It is 2021.Most of the time I say, “Boy this past year just flew, didn’t it?” But that is not the case this year. The year seems to have taken forever to go by. Looking forward to new beginnings this year. I think we still have a lot to process from what happened last year. But let’s do that another day.
I started back to crocheting these past weeks and am using the yarn spun from our Alpacas’ fiber. That sounds so simple doesn’t it? But this is what was actually involved. Every year we take our alpacas to be shorn before the hot summer starts. Now that is a sight if you ever saw one. First, you catch the alpacas by cornering them in their run and put halters on them. Then you lead or drag them as in the case of Coco and load them in to the stock trailer. So in the middle of the Covid pandemic we took them to our friend Barbara Mathern’s neighbor’s farm where many local alpaca ranchers were meeting the travelling shearers. Of course, we were all masked and socially distanced. Still seems so strange thinking about it all.
The 2 shearers made quick work of caring for our alpacas in a large open garage with the necessary Covid pandemic ventilation. First the alpaca is tied by the arms and the legs to keep them still so the shearers can quickly remove their fleece.
Once they were shorn I would examine them for any signs of infections, parasites etc. Here is Annie, as pregnant as can be, right before I gave her her yearly vaccine. It is much easier to do this while she is nice and still and you can see her skin where before thick piles of alpaca fiber lay.
After the alpacas have their fiber shorn, vaccines given and toenails clipped, they have their dental work done. The shearers, now turned dentists, use a Dremel type tool to grind the alpacas’ teeth down. This was not their favorite part for sure. They did not even have the option of watching a video during the procedure.
So once the alpacas were all cared for, we loaded them back up in the livestock trailer and drove the bewildered alpacas back home. They were much easier to unload and willingly scampered back in to their run acting more sheepish and embarrassed than alpacaish. We took the fiber to The Good Shepherd Fiber Mill in Elizabeth, Colorado where the lady owner there does such an amazing job with processing the fiber in to useable product. I usually have all of the fiber turned into rovings ready for spinning. This year I had some of the fiber actually machine spun into 2 ply yarn at the Fiber Mill. So when I decided to crochet all I had to do was pull out the large spools of alpaca yarn and decide which color I wanted to use. So far I have made hats and socks for my grandsons Julian and Micah who live in England. The fiber I used for those was from our male alpaca Barak. Here is Micah with his hat and socks in Merry Old England where he lives with his brother Julian, Dad Simon and our daughter Sarah, his Mom.
Now I am working on a baby blanket for our daughter Elena’s new baby which is due in April of this year. She lives in New Zealand and it will be starting to go into winter there at that time. I am using Coco’s fiber for the blanket.
I am so thankful for our wonderful alpacas and the fiber they give us for clothing and blankets. I told them that yesterday when I fed them. I did not bring up the fact that we are only a few months away from going through the whole shearing ordeal again. I think it is best for them not to worry about that right now.
I am so thankful for how the Lord has cared for us this past year during the awful pandemic of 2020 that changed all of our lives. I know we have all been through the mill. Here I am looking a little bewildered myself as I was getting my Covid shot this past week at the end of 2020.
I know that He will take care of me and my family and our animals this next year. I asked Him to. I can imagine Him smiling down at me during my prayers and deciding not to bring up the tough times that will be coming in 2021. He knows that if I do not lead willingly in to whatever He has for me, He will be there to drag or carry me through. That is all I have to know for now. Back to crocheting.
Isaiah 48: 17
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.”