We have been enjoying a beautiful spring and have had carloads of international and local visitors during April and May. FiberQuest weekend was great fun. We love talking with fiber friends. The Model A owners drove up in style. Some took a tour through our farm store in a yurt and others enjoyed feeding the alpacas. We enjoyed seeing their fancy cars.
Important Farm News Flash! We will be CLOSED the weekend of MAY
17 - 20th for a family celebration. You are welcome to come and see the
adorable fluffy critters after May 20th . . . while they are still fluffy.
Shearing Day is just around the corner. There are only a few more weeks before the big day. The first week of June preparation for shearing gets underway. Since we usually have rain that week, we have to keep all the alpacas under cover to keep their fleece dry. After June 7th the alpacas will be sporting a slimmer, new look.... minus all their wonderful fleece. Ah...but just think of the luscious yarn we'll have for knitting.
It's just about 2 weeks away and you'll want to show Mom your love. If she's a knitter, we have beautiful yarn spun from the fleece of our own herd in rich brown, shiny black, rose grey heather, caramel and pure white. Our roving in gray, brown, gray and light fawn is a dream to spin.
Mom doesn't knit, crochet or spin? We have a lovely one-of-a-kind handknit cowl in medium fawn. Plus we have an assortment unique handknit and felted handbags. Our luxuriously soft alpaca scarves, hats and wearables. An alpaca-filled duvet would wrap mom in lightweight warmth all year round. We're open most days. It's best to call ahead to be sure. 206.510.0434
It's definitely spring and our thoughts turn to pasture grazing.
The trees are in bloom and the furry critters are thrilled to spend the day in the new grass soaking up the sunshine. Our 4H handlers have started their weekly practice sessions. They are getting the alpacas used to the halter and following their lead. Here they are going for a stroll down the road to see the sights beyond the pasture.
Loki, now weaned from his mom and sharing a pasture with his new buddy Kuro, is having his first experience on a halter and his handler is a first year 4H-er...a great learning experience for them both. We all love spring on the farm!
Don't forget FiberQuest! First weekend in May. Our twice yearly quest for the perfect natural fiber yarn and roving. This year we have even more participants offering food, wine, lavender and chocolate plus all the yarn and fiber you could want on one island! Get all the details on the May 3 - 5 event at www.whidbeyfiberquest.com And try the guessing games to win gift certificates for participating yarn shops and stores. We look forward to seeing you on the farm!
New yarns spun from the fleece of our own herd have just arrived! We've blended Finn and Felix to achieve a beautiful softly heathered yarn. Electra's gorgeous mahogany tones come through in her lustrous yarn. And Kuro — that sparkling black son of the ever-popular Hermes has produced his very own first lot of shiny black yarn. We're very pleased with the results. Also we have a lovely sweet creamy caramel yarn that adds a lighter offering to our colored yarns.
Click over to the Farm Store and Yarns from our Herd to be inspired for your next knit project.
Shearing happens again the first week of June and we'll have a new supply of yarn from Hermes, Felix, Rosa, Bendito, Asa, Pedro, Smitty and the rest of the herd.
Finally, winter has come... on the 3rd day of spring. Well it's Northwest weather. Why would we be surprised? Here the alpacas are spending the morning exploring the snow covered pasture. Freya and Loki were pronking joyfully through their first snow. By noon it will be gone...so enjoy!
It's been a busy March. The first week we had a delightful time sharing our alpaca life with the Seattle Knitter's Guild. Gretchen presented pictures of alpacas, facts about their heritage, stories about their charming personalities and talked about the wonderful qualities of their fleece and yarn. We're looking forward to welcoming all of them to the farm this summer.
Mid-March we hosted another group of 3rd graders from the Bright Water Waldorf school in Seattle. Enthusiasm for meeting and working with the alpacas was not dampened by the rainy weather. The spinning and weaving activities were held in the warmth of the yurt. Here are pictures of the students weaving and spinning. If we get more pictures of the outdoor activities from parents who joined us for the day, I'll post them on our blog. We were delighted to hear this is their favorite field trip of the year. Our wonderful volunteers certainly enjoyed working with the students.
I'm honored to have been asked to speak to the Seattle Knitters Guild at their March 6th meeting. They will hear more about alpacas and their fiber then the ever wanted to know. We will have lots of adorable photos of alpacas on the farm...sorry the alpacas will be staying on the farm for this event. Plus we'll have our alpaca yarn, roving and products. If you're a knitter in the greater Seattle area you might check out this enthusiastic group. Looking over their past event listings, I'd say they have some terrifically talented knitters and designers speak to their group. I'm hoping they will find learning about alpacas to be just as interesting. At least I'll have adorable alpaca photos to hold their attention.
We're having a true NW winter. One day it's raining and sunny the next.
Electra and Loki settled in the shelter. The girls lovin' the spring sunshine.
Pedro, Apollo and Smitty looking a bit soggy after weeks of rain.
These alpaca boys have staked out their spaces in the shelter preferring to watch the weather from their dry spot and hoping for spring. But when visitors come with treats in hand, they are always eager to greet us.
At Christmas school break, our daughter brought home her roommate to stay with us.
We had a good time introducing her to the Northwest and our alpaca farm. She willingly helped with chores and we enjoyed learning about her native country, Vietnam. We're sorry the weather wasn't more hospitable and the oft-promised snow never materialized. Potluck
dinners with Whidbey Island friends and Christmas shopping in Seattle made for a
Looking for an alternative to the usual box of chocolates?
With Valentine's Day just around the corner our thoughts turn to special alpaca gifts. For cuddling with your love we suggest a luxurious alpaca blanket or alpaca filled duvet. Alpaca socks are perfect for turning popsicle toes into toasty toes.
Perhaps a stylish alpaca hat or scarf to keep away the winter chill; or a pair of soft alpaca gloves for your gal who has cold hands but a warm heart. For gifts under $10 we have heart-shaped Valentine red pin cushions made from our own alpaca fiber.
Give us a call 206.778.9619 or send us an email and we'll help you find the perfect alpaca gift for the love of your life.
PS. If you want to hedge your bets, you could also get a small box of chocolates and we recommend Sweet Mona's Chocolate Boutique in Langley. Luxurious alpaca and delicious chocolate...a perfect gift for your Valentine!
February Means Murder and Mayhem in Langley!
Mystery Weekend is February 23-24th. Plan your weekend getaway and join the fun. Snoop around town, find the clues and discover whodunnit! Learn more at www.visitlangley.com. Of course, stopping by the farm and getting an alpaca kiss is a must whenever you come to Whidbey. The boys are hoping to see you soon!
Gio here . . . I was elected by the guys to do the first blog post of 2013. They say I do most of the talkin' around here anyway. Hey, I just have alot on my mind and I need to say it!
Well, it's been cold and soggy these past few weeks but we're looking forward to 2013. I'm a believer in climate change.... have you seen all this rain? No, you're in your warm houses. Well, I'm just glad I have all this fleece. Whew it would be tough out here without our winter coats. Speaking of winter... it would be fun to have a little snow in the pasture. It's great to play in and our people bring us warm drinking water every day. gotta love it!
All the boys are hoping you come out to see us again soon. Last year we had a record number of people come to the farm. We love it when folks come 'cause we get treats and we get to give alpaca kisses. Yeah, we really like the girls! It's not so far to Whidbey Island...and the ferry ride is a kick! We hear the youngest cria are gettin' bigger every day. I suppose it won't be long before Loki has to leave his mom and move into the pasture with Finn and Kuro. That'll be fun to watch. Well, Happy New Year from all of us at Fern Ridge. --- yours truly, Giovanni
The most popular items in our farm store are alpaca socks. We have several choices: Survival Socks are perfect for the outdoor enthusiast; the alpaca Sport Crew socks have a cushioned sole and are very comfy; women love the Confetti design alpaca blend knee-high socks and the colorful light hiking socks. During the winter holidays... toasty warm toes are always appreciated. Click over to clothing/socks and check out your options. All socks are under $25.
And if you need a stocking to stuff....
We have one hand-knit felted stocking left. Give us a call for more details.
Other gift ideas under $25: colorful needle felted alpaca pin cushions; adorable felted alpaca ornament with traditional chullo hat; organic - felted soaps* all found with Felted products. Alpaca headbands to keep your ears warm and toasty . . . find these withHats. Alpaca fleece bird nesting balls with Home Accessories. Llama earrings along with alpaca activity and story books are located with Toys and Gifts. Needle felting kits and hand dyed felting fiber plus alpaca roving in natural colors are with Yarn and Fiber.
Call or email us and we'll help you select the perfect alpaca gift for everyone on your list!
* This is a new product hand made on Whidbey Island. We've teamed up with The Herbal Workshop to create our 'Wash Cloth and Soap in One!' The soaps are made from organic, plant-based ingredients and essential oils. Then we wet felt our alpaca fiber around the bar and you have a gently exfoliating and lightly fragrant scrub.
Check our Facebook page for special offers during December.
Hermes, our 'paca-deer', invites you to our Holiday Open House at Fern Ridge Alpacas. Stop by the farm Friday through Sunday during the Thanksgiving weekend between 10 am and 4 pm. We'll have cookies and hot cider by the fire. The alpacas will love to nibble treats from your hand. And, we can help you find holiday gifts that will be treasured for a lifetime.
This winter keep away the cold with luxuriously soft and toasty warm alpaca clothing: socks, scarves, hats, shawls and gloves. Stay cozy wrapped in a comfy alpaca-filled duvet or alpaca blanket. Select from handcrafted handbags, scarves, hats and clothing made by local fiber artists for a one-of-a-kind gift...or maybe an alpaca ornament for the tree or alpaca fiber felted soap. There are plenty of affordable gifts for your holiday shopping.
Can't make it to the farm? Visit our online farm store and give us a call 206.778.9619. We will help you find just the right alpaca gift for your friends and family.
Want to visit another day? We're open most days all year round. Give us a call or send an email to let us know you'd like to visit.
Ready to move beyond the basic knit and purl scarf?
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
What good is yarn unless you create something wonderful to wear?
Our Kick Start Your Knitting sessions are underway. A small but
enthusiastic group of knitters meet on Mondays in the yurt at Fern
Ridge to master new techniques, learn how to decode those confusing knitting
patterns or ask any question that comes to mind. As beginners, we were tired of just doing the basic knit
and purl scarves, but now we're confidently knitting a cabled keyhole scarf, hobo gloves and mobius cowls. With Jennifer's thoughtful and patient teaching everything we dreamed of knitting seems possible.
Here in progress are a pair of 'hobo' gloves and a cabled keyhole scarf.
And, one of our students
has said: "I'm getting an opportunity to learn to knit in the most wonderful environment I could ask for!"
a chair by the fire in our cozy yurt - just waiting for you to join us
for personalized knitting instruction. Bring a project you want help with or we'll get you set up with something new and you'll be knitting with confidence before you know it. Personalized instruction Mondays from 10 am - noon. $20/session. Send us an email for more info and to register.