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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of mine took his family to the local Labor Day Fair in our small town. He sent me a text asking if I would like some Alpaca yarn as there was a farm at the fair with their Alpacas and some products for sale. I told him that I would love some if it wasn't crazy expensive and that I would need about 200 yds. for a project. He brought me a gorgeous ball of yarn with a pamphlet on the farm, it's products and store.

I looked up the farm on the internet and it is about two miles from my house! I had no idea. I left work today and headed straight over there. The owner himself took me on a tour of his farm and even into the back barn where he does the washing, carding and spinning of the alpaca into yarn. He showed me product in all phases of completion. I told him that his yarn is sooo soft and asked why when I buy Alpaca yarn from my LYS it is not near as soft. He explained that MOST commercial yarns that are labeled "Alpaca" are usually only about 20% alpaca. His is 100% and it is so amazingly soft and luxurious! NO comparison.

Are you ready for the best part? He charges $10.00 for a 220 yard skein! I have paid upwards of $30.00 per at the LYS for 20% alpaca. I got to meet and pet the animal who provided my yarn!

I also learned that he processes animal fibers of all sorts. GREAT news for me as my Aunt Barb owns 3 Angora Goats (as pets) and has asked me many times what she should do with their hair. I said that it would be too daunting of a process to make yarn. NOT anymore. I assume his processing fees will be fair since his yarn is a bargain! Aunt Barb and I plan to shear her goats next week as this is the best time to remove their coats... twice a year, fall and spring. We will bag it and bring it to him to process.

What a wonderful afternoon, what a great learning lesson, what a great opportunity to have some great goat hair turned into cashmere to make Aunt Barb a sweater! They also provide spinning, knitting, crochet and felting classes.

BTW... the farm has been there (in my backyard) for four years and I hadn't a clue. I also did a search for other fiber farms and found three more in driving distance. I had no idea. I am sure I will continue to do business with the wonderful, local farmer, but amazing to learn that these businesses are so close and so many.

Wanted to share my wonderful afternoon with you as I am sure most of us have one or more of these treasures in our backyards!
 

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Absolutely amazing, sounds like you had such a wonderful time with your trip to visit the alpacas and met a new friend who as a farmer has a better understanding of the economy and will charge what is fair but what the market will bear too. I am sure he will be very happy to have you as a repeat customer and if you want yarn to do a bigger project, you may have to wait for a while, but you know with your requests that you will get the same yarn from the same animal..imagine, no dye lot issues! Who knows, in the future you may be able to barter some of your projects for some of his yarn...this looks like the start of a beautiful friendship with all the fiber farmers in your area =)
 

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I love reading your threads Amy because they are always so entertaining and informative :)

The yarn looks lovely and it certainly looks soft and cosy. How lucky you are to have such a source of good yarn on your doorstep and with your Aunt's goats, even nicer.

I'm the lucky owner of some beautiful alpaca wool, a lovely lady in Australia sent it to me from her own Alpaca's and she spun it and dyed it herself too. I'm just too nervous to actually use it, so I'm keeping it as a pet and I fuss it every day :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
See... I knew YOU guys would appreciate and understand it. I called my friend who bought me the skein (yes, the DAY before my visit) and he laughed at me. (well, with me as he knows how I am when I get a bug in my hand-knitted bonnet).

THIS particular farmer does have a website, but he sells the animals, not the yarn. It is a small farm, so I don't think he produces enough to sell in large quantities. My point of sharing is that there are FOUR farms in my area that I never knew existed. I live in Upstate NY, outside of Buffalo, and I am sure you have heard about our harsh winters. IF they can raise Alpacas here, I would imagine you could raise them cheaper and easier most other places that may not require housing, heating, etc. I would hope you would be able to find one of these treasures in your area as well.

Diziescott.... as always, thank you for your kind suggestion. Sarah was so sweet and cute. She took my yarn from me, showed me her favorite animals, etc. When I paid her I had to go out to my car for and additional 50 cents. I gave her 50 cents to put in the register and $1.00 as her "tip". Of course, we had to explain what a TIP is to her. This is after the explanation of why we have to add taxes to my sale..... so cute. I think I will knit her something as you suggested as I know that her Mother does not knit.. I asked.

No idea what I will make with the yarn... I am compelled to "save it for something special" but that is silly since I have a relatively endless supply for the cost of regular yarn! I will get on it and I am sure... post something Alpaca soon.
 

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Hi all,
We too own an alpaca farm and have a farm store, we put an ad in the weekly shopper and hometown paper for 5 years now. Yet, people still say they didn't know we were here when they are told about us or happen on us by chance. We give tours to individuals, school groups, 4-H, FFA, etc. at no charge. We take animals to local events, and put on presentations at the libraries in our county for the reading programs. Its so hard to make our presence known. If we didn't have internet sales, it would be difficult to distribute our products. Everything we have is made in the USA and its quality. Why do we seem to be invisible in our own community? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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