Fern Ridge Alpacas

Our Whidbey Island alpaca farm is located just 3 miles from the Mukilteo / Clinton Ferry landing.

Just 30 minutes north of Seattle, Whidbey Island is an easy getaway to enjoy the beauty of Puget Sound.

We're open most days.
A quick call or email will assure that we are able to give you a proper farm tour. 206.510.0434

7343 Holst Road
Clinton, WA 98236

206.778.9619
info@FernRidgeAlpacas.com

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An abundance of luxurious alpaca yarn.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

We are so pleased to announce the our finished skeins of yarn from the prime fiber from our 2014 harvest has arrived. It's a perfect time to start your knitted and crocheted holiday gift projects. To achieve our premium yarns I sort our raw fleece into grades by their fiber characteristics. This process results in yarn with more uniformity of fiber, a smoother feel, less fuzziness and less pilling in the finished product. All of our skeins are 250 yd and 3ply.

Today in our farm store in a yurt you will find a father/daughter blend of Smitty and Freya in a beautiful rose grey yarn. If you prefer silver gray, Pedro never fails to please with his gorgeous yarn. Our brown alpacas produce yarn in various hues from mahogany to rich chocolate. And there's brilliant white from our award winning Demitrius and his buddy Giovanni that make lovely finished products you can dye or enjoy as is. We have just a couple skeins of Kuro's incredibly lustrous black yarn left. 

Our farm store also features hand-spun and hand-dyed yarns from local Whidbey fiber artists in various fibers and skein lengths including 2 ply medium fawn suri alpaca.

If you don't knit or crochet, we have an assortment of one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted scarves and hats in a variety of fibers created by Whidbey Island fiber artists. New this year we have wet felted natural fiber shawls/wraps along with detailed knit/felted handbags. We also offer lovely alpaca products imported from Peru. 

There's lots to discover to inspire your creativity. Plan a visit to the farm this fall! 


A Fabulous Farm Tour.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

The weather gave us a perfect fall day on Whidbey - sunshine and lovely temps. But the friendly visitors that visited our farm during Farm Tour were the highlight of the weekend. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of you -- all 300+.  Our 4H and fiber friends demonstrated spinning and knitting and shared their love of alpacas with our visitors. Special thanks to Cherie, Elizabeth, Linda, Doug, Ben, Christoph, Sarah, Brittany, Kristen, Rebecca and Janice who spent their time helping out during the tour. And our visitors enjoyed tasting the treats provided by Janae of the LunchBox. Look for her around the island at various events. 

Here are a couple of pics from the weekend. 

Public broadcasting crew filmed at the farm.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Recently we were contacted by the Educational Broadcasting System of South Korea. They are producing an educational show about raising alpacas and wanted to film at our farm. It was great fun to work with these delightful filmmakers. The alpacas were curious about our visitors with their equipment, but they took it all in stride. 

They filmed one of our herd health activities - clipping alpaca toenails and Demetrius stood their patiently while Hal demonstrated. We were very proud of him and it goes to show how important the extra 4H training is to have well-behaved alpacas. They also filmed carding, hand spinning and weaving and the alpacas enjoying the sunshine in their pasture.  

Then we took them over to nearby Abundant Earth Fiber Mill, a commercial cottage mill, owned by our friend Lydia Christiansen. This gave them a great opportunity to film the large scale mill pickers, carders and spinners processing fiber into yarn. 

We are excited to see the finished film for their South Korean audience. I hope it comes with sub-titles!


Whidbey Farm Tour this weekend.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September 20 and 21st

Learn about growing Christmas trees, raising cattle, goats and chickens. Walk the fields of organically raised veggies. Visit an historic Whidbey farm where they teach the next generation of organic farmers. Taste liqueurs from locally grown fruit. Learn about European style intensive gardening. See Whidbey's new fiber processing mill and see fiber producing alpacas. Pick up a snack at the Lunch Box at Fern Ridge and have dinner at one of Whidbey's fine restaurants featuring local ingredients. Stop by Bayview Corner to hear about Whidbey's Slow Food event, our local food bank and school district garden programs and much more! 

Pick up a brochure on the ferry or download map from www.WhidbeyFarmTour.com

It will be a great weekend. You don't want to miss it!

Summer Alpaca Fun.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Summer always brings the county fair and Island County is no exception. In lovely Langley on Whidbey Island we have a terrific fair. Carnival rides, hot dogs, cotton candy, live music, homemade food, handmade quilts and art, and lots of 4H kids with their project animals. We enjoyed the horses in the arena, cows and pigs in the barn and there was lots to learn about alpacas. 

Five of our alpacas were at the fair and their 4H-handlers did a great job. They had a lot of fun leading their alpacas through the obstacles, winning ribbons and talking about alpacas with the public. I hope to get a few pictures from one of our 4H dads and will post them when I can.

Now that Fall is approaching we look forward to the island's end-of-summer celebration of our agricultural heritage and our local working farms. The Whidbey Island Farm Tour is a chance to visit a variety of farms from Oak Harbor to Clinton. Some of these farms are not open to the public except on farm tour weekend. Besides the farms you can also visit a distillery sourcing their fruit locally and a fiber mill that takes locally produced fiber and spins it into yarn.  See all the farms and producers on the tour at www.whidbeyfarmtour.com

THE GIRLS (and Braun!) INVITE YOU TO THE WHIDBEY FARM TOUR
SEPTEMBER 20th and 21st

Can't make the farm tour? We look forward to seeing you at Fern Ridge Alpacas most any time.


Thank you FiberQuesters.

Monday, July 14, 2014

We were delighted to meet all the fabulous fiber lovers who participated in the Whidbey Island FiberQuest with a Summer Twist. It seemed the Summer Twist was our record temperatures! It was certainly hot on Whidbey. At Fern Ridge we had 2 groups of visitors from San Diego and another family from Toronto. More local FiberQuesters came from Lynnwood, Everett, Seattle and many more from our very own island. It was a great weekend and thanks to all of you for visiting our farms. We enjoyed chatting with each one of you. 

  And the winner is.... We had 19 entries in our fleece weight guessing game during FiberQuest. Guesses ranged from 300 to 1.5 ounces. The large volume of fluff can be deceiving. We had 3 who guessed it right at 16 ounces. So we put those tickets   in the hat and drew out a winner. Jewel will be receiving an adorable hand-felted   alpaca ornament. Thanks to everyone who participated! 

  We hope to see you all again at the farm.  

FiberQuest in July.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

 

July may be sunny and hot but fall and winter are not far away. The Whidbey Island FiberQuest is a great event to kick start your knitting and fiber projects for warm winter accessories and holiday gift giving. 

This year's FiberQuest includes 6 fiber farms and 2 yarn shops. For each $25 purchase you make at a farm or shop you will be entered to win a $50 gift certificate. Also, visit all 8 stores, have your ticket stamped and be entered to win a $25 gift certificate. The hours are 10 - 5 pm on Saturday July 12 and Sunday July 13.  You can pick up your ticket at your first stop. Visit www.whidbeyfiberquest.com to get a map of all the participating farms and yarn shops on the island.

At Fern Ridge Alpacas we will also have additional contests!  

The weather is going to be wonderful next weekend and Whidbey Island is well worth the trip for the fabulous ferry ride, the lovely scenic roadways through farm and forest. And, of course, the adventure of finding unique fiber treasures on FiberQuest. 

Start planning your fall fiber projects next weekend. See you at the farm next weekend!

Alpaca fleece harvest is in.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

20 alpacas plus 2 llamas and 3 alpaca neighbors equals a long day of shearing. But it was a successful day all around. We were especially grateful there was no rain during the first week of June. As we live in the northwest we are used to having to put up extra shelters to keep the alpacas under cover several days before shearing. 

We are careful every year to have all our alpacas' fleece absolutely dry for shearing day. If the fiber is too wet, the shearer cannot safely do the job. And, even if it's a little damp you end up with bags of wet fleece; which if left too long you have bags of mildewy fleece. But, alas, the weather cooperated beautifully and we had a very productive day harvesting the luxurious alpaca fleece.  

A FEW OF THE GIRLS: PRE AND POST SHEARING

The day after shearing I spent all day sorting fleece by grades and then shipped much of it out to be spun into yarn. We'll have to wait a few weeks for yarn to come back from the mill. 

NEW YARN IN TODAY! We just received over 40 skeins of our alpaca yarn from the mill. We now have in stock lovely silver gray, a soft light fawn, rich dark browns and Apollo's bright white. 

SUMMER ON WHIDBEY. Now that the weather is reliably summer, we encourage everyone to plan a day trip to Whidbey Island and visit the farm. Or you may want to make a weekend of it and relax in one of the island's many B&Bs, walk on the beach, visit art studios, tour the waterfront with Whidbey Kayaks, and shop and dine in Langley. And, of course, include a visit with our alpacas. 

Woo-hoo! USA Today's readers have ranked Whidbey as #3 of Best Islands in the US to visit. Well, we already knew that.

Farm visitor tickled by the alpacas.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thanks to Whidbey Island business writer Carolyn Tamler Fern Ridge Alpacas is featured in various island online publications. Recently Carolyn, a tireless promoter of local companies, brought a friend to meet our alpacas. Here her friend was tickled by the alpacas eating treats from her hand.

 

This is Memorial Day weekend and true to NW form it's wet. But that doesn't stop our visitors from coming to visit with the alpacas. We've had several families and couples stop by the farm this weekend. There's only one more weekend before the alpacas are shorn. So if you want to see them at their fluffiest...now is the time!

It must be spring, Mother's Day is May 11.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

May gives us a special day to honor our Mothers - May 11.  If you're looking for something special to give your mother visit our farm store in a yurt. We offer luxuriously soft alpaca clothing, handknit accessories and felted gifts. Alpaca filled duvets will keep her cozy on cool spring nights and a handwoven alpaca rug will keep her toes warm all year round. If mom likes to knit or crochet, we produce premium yarn from Whidbey Island's friendliest alpacas. Come by the farm, meet the alpacas and discover a luxurious gift for mom.

If you can't make it to the farm - look at our online store and give us a call or send an email and we'll help you find just the perfect alpaca gift. 206.510.0434  info@fernridgealpacas.com

Bendito takes advantage of those precious sunny days to stretch out in the warm grass. Pedro, Smitty and Demi sniff the spring air and look for fresh grass to nibble. We're all glad that spring is here. However, as I write this blog post I can hear the rains pounding on my roof. It must be spring in the Northwest.

 

 

CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
Electra's New Cria
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Gallery of Customer Projects
Becky's beautiful cabled scarf made yarn hand-dyed by local fiber artist, Heidi Jill PriceIncredibly beautiful cowl knitted by Denise from Demitrius' blue ribbon yarn!
Denise's Fingerless Gloves from Hermes YarnBecky's Scarf from Giovanni's Handspun Yarn

Summer Days on the Farm
4H handler learning to shear PippinBarn before the hay was in.
Girls relaxing in the sunny pasture250+ bales of hay fill the barn. Thanks to our invaluable helper.
Learning new skills from Kate, our 4H judge and training coach.4H handlers and their alpacas lined up and listening for directions

4H Spring Show
Successfully came through the tunnelKuro carefully walks through obstacles
A speed test winding through the polesThat top step was a little tippy
Dressed and ready for showing

Before and After Harvest
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Waldorf School Visit
Up close with the alpaca girlsTrying new cat's cradle patterns
A lesson with the drop spindleMastering the art
First intro to the alpaca boysAsa is sniffing her new friend while Katie Rose watches closely
Getting a chance to lead a haltered alpacaFarm chores - cleaning up the paddock
Helping to harvest worm castingsAlpaca boys getting into the class photo
Two helpers filling water buckets

Alpaca Snow Day
Girls wondering if it's time to come in yetHeavy with snow the branches are the right height for munching
Snowy farm roadBoys chasing each other in the snow
Mom's running in the snow