Fall is here and that means a very busy time on the farm! During the next month, most weekends bring either a fiber festival or an alpaca show. Weekdays are filled with getting ready for the next weekend’s event. That means dyeing yarn, skirting fleeces, chasing down all the odds and ends that go into setting up a vendor space at a fiber festival or a farm display at an alpaca show…and paperwork.
Lately, I’ve been skirting fleeces for multiple uses: some will be shown, some will be sold, some will go to the mill for yarn and some will be held for felting projects. The skirting process, briefly, involves laying out each fleece and picking out coarse, short and dirty sections of fiber so that what remains is fairly uniform. Then, depending on the quality of the fleece, I decide whether it’s going to be yarn or felt. Some exceptional fleeces will be set aside for a show or will be offered for sale to handspinners.
Our first event this fall is the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival on Oct 4 & 5, where we will offer a few of our nicest fleeces at the fleece sale. Our next fiber festival is the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival on Oct 18 & 19. These festivals are coming up fast, so for the next few weeks, I’m busy with skeining and washing and dyeing yarn and otherwise getting ready to pack up the farm store.
At the same time that I’m busy getting ready for fiber festivals, we are preparing for two alpaca shows. This fall we are showing a couple of yearling males. We will be at the Green Mountain Alpaca Fall Spectacular and the Empire Alpaca Extravaganza. And, yes, the owner of that fleece shown above, Snowshoe Applejack, will be at the shows.