Blowing Oaks Ranch, LLC

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Monday, February 10, 2020

Alpaca Fiber Projects

Continuous Strand Weaving

Continuous Strand Weaving

It's been almost a year now since our first harvest of alpaca fiber. I sent the blanket cuttings off to the mill to be processed into yarn, and the neck and chest fiber I had spun into core spun yarn for rugs. I have attended several courses at Fiber Education Fairs. So far, my favorite crafts are continuous strand weaving, peg loom rugs, and needle felting. I've tried my hand at spinning a couple of times. That skill may take longer to perfect than I have time for.

I have recently crocheted a core spun Alpaca rug and I like the results better than with the peg loom. There are no materials required other than core spun yarn. I use my fingers instead of a crochet hook and it takes very little time to create. It makes a thick, plush rug that is beautiful and I've received several compliments on them.
Peg Loom Rug with core spun yarn

Peg Loom Rug with core spun yarn

Needle Felted Flower

Needle Felted Flower

Crocheted Alpaca Rug

Crocheted Alpaca Rug


Monday, February 10, 2020

Pasture Vacuum

Keeping a clean pasture is vital to herd health. This process can take hours of your day, depending on how many animals you have. John was set on getting a pasture or poo vac to make the job easier but several breeders said that the vacuums weren't worth the money. The general consensus was that you spent more time unclogging them than actually being able to use one. After doing considerable research and speaking with an Alpaca rancher that has some 80 alpacas who owns two vacuums that he swore by, we decided to bite the bullet and get one.

We purchased the Trafalgar pasture vac. We bought the smaller of the two models almost a year ago and we couldn't be happier with it. Best equipment purchase we have made so far!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wOplt-Ww4U

http://www.danzigbros.com/Trafalgar_Paddock_Vacuums_horses_camelids_cleans_.html

The Trafalgar pasture vac not only saves us considerable time every day, it picks up poo better than we ever could with a rake and shovel. It is also a back saver. This particular vacuum has a fan that keeps the hose from becoming clogged. It empties into what looks like a large trash can. The end product is pure pellets that are easily dumped around plants and trees for fertilizer.

We've not had a bit of trouble with it. The Honda engine always starts,, but definitely works best with non-ethenol fuel. The only thing we've had to do is replace the hose. ( John is incredible rough on equipment) We found a 5 inch diameter leaf vac hose online that worked wonderfully.

Our justification in spending the money on this big purchase was, that if it could save just one of our alpacas from a deadly parasite infestation, is was well worth the money.