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Have You Ever Met an Alpaca You Didn't Like?

Just when I thought my visit to long-time firends, Bob & Sherry, in Mansfield, Ohio couldn't get any better, Sherry Googled yarn shops in the area; and was pleasantlty surprised to find that Alpaca Meadows is a mere fifteen minutes from her house. She had never been there and knew I would enjoy it, so she made an appointment for us to check it out.

We were warmly greeted by Julie Petty who has owned this adorable Farm Store and studio which specializes in alpaca yarn for 10 years. Classes are offered for students to learn new skills in needle-felting, crochet, and knitting. The store is abundantly stocked with beautiful crochet samples made from alpaca, and crocheted by Julie herself. With her huband Matt, they own 20 alpacas, and she has a line of yarn from her own herd as well.

Alpaca Meadows owner, Julie Pettty
Crocheted samples
Although small, we easilybrowsed the store for over an hour. It is chocked full of color, fiber andf all manner of fiber-related crafts that would delight any fiber-enthusiast.

Antique display drawers from an old hardware

Since I am in a "cold sheep" phase when it comes to my yarn purchases...This means that I am embracing the challenge of finding ways to make my projects work with yarns I have (have had for years with no purpose in mind!) insteadof buying more. I don't really need any yarn; need is the operative word here! We crocheters don't base our purchases on need, but rather on must-have-eye-candy!

I did come away with a skein of Handspun Alpaca Art Yarn which I can't wait to use to embellish something, maybe a scarf or a cowl, used with something else from my stash.

Art Yarn Shawl
I particularly liked the great variety of handmade items and I stocked up on gifts for my fibery friends.

Needle-felted pins

An alpaca fiber ball made with grapevine
Julie was most helpful in showing us around the shop and she even gave us a demo in needle felting.

Needle-felted Pumkins
At one point as I browsed, I felt a presence over my shoulder. I turned around to see a curious alpaca peering through the shop window from her pen just outside! "Alpacas are very curious animals but shy at the same time," Julie explained to us. When my purchases were made, she took us out near the pen where we could meet her adorable herd.

Kept separate until breeding time, we saw the male alpacas nearby in separate pens. Julie also told us that shearing is scheduled soon; and during the process, the alpacas will also get their nails and teeth trimmed!

As Julie has paved the way for her alpaca farm and business with her husband, she has also been given the opportunity to show Social Responsibility. Julie and her daughter's lives have been changed by their commitment to participate in mission trips to Guatemala with their church. Not only do they do hand-on hard work during these missions; but they also support the local Women's Weaving Ministry by bringing back products to sell such as handwoven baskets, shawls and purses as well as hand-processed coffee.

My purchases
If you don't see a trip to Mansfield Ohio in your future, The Farm Store has an online presence for your shopping pleasure. Let me know what YOU find!


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