Monday, May 21, 2007

Look at these wacky poodles!

What in the world is that?
That is an alpaca!
Isn't it adorable? Here it is with a friend:

Jim and I went out to Hood River, Oregon today with Alexandra and Jim's mother, Sharon. Hood River is a cute town in the Columbia River Gorge that is best known for its orchards and its world-class windsurfing, but it also seems to have a decent alpaca presence. Who knew? I don't know if we would have thought to swing by this alpaca ranch/knitting shop if not for the newfound knitting fascination, but I am so glad we did. These animals are WONDERFUL! They were sheared recently, hence the poodliness. And how's this for a view from a knitting shop window?

And some yarn:

This is the Cascade Alpaca Ranch and the Foothills Yarn & Fiber shop, where you can pet and feed alpacas, pet the big Great Pyrennese guard dog or the guard-cats Knit and Purl; you can buy lots of yarn. And you can actually buy yarn from specific animals and know their names! How fun to wear a sweater made from "Zhivago wool" for example! This is Zhivago:

The owners of the ranch, Connie and Tom, are incredibly nice and generous with their time and showed us how spinning works and also their loom for weaving. I was very touched by this story: Connie told us about how their neighbors have a llama named Kool-Aid to guard their sheep, and how recently a very elderly sheep passed away, and after they buried it, Kool-Aid sat on its grave all day and wouldn't budge. Isn't that sad and sweet?

Here's Jim with some new friends:

And Sharon:

Hood River, by the way, is about an hour east of Portland, and the drive through the Columbia Gorge is spectacular. I'm looking forward to going back for you-pick cherry season, a hike on the slopes of Mount Hood, and to replenish my alpaca fleece supplies later in the summer!


kelly rae said...

we've often considered having an alpaca farm - we have family that have several in florida. their eyes are just gorgeous! and happy birthday to alexandra - loved your post about her. she and john share the same bday!

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Oh my aren't they so funny with new poodle haircuts. I have a friend in Michigan that raises Llama's and two babies are half llama & half alpaca. She's preparing to open a yarn & weaving store. The view from the place you went to is spectacular!!

gerry rosser said...

Oh, boy, animal topiary.

Jeri said...

those are some hilarious looking alpacas....thanks for the educational tidbits and the grin.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

I am seriously stunned by the image of that alpaca! It looks like a stuffed animal!

Tinker said...

I love these guys! I'm wondering if that's where Dr. Seuss got his inspiration for some of his creatures....

Looks and sounds like a great yarn shopping adventure!

[a} said...

That was so random! They look like some creatures from Dr. Suess books!! It's love @ first sight for me :)

Amber said...

That yarn looks wonderfully soft. Nice. I love alpacas. My mom has a friend who started raising them several years ago. They are such sweet animals!


Anonymous said...

What a fabulous destination! It looks like a wonderful place...and I think that the guy in that last picture is my favorite. :-)

Kari Sullivan said...

I'm laughing so hard my eyes are watering. What funny looking creatures! They look like the result of an experiment trying to cross breed poodles with llamas that went VERY, VERY wrong.

Peace out!

Anonymous said...

So cute! I'd never seen one sheared.