Do you have a passion for making things entirely by hand or appreciate it in other people? In my teens and twenties, I got a thrill out of being my own mechanic on my old '75 Mustang. Yep, I've changed a few water pumps and brake pads. I have sewn every stitch of handmade rag dolls with a needle and thread (no machine stitching), and I prefer to cook from scratch. Isn't it much more rewarding to gather family and friends to put in fence posts, and raise barns? So naturally for me, prepping the fleece, learning to spin, and then making things from the alpacas' luscious fiber is my idea of happiness! -Kaylen

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jolene Has A Purpose

"Some people, no matter how old they get, 
never lose their beauty - they merely move it 
from their faces into their hearts."
  - Martin Buxbaum

I've written about Jolene before in the post "Taming of the Shrew."  She came to us as a bit of a wild thing.  I'm not sure what drew me to her, but she stares deeply into you and stirs something inside.  She was an emotional purchase, but has proven to be a great first alpaca. 

Jolene has had three crias for us.  Sabrina, Mataeus, and Miss Allison (Missy).  She is a wonderful mother and an easy birther. Thank goodness our first experiences have been textbook easy.  

Learning how to breed for fleece quality and conformation has been our primary focus with the animals.  Jolene has a luxurious fleece of 20 microns through age 6, but her staple length is short. So our breeding decisions have been to add length and density while maintaining that softness.  We have had wonderful success with Jolene's offspring.  Each one having the best traits of their sire and dam and improving on our foundation.  
On our farm every alpaca has a purpose.  We have wonderful breeding genetics, luxurious fiber animals, and companions.  Even though Jolene's fleece is short, we have not let it go to waste.  Her fleece is perfect for our felted soaps. 

I have a free tutorial about felting soap coming up soon!  

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