We were idly wondering whether we should take up mud skiing on our waterlogged fields. There has been so much rain and as we are on clay falling over is an ever-present hazard.
Last year I had a dramatic slide on mud falling on a bucket and breaking some ribs. Not a lot of fun as broken ribs are very painful and there is nothing to be done apart from swallow large quantities of pain killers and waiting for the bones to heal.
Between Christmas and New Year we weaned the rest of the youngsters so there has been quite a lot of moaning out there. A couple of titches are in the special care department but the rest were over 30 kilos, so absolutely fine, if rather damp.
I have been grading several hundred kilos of gorgeous white fleeces. These are the ones we want above all others as white is the best for our dyed colours.
These have come in from our great supporter Nick Harrington Smith at Alpaca Evolution who has the biggest herd in the UK. Nick is a very experienced alpaca judge and a fleece nerd so all the fleeces come in skirted and graded. I just have to agree or disagree!
You can instantly tell the people who care about their fleeces, the product after all of a year’s breeding and caring for the alpacas. It will be clean, dry, free of moth and other nasties like poo and toenail clippings and properly bagged up with the blanket separated from the rest. I love these breeders and we pay them substantially more for white skirted fleeces.
The fawns are next in the desirable list as these are up there with the whites in terms of fineness, brightness and density. They are used as naturals and to dye our much darker yarns like the dark blues, greens and so on.