Monday, August 25, 2008

How I spent my Sunday.

Will you just look at this face??? Ever since I knit with their soft delicious yarn and saw pictures, I'd wanted to visit and Alpaca farm, and see these animals for myself. I knew there were some farms in New Jersey. In Cape May, there is Bay Springs Farm. I was going to make it a point to get there soon, since that was the only one I knew was around, except for one out near Philly. Well, imagine my surprise last week when I opened an email to my Stitch and Bitch group from Debbie Stoller. There was an event planned for Sunday Aug 24, out near Philly. It was "Pacas in Paradise" which was basically an event to showcase alpacas for sale. There would be fiber and yarn for sale too, and Debbie Stoller would be there signing books. I thought if the weather was not beach worthy, I might take a ride out and see. Well, imagine my even more surprise when I received another email to the group the next day that due to a tree falling at the original farm location, the event would be held at Alma Park Alpacas in Jackson, NJ! Less than 1/2 hour from me. Well, it was a no-brainer, I was going.
I didn't know what to expect, so I headed out expecting a crowd of hundreds, kind of like when we went to see the Yarn Harlot at her book signing. Or when I foolishly thought this year on 4th of July night I could head out to the beach in Bay Head to watch the fireworks a few miles away from Point Beach there would only be a few people there like when I was a kid, and the place was mobbed. As I headed into the farm down the dusty bumpy dirt rode, (I'm so sorry I got you all dirtyKate!) I could not believe it...there were only a few cars there. I parked my car, and walked down to towards the barn. And caught my first sighting ever of real live Alpacas! That was only a few of the many I saw there. Set up outside the barn was a canopy and tables and chairs, and none other than Debbie Stoller herself. What a genuine, funny, unpretentious person. She was signing books, and I bought along my first book I purchased when I began knitting again, "Stitch and Bitch" for her to sign, which she did. She also was there to do a demonstration on intarsia knitting, and invited those of us there to grab some needles and yarn and join in. I decided just to watch and take pictures, but I got a good grasp of the technique. If you notice, Debbie knits with one needle under her arm! I forget what method that is, but it works for her.
When I learned the event was going to be in Jackson, I clicked on the link and read Rose, the owner's blog to get a little insight about the farm. I read the post (August 4) about the little cria, Cocoa, who was born premature, and wondered if he'd be there. I'd taken a walk through the stable earlier and thought I'd spotted him (the smallest there!) but when I spoke with Rose, I asked her how he was, and she offered to take me on an up close and person meeting to see Cocoa and everyone. I got to go inside the stalls and pet (sooooo soft!) and snuggle and talk to those sweet animals. And they talk back! I did not know they make all those sounds, cooing, humming, baahhing like sheep even.
This is Rose holding Cocoa, who is doing so well! How sweet is that little guy??

I had to purchase some yarn spun from some of these guys and gals to bring home. But...I didn't purchase one of them! Although...If I spun, I could totally see me getting one of my own. Where would I keep it? Oh, I'd love to have one as a pet at home, but I found out I could board it right there! A retirement opportunity should I decide to stay in NJ? hmmmm.....
It was a fun day, I am really glad I went. I'll go back to visit for sure, and also check out the one in Cape May someday, too.

10 comments:

Donna Lee said...

My daughter has been to the one in Cape May and she was entranced by the animals, too. I am the proud owner of two bags of alpaca fleece just waiting to be cleaned and spun. It is so soft.

Roxie said...

That first guy looks just like Harpo Marx. What a happy face!Sounds like a splendid day.

Channon said...

Neat! There's one up near Rosanne, and I keep saying I want to go...

vegasangelbrat said...

Oh that was a Godsend being even closer to you then originally planned! So glad you got to go!
Love Coco, just the right color too, he is so cute!!
Thanks for sharing your great day!!

Grace said...

i am so sorry I missed that, if they ever have something like that again please let me know, alpaca is probably my all time favorite fiber, we have some farms here but I haven't been allowed in to play, just take pictures!
By the way we will be down your way Sept 20th!!! WE arrive the 19th and go home the 21st but hopefully we can get together

Mike said...

What a fun day. You'll have to knit something special with the yarn from there. I keep thinking I need to look for a farm out near me. I'm sure the kids would love it. oops...signed in with M's account. It's KM

Alison Boon said...

Sounds like lots of fun. One of the ladies from my socail knitting group knits with the needle tucked up under her arm. As you say it works for her.
Such cute alpacas

Miss Me said...

mr. me keeps on talking about getting alpaca (alpacas?). with 11.5 acres we have lots of room, but i'm just not sure that i want to work full time, have 2 kids, travel approx. 40 miles each way to and from work and then take care of animals...!

rita said...

What great photos! I love that first one.

Firefly Nights said...

That sounds like a really great day. Wish it had been in central VA.