Alpaca

I can’t quite decide what the plural of alpaca is? Having googled it there are varying opinions, either alpacas or alpaca. Also a baby alpaca is called a ‘cria’.

So why are you wittering on about alpaca you ask. Well, we have just had a short break in Devon were we stayed at a cottage where they keep alpaca. One of them, Orestes was a particularly handsome chap, he is the one with the black top knot and very long eyelashes. His friend, the black one with all bits of straw all over his face and looking a bit simple is Xavier.

DSC_7486- Orestes DSC_7486-Xavier

Yes, they sold yarn, not that I think it will be any good for weaving but I thought I might try knitting some socks – how hard can it be to knit socks? I might regret saying that.

Alpaca yarnIt looks lovely yarn and has a nice sheen to it. Apparently it is light, warm and hypoallergenic, perfect for bedsocks. Not that I need them but the last pair of cashmere bedsocks I bought my Mum fell to bits, I am not sure what she did with them but they ended up with holes in so I have higher hopes of the alpaca ones assuming I get them knitted by Christmas(!). So if you want any alpaca yarn the website is: http://www.battsbrookalpacas.co.uk/index.php/alpaca-products-for-sale

They have all the natural colours but I chose black which of course is the most difficult to photograph. Just like the black alpaca who looks a bit blurred. For some reason my camera got set on incandescent light setting not outdoors setting, hence everything I took whilst away has a blue cast to it and poor Xavier looks a bit blurrier than he should. PJ has a better photo of Orestes on his facebook page, except he got his name wrong. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=974199222621627&set=a.916728018368748.1073741826.100000946767958&type=3&theater

So back to weaving. I have managed the first of the ‘Waverley Abbey’ series. It has turned out a bit darker than I intended, I never seem to end up with work quite a subtle as I hope and am in a bit of a quandry about whether my work should be pale and subtle and elegant or whether it should be dramatic and colourful, or maybe both. I warp up for the second tomorrow. This is another not very good photo. I took it with my ipod which is usually very well behaved. Just not having a great photo time at the moment but it gives you the idea, it is 15cm square and will go into a frame which is like a very shallow box frame with no glass.

Tapestry one

No luck in Wales

So, the National Botanic Garden of Wales were not interested. Ah well, never mind, it might have been a bit too much what with trying to find homes for everything and weaving and decluttering the house and garden.

Everyone keeps asking if I am going to have a rest now. Well, I’d love to but at the same time I want to keep some momentum going or it would be easy to just let things slide and life would get too much in the way.

So I am still weaving and below is the picture of the latest piece. It is a bit mad and also liable to collapse if handled roughly. It was woven all in one go but the curly bit is supplementary warp which was wound round and then re inserted into the weaving. Does that make sense?

photo 1I am about to start some small flat pieces ready for the exhibition in December. They are based on some images from Waverley Abbey which is a ruin near Farnham. That sounds very landscape-ish which they aren’t, think close ups of marks on stones from the marks made by the stonemason right through to 21st century graffiti.