Friday, March 27, 2015

Restful; at ease

I love walking around our property at twilight. I don't get to do it often with small children but today the stars aligned and I managed to get out. It is days like today that remind me why we named our property "adagio". Adagio, as an Italian musical term, means restful; at ease and that was just what I needed this afternoon. After trekking two children around from one boy's specialist appointment to a physio appointment for my wrist (that I've damaged cartilage in from carrying my very stocky 6.5month old around for long periods with my wrist in a less than optimal position) and a 3.5 year old with skinned knees that he has decided prevents him from standing, all resulting in less than required sleep for the youngest... I'm sure you've all had days like that! Anyway just wandering around and checking on things meant I cleared my head and am ready to face the world again. 

Produce from the neglected veggie patch... note the one and only strawberry from our mass of strawberry plants!

The chickens who were grumpy with me since despite their very large pen (shed as a house and penned in outside area large enough to house about 12-15 chickens not just our 6!), and large box of scrap greens from our local green grocer still refuse to lay eggs unless we let them out to wander through our grassy orchard area. I love our barnevelders but they have been terrible layers for us! Spoilt free loaders at the moment! That rooster is pretty though...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Adagio Alpaca Mills - sneak peek at our equipment!

We have a very talented and creative family member who filmed and then pieced together a video of Andrew's trip to Italy. The purpose of the trip was to inspect our now completed milling equipment before it is shipped and learn from the experts whilst he was there. The trip was invaluable, Andrew was able to put the equipment through its paces and test a number of assumptions and questions we had developed along the way. So enjoy the video of his trip, hope you have a good giggle as Andrew learns to spin with our spinner and celebrate with him when gets it working for the first time! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spotlight on Schumann

The alpaca I'd like to introduce you to today is Schumann. When we visited Jurustalle Alpacas we intended to select just one alpaca for our Follow-a-Fleece program. In discussion with Jurustalle alpacas before we went out into the paddock we got to see Schumann's fleece from last year and it was just gorgeous. We wanted it for ourselves! Between his fleece and a name like Schumann (to go with our musical inclination) we just knew Schumann had to be in the program. But then we met Gautier and we were torn. There was just something about Gautier that we couldn't leave him out! Then Schumann wandered over and he was just so classy to match his name and beautiful fleece. What to do!?! To that point we had only accepted one alpaca from each stud but we loved both! What to do??? We just had to include both! There was no other option! Check out our Follow-a-Fleece here if you are interested in finding out more about Schumann...

In other news, I was very relieved to have my father and step-brother visiting to help me remove this very cute but unwelcome visitor from the house!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Veggie patch has been kind to us

Despite the neglect this year, our veggie patch and small only 4 years old orchard is being very kind to us! We have had plenty of snow peas and zucchinis. 5 trees have given us a huge amount of apples, two shopping bags picked from one tree today! About half shown in the picture. 
Some of the apples have been huge! I couldn't quite find the right way to show their size, even this picture with the tea cup doesn't quite show it. The apple is bigger in every dimension!
Rather tasty too...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Follow-a-Fleece Spotlight on Captain Jack

Introducing… Captain Jack!
Captain Jack is the sweetie from Kyona Alpacas. Kylie and Fiona from Kyona Alpacas have a love for alpacas and produce the most wonderful felted items from their fleece! I've been lucky enough to go to two of their felting workshops, learn to felt and felting hats. We had such a great day learning from two such talented ladies! They are always at the Millthorpe Markets so drop by on the 22nd of March 2015 if you are in the area and say hello and see what they have handcrafted. Captain Jack is one of their young male alpacas that they are keen to share, if you'd like to follow his fleece, visit our kickstarter page.

In breaking news… Just a Gigolo is the first of our Follow-a-Fleece candidates to sell out! Don't miss out on Captain Jack…

Monday, March 9, 2015

Follow-a-Fleece Spotlight on Phantom

Phantom is the beloved stud male from Kienella Alpacas. You can just tell that this alpaca has character! His fleece is a natural black, alpacas are one of the few fibres that can be said to really be a true black. Check out their facebook page to find out more about Kienella Alpacas and Phantom in particular, there may be an extra photo or two there of him if you want to know more! They love their alpacas and like us their alpacas are beloved pets. All breeders love their alpacas and have a few that are considered pets however it is the small breeders that really have a relationship with each and every one of their alpacas. This is demonstrated very clearly as Scotty puts together a calendar each year of alpacas in Christmas hats. We were very fortunate this year to be gifted one! I'm sure you can imagine this alpaca in a Christmas hat! Perhaps Scotty might share some of his alpacas in hats photos if you are one of the lucky ones who decide to follow Phantom's fleece?

Kienella Alpacas very kindly agreed to release a few photos of Phantom in hats that featured in their calendar! Isn't he just gorgeous!?!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Follow-a-Fleece Spotlight on Gabriel (Snoop)

A hand knitted jumper or vest is always something made with so much love that you can feel it when you wear the item of clothing. From my experience of having yarn made from my alpacas, I have found that there is something extra special about the clothing that I have knitted for my children with our very own yarn. Knitting with yarn that you know where it came from and something about the animal and its life really is something special.
Not everyone has the space to have alpacas like we do, so part of our vision for Adagio Alpaca Mills is to be able to connect the end uses of the knitting yarn with the grows of the fleece. This is where the concept of Follow-a-Fleece came from. 
If you love the idea of knowing more about the animal that grew the fleece for the yarn and the people who cared for that animal check out our Follow-a-Fleece first run! It is one of the rewards on offer in our kickstarter campaign. If it is popular we hope to run a similar program in future years through our own online store when it is up and running. 

There are 10 alpacas in our Follow-a-Fleece first run. We would like to show you Gabriel (Snoop) today. Gabriel lives at Signature Alpacas in the Central West of NSW, Australia. She is currently very pregnant and if you are lucky enough to sign up to her Follow-a-Fleece you will get to see pictures of her cria (baby alpaca) when its born and you'll just have to sign up to find out why her nickname is Snoop!

A very big thank you to Retromummy who has mentioned our new business on her blog! 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Adagio Alpaca Mills

There haven't been many posts here on my blog over the past few months, however it was for very good reason. Not only was my second son, Xavier, born 6 months ago but we have been working on a new business venture! New baby, new business, all at once, CRAZY!

As you can tell on this blog we love our alpacas and being able to make stuff from their fleece, we have decided to take that to the next level! For the past 2 years we have been working on a concept of Adagio Alpaca Mills and it is finally taking shape. It took a surprisingly long time to develop the business case and obtain funding but we did it and placed the orders on the milling equipment from Italy just before Xavie was born. Check out our website here.

Our milling equipment has now been manufactured and is about to be shipped! We should be operational in about 2-3 months time!

Whilst our bank has been awesome in funding us, there are a few small but critical things they were unable to fund such as our washing and drying facility. This will consist of sinks, a hydro extractor, drying racks and hopefully also an ultrasonic bath. So we have launched the adagio alpaca mills kickstarter campaign 2015

Be the first to have some of our yarn or check out our alpaca experiences!