Thursday, November 29, 2012

Etsy Updates!

Well life has been pretty boring, so there's really not much to write about!  I was very successful in updating the Etsy store this past week though, getting ready for our Thanksgiving sale.  So there are lots of new things in the shop that would make perfect Christmas presents!

There is tons of fiber and roving now in the shop!  I've listed all of our 2012 llama and alpaca fleeces, as well as the roving made from our 2011 fleeces.  I've also started a new fiber CSA program, where you can buy a 2013 fleece (as raw fleece, hand carded batts, or handspun yarn) and help support our fiber farm!

Ralph's (alpaca) 2012 fleece.  

Kara, one of the 2 remaining llama CSAs available.  This will be her first shearing, so this fleece will be magnificent!  It has already won 2nd place in a fleece-on class!

Our llama blend roving from 2011.  It is luscious to spin!

There is also lots of handspun yarn.  Many were 2012 Indiana State Fair class winners!  Every skein is 100% unique!

Handspun wool/silk/cotton yarn.

And for those who don't craft, we even have handwoven and hand knit items already made.  We have eco-friendly (recycled fabric) rugs, scarves, hats, fingerless mitts, ear bands, you name it!

A handspun handknit hat.

A matching set of wool ear band and fingerless mitts (sold separately).

Handwoven rug.

Handwoven scarf.

So if you're looking for Christmas presents, don't delay!  We will be taking orders until Dec. 17, so that you will get everything before Christmas.  If you don't see exactly what you're looking for, send me an email or convo me through Etsy and we can work out a custom order.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Sale on Etsy!

In between class, working in the lab, and writing my thesis, I've updated most of my Etsy inventory (most have lower prices!) and added a bunch of new handspun yarn and woven rugs!

In honor of the holiday this week, we're having a Thanksgiving sale!  Use the coupon code FALL20 to get 20% off your purchase from our Etsy store!

And check back daily for the rest of the week for more updated pictures and new knit items!

Check out our store!  There's a gift for everyone!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fiber Progress!

I've had quite a bit of time to knit recently, and have made good progress on Christmas presents!  I'm not sure I posted pictures of any of the earlier ones, so I'll start way back in August!

This is a beautiful purple (sorry, crappy camera!) lace cowl that I knit from Stonehenge Fiber Mill yarn.  Either sport or worsted weight, can't quite remember.  It sold very quickly at one of the fiber fairs I attended this fall.

Next is a bee shell for a stuffed turtle I made my future nephew.  His parents raise bees, so I just had to make the bee shell!  Christmas present #1!

One of my frequent "stash busting" projects.  A pair of finglerless mitts from some scrap wool/mohair yarn my mom bought to bind the edges of her hooked rug.  They also sold quickly at the Pioneer Fair.

This is the first of my selfish earband to finish off my trio of winter items for myself!  The yarn is handspun (by me!) merino wool that I got at the Michigan Sheep & Wool Fest last year.  I made fingerless mitts and a cowl last winter and the earband is the last piece!

Another gift...this time a belated birthday present for my fiance.  I had the slippers knit before his birthday, but I had to wait til he visited to felt them so they would fit!  Sewing on the soles took forever but they look awesome and he loves them!

Another selfish project...washable fingerless gloves for myself.  I decided I needed something for future winter barn work, and they've already come in handy at 2 fall llama shows!

Birthday present #2...socks for my sister.  Unfortunately she loves handknit socks, and I hate knitting them!  The yarn is 10% cashmere and absolutely fabulous though, so at least it is fun to knit with!  One sock is done and the other is about halfway there...

And Christmas #2 or birthday #3...slippers for my mom.  I couldn't find the yarn that the pattern called for but decided to hold 2 strands of the Brown Sheep wool/mohair worsted weight together (in place of a bulky weight), and it works great!  I hope they hold up...they aren't felted...

I've also started on a mohair caplet for myself to wear to a friend's winter wedding next month...currently that is my #1 project to finish.  The rest will probably have to wait til I'm done with school!

Speaking of, school is winding down for me, and that means that life is about to get really crazy.  So I'll be taking a month or so hiatus from the blog so I can focus!  I'll try to get a post or two in before Christmas though once I get back home.  And spring next year should be really exciting as I move to NY and work on bringing an old farm up to speed to house my llamas starting in the summer!

Monday, November 5, 2012


What a great weekend at the North American International Livestock Expo (aka NAILE)!!  I took my two little "guys"...Ralph and Kara.  At just 6 months old Kara is already bigger than Ralph!  (She weighed 163 lbs on Sunday, at 6 months and 1 week old!)

Anyway, the show was a huge success.  I entered both of them in pretty much every class possible.  Friday night Kara had her fleece evaluated for walking fleece, and ended up placing 2nd in Single Coat fleece with crimp, under 24 months!

Kara's baby fleece...can't wait to shear her next spring!

Saturday was quite hectic, running back and forth between 3 show rings...alpaca, performance, and llama halter!  Ralph and I won the Adult Alpaca Showmanship class, and then he got 1st and GRAND CHAMPION in his halter class (non-breeder alpaca) too!  Kara didn't do so hot in halter Saturday, placing 7th out of 11 (I think) in Silky Juvenile Female.  For some reason my sweet little girl doesn't want anyone but me to touch her!  Both Ralph and Kara went through 2 performance classes- obstacle and public relations.  Ralph won both of the alpaca performance classes, and of course Kara didn't place in her respective Novice classes.  But she did pretty well!  Ralph also had his fleece judged for walking fleece, and also got a 2nd in his class- Dark over 24 months.

Ralph and I in Adult Alpaca Showmanship.

Sunday went much better for Kara!  I decided to try Adult Showmanship since she behaved so well Saturday in halter, and we placed 6th out of 10-11.  She did amazing in halter too, placing 3rd out of 8-9 in Medium Wool Juvenile Female!  The judge really liked her!  Ralph continued his winning streak, winning Open Alpaca Pack and essentially getting GRAND CHAMPION Open Alpaca Performance!

Kara and I in Adult Showmanship.

Oh, and my skein of alpaca/silk handspun yarn won the handspun yarn class too!

Overall, it was the perfect way to end the show season this year!  I can't wait to work with Kara some more and take her back into the ring next year!

I'll apologize now for the lack of posts in the coming is getting crazy!

Mom and baby...Kara and Bluff were very happy to be reunited after the show!

I was glad I left T at home...Kara and Ralph are so much easier to groom!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Humming Hoosier Classic!

Finally some real news from the farm!  On Oct. 13 I attended the Humming Hoosier Classic llama show in Crawfordsville, IN.  It was a bit of a chilly day, but a fun show none the less.

I took Ralph, T, and Kara to the show.  It was Kara's first time away from home and Bluff, but she did great!

Ralph and Kara chilling out between classes.  Kara is now taller than Ralph at only 5.5 months old!

The first class of the day was Kara's halter class, and she got 2nd in her age division and 4th overall!

My beautiful little girl!

Look at those ears!

Next was T in halter and showmanship.  He won his halter class, and we got 4th in showmanship.  He didn't want to behave for some reason!

T finally standing pretty!

And last was Novice Pack.  The show went really slow, so we had to leave before we got to compete in Obstacle and Public Relations.  None of my animals placed, but they all did really well.  T was really squirrely again, but Ralph was really good and Kara did a lot of obstacles she had never seen before!  Not to mention it was the first time she had a pack on!

Ralph in Novice Pack, getting ready to put the bag of cans on his back.

Overall a great show!  Now there's just 2 more weeks til the last show of the year, the North American International Livestock Expo in Louisville, KY!  That show will be just Ralph and Kara.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall Craft Fairs!

Things have been pretty quiet on the llama front now that I'm back at school for my final semester, but I've been keeping busy with craft fairs this fall!

The first one was the annual Shelby County Pioneer Fair back home in Indiana.  I actually sold a ton of stuff that weekend, and had a lot of fun spinning on a big walking wheel!  Don't have any pictures though, mostly because I was dressed in my 1800s costume and didn't want evidence!

I was supposed to do another craft fair the next weekend back in Michigan, but due to forecasted rainy weather (which never happened) I decided not to go.

The following weekend I found yet another craft fair (technically a heritage festival) to go to for a day.  I finally remembered my camera so I have pictures!  The event was held at the Woldumar Nature Center outside of Lansing, MI.  There were several craft vendors, as well as costumed demonstrators, a native flute player, a petting zoo area, wagon rides, and games and activities for kids.  I didn't sell much, but I had a great day spinning in the beautiful fall weather!  I ended up spinning about a pound of the BFL roving that I'm working on for a handspun sweater.

Pioneer cabin on the grounds near the nature center.

Indian dwellings built for the event.

My little "booth" at the heritage festival.

Now that the craft fairs are over for the year (at least for me), all of my handmade items will be working their way back to my Etsy site in the near future.  Just need to get pictures of the new stuff to list!  Start thinking about Christmas gifts early!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Llama Biography #8: Little Cattessa

Well yet another llama that came along before digital cameras...I promise some of the next ones will have more pictures!

Little Cattessa, fondly referred to as Tessa, was the second cria (first planned one) that was born on our farm.  Her mom, SHAG Cattera, was bred shortly after we purchased her, and Tessa was born the next fall (October 2000).  I remember that she was born while mom and I were at the Blue River Pioneer Fair in Shelbyville, and I went running out to the barn in my dress when we got home!
My sister and Tessa winning Grand Champion Junior Performance at the 2002 Hamilton County Fair.

Tessa was the first in a long line of white crias for Cattera.  Her dad was a gorgeous appy male owned by Shagbark Ridge Llamas.  Tessa had a few red spots, but nothing like her dad!

SHAG Cattera, Cattessa's dam.
Since May (Little May Flowers) was "my" cria of the year, my sister took over Tessa.  They made a great team too.  2001 was my sister's first year in 4-H, and Tessa was her show llama.  She ended up being very well-trained and was very tolerant!  My sister really cleaned up at the shows!  She showed Tessa in 2002 as well, and then she was sold to a new farm in Martinsville.

Tessa went on to have a great show career for her new owners as well.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Llama Biography #7: Casa Loma's Rhapsody in the Rain

Well I can't come up with anything interesting or exciting to blog about tonight, so I thought I'd do another llama biography!  This one will be pretty short, as Rhapsody wasn't at our farm very long.
Rhapsody, fall 2000.

Rhapsody came to our farm in spring 2000 with her dam, Alder Crest April Showers.  Rhapsody is a half sister to our first llama, Casa Loma's Little Sheba (same dad).  Unfortunately Rhapsody didn't get her dad's beautiful coloration, nor her mom's!

Alder Crest April Showers, Rhapsody's dam.
Muellama's Lou Chama, Rhapsody's sire.
Rhapsody spent most of her life at our farm as a pasture ornament.  She didn't quite have the personality for performance, so neither my sister nor I used her for 4-H.  We sold her to a friend of the family in 2001 (along with SHAG Lakota), and they had her bred to Gone Platinum, a gorgeous tan male owner by another friend.  A year later, Platinum's Melody was born.  Melody definitely has the coloration of her grandparents, and the brain for personality like her dad.  About a year after Melody was born, all three llamas came back to our farm.  They were soon sold again, this time to a 4-H family in southern Indiana.  All three llamas were used for 4-H, and Melody became quite the star!  Melody is still winning performance classes today with her 4-H handlers!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fall Outlook

It was great being home this summer, as I could do tons of things with the llamas whenever I wanted!  It won't be nearly as easy this fall now that I'm back in Michigan for school, but I'm going to do my best to keep going with llama shows and fiber events!

First on the calendar is LamaFest, which is this coming weekend!  It is held at the MSU Pavilion: Friday evening and all day Saturday and Sunday.  I won't be able to actually show a llama this year, but I'll be around Saturday to help with the fiber show and walking fiber.  It's a great show, if you're in the Lansing area you should check it out!

Annie and Ralph at the 2011 LamaFest show.

Next is the Shelby County Pioneer Fair back home in Shelbyville, IN.  It is being held at the fairgrounds in town, Sept. 15-16.  I'll be there (in costume!) spinning on a walking wheel and selling some of my handcrafted fiber items.  There will be lots of things to see and do (hand's on stuff for kids too!), so stop by and say hi!

A example of the handknit items that I will be selling at the Pioneer Fair.  I'll also have handspun yarn and handwoven rugs and scarves.

The next Saturday after that is the Meridian Township Heritage Festival in Okemos, MI.  It's actually a lot like the Pioneer Fair (not quite as cool, but at least they're trying!).  Once again I'll be there spinning (not in 1800s clothing though) and selling fiber items.  The farmer's market is also being held at the same time, so it's a great Saturday event!

My set-up at the Meridian Township Craft Marketplace last summer.

October 13 is the first of two llama shows for the fall (where I actually get to show llamas that is!).  A local 4-H club is putting on a double ILR-SD llama show (halter and performance) in Crawfordsville.  I'm planning on bringing the boys (Ralph and T), as well as debuting Kara in the show ring for the first time!  Hopefully I can find some time to work with her on the obstacle course and get her pack trained...she has a great performance personality!

Let's hope Kara poses this well in her halter class at the shows!

And last but not least is the North American International Livestock Expo in Louisville, KY, Nov. 2-4. This is one of my all-time favorite llama shows, and I'm so glad I get to go again this year!  It's been at least 6-7 years since I've shown there!  This one's a little more expensive, so I'm just taking Ralph and Kara.  Kara probably won't be as good of a showmanship partner as T would be, but I'd rather show Ralph in open alpaca performance!  Either way it will be a great show!

The last time I took a young cria to show at the NAILE.  This is Autumn Hill's Charity at just over 5 months of age, and she did quite well!  I hope Kara will do just as good!

So that's a bit of what's going on in my neck of the woods this fall...what are your plans?

I also have a lot of fiber projects in mind to work on this fall.  I have at least 3 knitting projects that I need to finish before Christmas, and I have 2 sweaters (one with handspun yarn that also needs to be spun!) that I want to knit!  Plus a big tapestry weaving project that also needs handspun yarn!  I'm going to be busy, but it should be fun!

Two of the "donors" of fur for my tapestry weaving is all natural dog fur!

Friday, August 17, 2012

FOR SALE: Overman Bluff N Fluff

It's sad to have to do this, but the time has come to look for a new home for Bluff.  The herd is moving to central NY next spring/summer, and I have to downsize as much as possible.  I'm keeping Bluff's gorgeous daughter, Kara, to carry on the legacy in my future breeding herd.

Bluff at ~6 months of age (Fall 2006).

Bluff is definitely one of the coolest llamas I've ever purchased, and she is still one of my favorites on the farm.  I bought her in 2008 from Doug Overman of Overman Llamas in Otterbein, IN.  She was only halter trained, but she had a very calm disposition and I knew she would be easy to train.

Bluff at ~1 year of age (Spring 2007).

A family friend showed Bluff at her first show (Kentuckiana Classic) just a month after we purchased her, and Bluff placed 2nd in a very competitive halter class.

Bluff in April 2008.

A couple of months after that I showed Bluff for the first time at the Allen Co. Open show, where she placed 1st and Grand Champion in halter!  I was over the moon!  We also went to the Ohio State Fair, where she placed 2nd in her first Novice performance class!

Bluff and I in Adult Showmanship at the 2008 Ohio State Fair.

Shortly before the Allen Co. show we bred Bluff for the first time (to MRLF Ridge Runner- our ALSA Halter Champion herdsire at the time), and Bluff entered the "mom" portion of her life.  In June 2009 she gave birth to Autumn Hill's Rainier, who has since gone on to win Champions in halter and place in many competitive Novice performance classes with his new owner.

Bluff and Rainier at the 2009 Indiana State Fair.

Bluff and Rainier getting ready for the costume class.  Bluff is the one covered from head to toe!

Rainier at ~2 months of age (Summer 2009).

We bred Bluff back to Ridge later that fall, and in October 2010 she delivered Autumn Hill's Iliamna (aka Lily).  Lily was almost perfect in every way, and it was devastating when we lost her to a cruel dog attack at just 3 months of age.

Lily and Bluff, Fall 2010.

Desperate for a Bluff/Ridge baby to keep for myself, we bred Bluff back to Ridge one more time, and Autumn Hill's Karakoram (aka Kara) was born this past April (2012).  She is even more colorful than her two full siblings, and I hope she matures just as well as Rainier has!  She shows a lot of potential, and has her mom's fabulous personality.

Kara and Bluff, Spring 2012.

Kara and Bluff, Spring 2012.

As much as I hate to see her go, Bluff deserves to be more than a pasture ornament.  She has an extremely friendly personality, and would make a great Public Relations llama.  You can touch her anywhere, and she isn't spooked by large crowds or loud noises.  She would also make a wonderful 4-H or open show llama.  She's already obstacle, pack, and costume trained, and would have potential as a driving llama.  With a little bit of practice she would be amazing!  And with all of the gorgeous crias she has produced, Bluff also would make a great breeding female.  She has good conformation, huge stature, and tons of presence.  Her fiber is gorgeous and she passes on her sweet personality.

Bluff, Winter 2008.

So you can decide...what could Bluff bring to your herd?  I'm asking only $500 for Bluff, which is much less than what she is worth, especially with her training.  And to the right home, I would even consider lowering her price.  She is a one-of-a-kind llama, and deserves to have a home that can appreciate that!  Visit our Facebook page, or call (317-979-2669) or email (llamapyr 25 @ (get rid of the spaces!) for more information on this gorgeous girl!

And last but definitely not least...her bloodlines.  Her sire is MSF Ringmaster...a Tuna Catcher son from the famous Mark Smith Llama Farm!  Her dam is a beautiful white Chilean girl, who throws a lot of gorgeous female crias!

Bluff's sire, MSF Ringmaster.

Bluff's dam, Chilean Fluff & Buff.