Thursday, June 07, 2012

7 year fleece! or Llama gets a hair cut

Last summer, a rather harry llama adopted our heard.  He's big and strong and we call him Tom.  Tom belongs to our neighbour who lets our fibre boys graze on the pasture on the hill.  Neigbour said it would be okay to have llama Tom shorn when Rose the Llama Lady was next in town.

Hug the head close to your chest so they can hear your heartbeat and they calm right down.

That's at least seven years of fibre growth on this llama.  As you can see he's a mess.  However, it is unbelievably soft for a llama.  If I can get the veg. matter out of the fibre, this is going to make BEAUTIFUL yarn.

It was so long that he needed to be shorn by hand.

I actually really like hand sheering - perhaps because I'm not the one doing the sheering.  It leaves a raggy looking coat for a few days, but after a week, he looked far better than he would have with the electric sheers.  The animals seem to feel comforted by the hand sheering whereas the machine scares the spit right out of them.

Isn't he a handsome boy?  Not sure who's happier in this photo.  Well, it's not the jealous alpacas in the background, that's for sure.

Feeling mighty handsome, but ready to go eat some grass now thank you.

I have to sort through the fibre and pick out the guard hairs.  The guard hairs are just like human hair, and as long as my arm.

We didn't have our alpacas or llama shorn this year.  They just had a trim.  They were so cold last winter, especially our oldest one Max, who is very old in llama years apparently, that I didn't have the heart to shear them this year.  Llama Lady said it was actually good for the llamas and alpacas to go a year between full sheering so long as they get their under arm hairs trimmed in the spring and we keep an eye on them in hot weather for overheating.  Personally, I'm glad for the longer fibre staple that two year growth provides.  Longer fibre = more fun to spin... at least for me it does.

1 comment:

Josiane said...

Gorgeous! I can imagine it'll be a lot of work for you to prepare that fibre for spinning, but oh, the lovely yarn it'll make!