Tuesday 22 April 2014

A Visit to Toft

I have visited the Toft Alpaca farm twice over my Easter break. The first time (19th of April) was for an Easter Bunny crochet class, I had a lot of fun and Kerry (the creator of Edward's Menagerie) was incredibly helpful when teaching us how to make our bunnies. I may only have a body so far, but I'm looking forward to the finished product. The wool, as I've mentioned in a previous blog post, is very soft and nice to work with. I still love the colours that they have from the natural Alpaca wool. I'll keep you updated on the progress of my bunny!

As my class was very small, there was only about 7 of us in the room, it was a very relaxed atmosphere complete with tea and cake. There had also been some very exciting news, as that day the first Cria (baby Alpaca) had been born. Unfortunately he had been born a month early so we didn't get to see him prancing around as he was getting warmed under a heat lamp. 

I also managed to come away with my own Alpaca. He's very cute I'm sure you'll agree.

The second visit I have made to Toft this Easter was for their Open Day on bank holiday Monday (21st of April). One of the first things we did was visit the little Cria. He was really cute and seemed to be doing very well. He even had a sweet little coat to keep him warm. 

Toft are expecting around fifty Cria this summer, so I cannot wait to see the rest of them running around in the fields. I feel sorry for the females as they're pregnant for around eleven months! 

The next thing we did was walk up through the farm and alongside the fields which held other Alpacas. It was a nice walk on a fairly nice day. Some of the Alpacas were even rolling around in the grass. I found it very interesting looking at all the colour variations, and thought about what the wool balls they produce will look like. As it is approaching the summer, these Alpacas will start having their fleece sheered so that it can be spun into wool. Their fleece weighs quite a large five kilos, so they must be feeling pretty hot under all the sun we've been having lately! 

After that we made a visit to their new café, which opens in May. 

I then took part in an Alpaca obstacle course. This consisted of leading an Alpaca through a range of different obstacles, including going around poles, being led through a fenced area, and stepping over logs. It was very fun, and my little Alpaca was very soft to the touch. Although, in places his fleece was stuck together as he'd been rolling in a muddy puddle previously.

Within the studio, there were several craft workshops to take part in. Some of those were crocheting or knitting with the wool, and then there was a découpage a bird house table. I had fun decorating my bird house, and it will be joining my hanging paper and ribbon birds in my window. 

Again I managed to leave Toft with my own little Alpaca, even smaller than the first! With thanks to Kerry, I managed to give the last one a home. 

The Open Day was very fun, and I hope I'll be able to visit the next one in August. We might even go along to watch the Alpacas being sheered in a few weeks. It might even give me an excuse to buy more things from them...

Find Toft Alpacas on Blogger:

Tuesday 1 April 2014

A Work in Progress...

I started to crochet at around October-time last year. I've been doing it fairly frequently since, but haven't made much progress. This is due to me only having enough time to make one or two items before I have to go to school or whatever else.
I was taught the basics by the lovely Cath from Cath's Crochet. I have since been self-teaching through patterns online and books from the local library, I have even managed to teach at least two other people the basics of crochet, myself!

My aim is to have a blanket by the end, but it seems as though it might take me up to a year or more! Currently I have several Granny Squares, several Maybelle Flowers, a Fox and two Owls. If you hadn't guessed already, my plan is to make a woodland-themed blanket. I'm really excited for when it actually gets finished, which I know will be a long time coming, but I'm excited about it anyway.

I have been using little bits of wool that have been given to me by relatives or friends. So it is what might be called a 'scrap blanket'. I was recently given some advice to ask around at local Charity Shops to see if they have any wool lying around.

I am hoping to soon learn how to make a crochet Hedgehog appliqué, but am yet to find one.

I have been making small pieces on and off since I learned to crochet in October. I am hoping to have a blanket very soon, and am forward to learning all of the new things I discover for my blanket's theme. I shall keep you updated and post again very soon!