Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A Little Taste of Success !! .....its sweet !!!!!

Zanzibah Zakhura, takes fourth place ! with her fleece.

Zanzibah Zanubis, takes 3rd place, with his fleece.

After my last visit to see my parents in May I popped over to see Debbie at Barnacre Alpacas as she had been having a bit of 'bad-luck' Golden Guinea had had an accident and he was recovering from his ordeal.

We got to talking about 'shows'. I didn't purchase my animals to show, I hadn't even thought about it ...... ! to cut a very long story short, I was persuaded by Debbie to enter the fleece class at the Border Union Show at Kelso. I gave it a bit of serious thought and decided to give it a go, just for the 'Hell of it' .....why not .... I thought nothing ventured, nothing gained, so to speak.

Now, ..... I know that some have spent large and small fortunes out there purchasing their alpacas......with a great deal of serious thought, about their future intentions building their herd, taking great pride in their animals, the highs are fantastic.....up in the clouds, on top of the world .............. however the lows are extremely cavernous and we all get lost in those at some point, owning these very special curious creatures.

This is one of those lovely highs !!!!!........ we did enter the show. We even were placed !! Having our own 'little haul' of rosettes. I'm busy thinking of which wall to put the display cabinet on !!!!!! ....(only joking).

Zanzibah Zanubis was awarded 3rd place in the junior Grey class. Apparently I have been informed by a reliable source.....that we were beaten by half a point for second place, how close is that.... both the first and second places were awarded to females, Zanubis was the first placed male in his class.

Zanzibah Zakhura was awarded 4th place in the junior Black class, so we were delighted and obviously it was a brilliant feeling to get the news. I did not attend the show as it is miles away. Maybe we need to have more of this in Scotland. I might even have the bug.

I entered just as a little bit of fun, it was the taking part that counts, also it is nice to know that there are other experienced people out there who think that we deserved a place, a little pat on the back, how nice is that.

I entered three fleeces, so two out of three isn't bad ! I understand that there was just short of 150 entries for the fleece classes.

I am 'chuffed to bits' that my little Zanzibah bunch done us proud, flying the flag for the Scottish Alpaca breeders.......we might be miles away.....but were trying !!!!!

Just to round off, I am waiting to have the rosettes posted up to me, also for some pictures of the exciting news, for us here at little old Zanzibah.

I must congratulate Debbie, for persuading me to enter and get into the spirit of things. Also on her fantastic success with Legend, who strolled off with Supreme Champion.

What an honour, a brilliant day all round.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Luxury Alpaca Wrap !.....is complete....!!!

Super Chunky Yarn hand spun.
My Luxury Alpaca Wrap !! hand-crafted by yours truly.....

This is sure to keep you warm and cosy on those cold winter nights.
The wrap took 10 blended bobbins, thats 10 white & 10 brown. I then blend the two together, which gives this result.... This is the largest item I have ever made. Im really proud of the result. What makes it extra special is that its the only one and I know Zeuss and Zaninni up close and personal .....!!!

Yipee !!....I've finished .....DIY Photo Shoot !!!

As you might have guessed, I have finished my little/large project that I was busy with. A few regular readers will remember that I said that I was busy on a bit of a trial project, I said that I would reveal all a little later on when it was ready. I have been very regimented with myself in doing this, as I tend to make small items, that make-up quickly. I must confess to being a bit impatient, by the time I spin the fleece, blend the colours and wash and wait...I get a bit impatient...so to then go on and knit a large item was a little daunting to say the least.

However, putting all that aside......I have finished....Yipee !! I am really proud of my 'Zeuninni' Luxury Alpaca Wrap..... the fleece was spun from Zaninni, mid brown and Zeuss, white.

So, here goes....all that was left was to hire in the model and take a few professional photos. Well....not quite...its good old me in the garden....with the timer on !......with the camera strategically placed on a fence post......but I think it looks great.......!!!
The 'toggle' was hand-crafted by my Dad, its a piece of deer antler polished and dressed, I think it just finishes the wrap off nicely, as you can fasten it, then you don't need to worry about it falling off....if you're out shopping !!!!

Computer ... Gremlins !!

Zanubis taking a rest.....after his big shearing day !
The boys a whole lot lighter ...... ....and yes, Zaninni is still wearing his hat !!

I have been away from the blog and computer for a few days, we have had one or two technical problems.....far beyond my basis computer ability ! Needless to say that the computer had to go away for some 'first aid' treatment and a good overhaul !!

As usual, the very fact that you don't have the access to the Internet means that you obviously need to use it, its was missed and it seemed to take ages.

I have been busy though, we managed to get the hay baled, we did battle against the heavy showers that we have been experiencing....however we got the ok at the weekend and went for it ! Just as well we did as we had the down pour from hell on Sunday !!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

The Girls.....after Shearing Day !!

All girls together....
Enjoying the newly......cut hay !

Zakhura.... with a mouth full !

There'll be none left at this rate .....

Here are a selection of photos of the girls after shearing day, they look very different.

Trienza and Tremona have now been introduced into the main herd along with the other girls, both are mixing well and appear to be settling in. Tonight I have been hand feeding Trienza, both girls are real sweeties....Tremona in sniffing my hand, but she is not as confident as Trienza.....all in good time.

The girls are enjoying their freedom from their fleeces, they have been rolling around and running about like youngsters, when they were returned back to the field after shearing....they all tore off around the field in a lap of honour...they looked fantastic !

We are trying to hay-make at the moment....needless to say the girls are enjoying the add-lib never ending...supply of semi-dried hay !

What do they look like !!!!!!!

Just before shearing Day....
The new girls.....Trienza and Tremona....meet the rest !

Zanubis's.......fleece !

Zanubis.......after shearing, now dark grey !

The day before shearing !.......

I know that I am stating the obvious here, but what do they look like...!
Here are some photos of before and after, with sub-titles ....just in case you don't recognise them .... they are definitely happy to get rid of that fleece...in this hot weather, however I must say that all the alpacas have taken on a totally different look. I think that you will agree with me on that one.
They take a little getting used to......so here goes !

Saturday, 4 July 2009

The Big Day........ a whole lot lighter !

Zakhura.....first time sheared.....
Dusty... having toes and trim !

Friday was the big shearing day for us here at Zanzibah Alpacas, we are usually sheared earlier, but James was really busy and didn't manage to get to us sooner. I must say with all the hot weather, the alpacas have been struggling with their fleeces on......

It was a lovely hot day and all went to plan, I decided to have all the alpacas sheared due to the excess fleece and the heat, including the new girls. Trienza and Tremona are not pregnant and so it was decided that it was more beneficial to have them sheared.

It was lovely to see the alpacas skip out into the field, rolling about and running around, I think that they were quite relieved to get rid of all that fibre.

I must say, that you would not recognise some of them if you did'nt know them before the event.....Zanubis.......rose-grey, now looks dark grey......and about 10 times smaller. I shall have some pictures of the 'before and after' soon.

James and Marlon even sheared Aymara standing for me, as I was a bit concerned after what happened last year, she stood like a lady and didn't move an inch....so I hope that all will be well with her pregnancy for this year.

I've got some beautiful colours of fleece this year, I hope to keep some and possibly sell a little. I have not had time to weigh it yet, hopefully I will do it in the next couple of days. It has been all go here, also on Friday the contractor arrived to cut our hay, so we are hoping for the fine weather to continue, fingers crossed....at least till Wednesday....here's hoping !
James and Marlon did a fantastic job !....thanks guys ....see you next year !