Llamas and Peacocks and Puppies! Oh, My!

Happily, llama shearing on Tuesday turned out to be a mostly dry affair. Rain threatened all afternoon but only actually materialized for about ten minutes.

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Nineteen llamas started out sporting a full year’s growth of fiber, and by the time the end of the day rolled around, they were each a pound or two lighter. It’s a fascinating process. I’d had a chance to see alpaca shearing a couple of times, but this was my first time with the llamas. They have an amazing vibe—very calm but tuned in. Rather than being mortified by the experience like the alpacas seemed to be, they were mostly just interested in what was going on.

I’m pretty sure that’s Knickita in the picture below. She’s the gorgeous white llama whose fiber became my Lin-Lin Shawl.

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Most of the llamas stood patiently for the shearing. Mellie, below, decided she didn’t like the shearing cage, but she was so relaxed with our friend Mary Lou nearby that the shearer was able to just let her stand free in the barn while she did her thing.

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Notice the tiny chicken head in the bottom right corner of the picture above. This chicken was awesome. Apparently, she likes to lay her eggs in that particular spot under the hay rack in the barn. She usually has the place all to herself, but with shearing going on, it was chaotic. There were multiple llamas, two shearing stations, all kinds of people, a couple of Pyrenees puppies tromping around the place, and a crazy amount of noise, but she insisted on being in her regular spot. She eventually turned her back on all of us and faced the wall. About half an hour later, she got up, made a bunch of noise, and walked out. I looked down where she’d been and found a perfect little brown egg. Totally cracked me up. I’m pretty sure there’s a life lesson here.

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The sweet face below is one of the puppies. Our friends have two of them who are in the process of learning how to be flock guardians. They’re very, very cute and have already learned that if they want to be petted, they should come up to you and sit.


And this is Sydney, the peacock:

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He made a very serious sounding, loud, piercing call on and off, all day long. I kept wondering if he was just trying to look busy so he didn’t get accused of slacking while everyone else was working so hard.

Bottom line—it was a lot of fun, one more absolutely cool thing I got to do that I’m fairly certain I would have never been part of if we hadn’t left Chicago.

On the knitting front, I’m ready to finish up the body of my 28thirty. It hits about mid hip at this point, so I just need to do the bottom border, and then it’s on to the sleeves. Woohooo!

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I got a little package from Jimmy Beans in the mail with these fun things. The yarn is some cotton I was thinking of trying out for CeCe. I might still do a swatch, but I’m pretty committed to using the Madelinetosh Pashmina if it ever gets here. The project bag just appeared in my cart. No idea how that happened.

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Aaaaand, this is the yarn I’m going to try out for the Basics course in preparation for the Master Knitter program. I’ll do a little swatching with each of these to see which one I like knitting with the most and that produces the best result when I block it. All three are popular options for the program, but I thought it would be good to try them out for myself since I’ll be spending so much time knitting with them. I’m pretty excited about getting started finally.

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That’s it for today. Be well. And happy knitting!


  1. I’m really glad the weather cooperated for you, especially after how alpaca shearing went last year. One of these days I’d like to get to see llama shearing, but it’s always on weekdays. I hope you’re going to share your experience with the Master Knitter’s program. That is so exciting and ambitious. But then again, you can do anything and it’s not a surprise you are going to take that challenge on.

  2. melinda

    Look who’s talking, Ms. Scholarship 😉

    You would definitely like llama shearing better than alpaca shearing in terms of the llamas not minding it. They seem to dislike getting haltered more than they dislike the shearing. There were only a couple who seemed to get a little irritated by the process, and they kept swatting at the clippers when they’d get near their back legs. Only two or three actually seemed nervous. The lady who did the shearing was super quick and efficient which helped a lot.

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