010
Paul was away last night on business and I think he must have a web cam up somewhere because as we were dozing he rang which woke us both up with a fright! We eventually hit our beds and were up bright and early as usual; the kittens see to that.
With the hat finished and Hughie's toe nails cut this morning she headed off home after lunch. As always thanks for your help mum.
Dad was also working hard this morning before they left, he has made me a new lid for the boys hay manger. It was really funny, dad and I were working and all the boys were watching. Hughie and Loki kept sticking their head in between us to see what was going on. Unfortunately I'd not taken my camera with me.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Tilly, one of the naughty kittens didn't seem to think it was that cold though. This morning I found her wading through the dirty water in one of the water troughs in a resting field. She was soaked and filthy but purring her head off when I picked her out. These kittens certainly are mad.
My parents are still here, they go home tomorrow, although I've told mum she can't leave until she has finished the beret that she is knitting at the minute. Carol keeps calling me a slave driver so I may as well be one!
Hopefully Carol is busy knitting in Cuba as I type, she has taken a few less clothes so she ha room in her suitcase for her wool and needles. That's dedication for you don't you think.
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Thankfully today I have been able to stay here with the animals, shopping is no longer the fun I remember it being. Paul had to head down to London on business so he got a few hours on the phone to play even more on his new blackberry.
I have been busy washing the latest batch of knitwear which will need labelling ready for the busy run of events we are attending in the run up to Christmas. Mum is still slaving over her needles in the lounge as I type.
The courier finally turned up today to collect some fleeces which are heading off to the mill for processing. Hopefully after Christmas I will be able to do some spinning here as the carding that Dave has been doing is mounting up.
Despite Rory not having much bottle lately he has moved into the next size cria coat which is a good sign, Minimus has also moved out onto the next set of press studs on his coat! I will be weighing them all at the weekend so watch this space for an update.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Monday, 15 November 2010
Sunday, 14 November 2010
They have now gone home and Faith is counting down until she next comes to see us at Christmas. I'm not so sure her mum and daddy are so keen :-)
The rain returned this afternoon and I had to rush down to put the two boys coats on. Mimimus was very pleased to see me and comae to meet me, he was clearly trying to tell me that he was getting wet and needed his coat on quickly. Rory was not quite so bothered and needed a little encouragement.
Saturday, 13 November 2010
Friday, 12 November 2010
Here is a photo Paul took of her earlier in the week, as you can see Minimus certainly isn't draining her condition.
Speaking of Minimus it would be a shame to miss any opportunity to share another photo of him, taken at the same time as his mums. He made us laugh at tea time, despite his small stature he takes no nonsense from anyone. He was polishing off the camelibra and Ursula came over to join him, she wasn't welcome and he started pushing his neck down on hers grunting his dissatisfaction. When she took no notice he stated spitting at her, which she still ignored! An explosion could occur at the side of Ursula mind and she wouldn't bat an eyelid!
Just to complete the family album here is Willow, Chiquita's mum and grandma to Minimus with her female cria from this year, Layla, who has also inherited the same rotund shape as Chiquita.
Thursday, 11 November 2010
At feed time this afternoon the girls obviously spotted a shower heading their way, and all charged on mass to gather round the hay hecks. They obviously provide a good wind break and food source as the shelter didn't attract any ones attention today!
I'm pleased to say that Chiquita's leg is absolutely fine again, you would never believe she was looking uncomfortable yesterday evening. It's very strange, if I only checked on them once a day I would have missed it.
As the weather has been so terrible I've been updating our online shop. It is a never ended job what with Carol, mum & I knitting at a rapid rate and the sales doing very well. I have already sold more knitwear this year than last and that is before I reached the busy time of year for it.
I have a batch of our fleeces to send off the the mill next week as I'm almost out of white yarn. Here at Barnacre we only use our own fleeces, we don't buy it in, and all our knitwear it traceable to specific alpacas so it is a very unique. Don't worry if you are reading this Dave, I've kept some back for you to card!!
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
As you can see the grass is rather long and lush so hopefully this will give everyone a bit of a boost going in to winter. Excuse the shadows on the photo I was trying to take some shots as they went running through the gate. A couple of the feeding mums are starting to loose some condition so this and some extra rations for those concerned should help them out. Their babies will also be old enough to wean very soon.
Moving from one field to another means all the hay hecks and feed troughs need moving which takes ages so I didn't get time to clean the field so that will have to be added to the job list for later in the week; in the rain by the sounds of the forecast.
Loki was getting very excited at the girls moving, there is a big empty field in between the boys and the girls but Loki was keeping a very close eye on proceedings. Paul took this shot on 80 times zoom, not bad eh!
This evening when we went to feed Chiquita was limping on her back left leg. She did the same thing about 10 days ago, I couldn't feel anything and within a couple of hours she was walking normally so I thought maybe she had just twisted it. I will see how she is in the morning but I have the Finadyne on standby.
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Monday, 8 November 2010
Sunday, 31 October 2010
Here at Barnacre Alpacas we have been discovering that the origins of Halloween can be traced back to the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds. Unfortunately, we couldn't find any seeds, but got the next best thing with some fruit and nuts.
First up in the fruit corner we have our master knitter, Carol. So overjoyed with the Newcastle win over Sunderland that she used Hughie's carded fleece to perform an ancient Halloween ritual of celebration.
Nice one Carol you didn't even drop a stitch - and what shiny eyes you've got!
In the nut corner, and forced to lament the loss of his Wearside heroes, Dave, master carder and world renowned AAA (assistant alpaca apprentice) was not to be outdone.
Hell hath no fury like a Macca scorned and Halloween is a chance for him to perform a ritual of revenge. Even cat is joining in!
Saturday, 30 October 2010
Mum also came laden with some more knitting stock, so I need to get it washed tomorrow so that it is ready for next weekends farmers market at Morpeth. Be there or be square!
Hughie was very pleased with is many visitors, he's had lots of people to say hello to today and he does like to meet 'his public'.
This evening I have weighed a few of the cria, all are gaining nicely which is good although Minimus has remained the same this week which isn't very good.
Friday, 29 October 2010
Lualeni is a fantastic white maiden female with a fabulous fleece. Her first fleece was 14 microns and her second fleece is equally as stunning at 16 microns with an SD of 2.9, CV of 18.4 and 0.4 over 30.
We mated Loopy Lou as she is affectionately known to Gianmarco's Masterpiece earlier in the year so we are hoping for great things from this union next year, only another 6 or so months to wait.
Thursday, 28 October 2010
After more fleece sorting, I returned home this afternoon to some very clear kitten footprints on my kitchen island! After having stern words to the girls and cleaning away the evidence before Paul returned from work to see it, I went off to feed the alpacas and was trying to think of the source of the dust.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
As if I'd not seen and dealt with enough fleece during the day I have just been doing a little spinning with some fleece from my own herd. Super soft baby fleece which will hopefully be white when it is washed!
You may recall earlier in the year I mentioned that the woods were being taken down behind the girls winter grazing fields. Typically whilst the fields have been empty the work seemed to cease, until the girls returned.
I moved the girls a couple of weeks ago now and the workmen have returned to fell the trees. I'm not sure whose enjoying who the most the girls keeping an eye on the workmen or the men watching the alpacas.
When I got home this evening the bit directly being the field is almost clear, there are only two trees left and a fire burning with all the bits that are obviously no use to them.
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
It's a slow painstaking job as there are lots of fleeces which have been entered in to the wrong class, so things are taking longer than we had hoped.
Back at home all is well, the girls were slightly concerned that they were not getting their tea as I was running late. Rory was starving and getting most annoyed that the other cria were charging round and part of the lap seemed to involve either jumping on him or pulling his coat on the way past. I think they were trying to get him to join in the pronking session.
It's back over to Northumbrian Alpacas tomorrow to carry on.................
Monday, 25 October 2010
I thought it was about time the young boys got to pose, here they are in their usual stance, Tenzing & Sandstorm always come as one, they are almost joined at the hip.
Sunday, 24 October 2010
Today was day two of the Cameron Holt course, Sire Selection was the subject for today. It was another fantastic course, very informative and of great use to future breeding decisions. It was quite funny Barbara and I are both clearly on similar wave lengths because despite being in different barns and working on our own throughout we kept getting very similar comments and placings.
I made sure Rory got his bottle before I left this morning after Paul's dismal results yesterday. I was also back in time to give him his tea much to Rory's relief.
It sounds like Paul has enjoyed having a rummage through the cria's fleece whilst I've been gone. They are nearly all so friendly this year they happily stand there and let you have a good inspect without having to hold them.
I'm back up at Northumbrian Alpacas doing some preparation for the Scottish National Fleece show this week. It is the largest fleece show in Europe so it is going to take some hard work from all concerned!
Saturday, 23 October 2010
It has been a really good day with some hands on fleece evaluation which was great, I'm back over at Northumbrian Alpacas tomorrow for the 'Sire Selection' course which I'm looking forward to.
Despite Paul falling to pieces, you were spot on their Mark, I left the animals in his care, it's the first time he's fed them in weeks and it's really taken it out of him - I'm afraid I've run out of sympathy now, I'm a much better nurse/carer to my four legged patients!
As yesterdays photo's received some very nice and very witty comments I thought I'd share the cutest picture I took yesterday with you. I'm not sure how but I forgot to include it yesterday. Isn't he just adoreable.
Friday, 22 October 2010
Thursday, 21 October 2010
The final three cria of the year needed their second lambivac injection which all went according to plan, when I eventually caught hold of Freyja, who decided that she didn't want stabbing. Injections is a great excuse to do some fleece rummaging, not that I really need an excuse.
Minimus has the most gorgeous golden fawn fleece with exceptional brightness. Unfortunately however, he has a kink in his tail so he wont be attending any shows in person, but maybe his fleece will make it into a fleece show somewhere!
Since I came back in to the house to warm up I have been sewing labels into the latest few batches of knitwear. I keep telling myself I won't let it pile up, but do it every time then it takes ages. I'm still printing off garment labels then they'll all need pricing up too. The jobs are never ending.
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Pearson and Ochre were putting on a nice display of neck wrestling and boys doing what boys do. Niveous came over too just to show them how you are supposed to mount and hang on to the back of a moving target.
Rory is still taking his bottle which is good, he has a coat on this evening as the nights have turned really cold. He wasn't at all bothered by it nor was his mum Geena. She obviously remembers that her baby's often go green (the coat is green) once winter arrives.
Sienna however was not at all impressed with this new green alpaca in the field. She was humming at him and trying to pull it off, when this fails she tried to scratch it off b carefully lifting up her foot and dragging it along Rory's back. She never looked twice at Minimus when I put his on.
For once I am off for an early night, hopefully Paul has already warmed the bed.
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Whilst on the subject of knitting Carol and Dave popped round this morning, Dave wanted some manure for his veggie plot but he had also ran out of carding so wanted some more fleece. I sent him home with some Hughie and his half sister Mallika. I hope to do a barber pole yarn with this mix.
Carol came with a bag of knitted goodies, three hats and three pairs of mittens. The speed she knits at never ceases to amaze me. Once they are washed I will take a photo of her weeks work - trust me you'll be amazed too.
I'm pleased to say that Rory is once again happy to take his bottle, he'd been refusing it since we moved them on to the fresh grass. The novelty of lush grass has obviously worn off, either that or the cold has prompted him to want nice warm milk.
I'm hoping to weigh him and a couple of the other tomorrow, I was going to do it this evening but we had a rain shower and I like to do them when they are dry.
There was another blue job on the list today, I'd got a flat tyre so it needed changing. I can't believe how many punctures we've had in this car, I wouldn't mind but they always happen when I have to change the flipping tyre.
We've not long had a full set of new tyres so they've been put on with one of the noisy gun things (I'm sure someone will tell me what they are called), anyway even with my muscles I could undo all the nuts; even after jumping on the bar! Thankfully Colin one of my neighbours came to the rescue.