Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Last weekend was our Michigan International Alpaca Fest at Birch Run, MI. This is a picture of friend, Beth, showing Polaris in his class. Because Polaris's (Lars) fleece wasn't a full 2 inches, he had to go into a "shorn" class. Strangely enough, all the dark fawns that were his age didn't make fleece length.

We were disappointed because in a shorn class, the judge evaluates just the confirmation of the animal and not the fleece. Lars has really lovely, crimpy fleece. He did bring home a fourth place ribbon though.

Beth also showed Orion (Slammy) who is Polaris's full brother - same mom and dad, just a year younger. His competition was way too keen - a class of 15 really nice brown guys.

I am so lucky that Beth is not only an incredibly, awesome friend, but also willing to show our animals. I can do it but actually get physically ill in the show ring....heart racing, stomach upset, blurred vision. Of course, the animal can feel all my tension and gets upset also.
The alpaca shows have a competition called a Spin Off in which exhibitors submit 2 ounces of raw fiber along with a picture and information about the alpaca. A judge then evaluates the raw fleece for: First impression, Staple length, Cleanliness, Lack of second cuts, Lack of guard hair, Crimp, Staple architecture, Uniformity, Fineness, and Hand. Points are given for each category.

Then the judge spins up some of it and evaluates on: Ease of preparation for spinning and Ease of Spinning.

Finally the yarn itself is evaluated for Hand feel, softness of yarn & loft and Brightness. A total of 100 points can be earned.

And the winners are....... light fawn, Celeste, on the left above got a blue ribbon with her 100 points. And brown, Sonata, on the right got a blue ribbon for 98 points.
This is the really big news....... Celeste's fiber got the highest score of all the Huacaya samples submitted. The ribbon with red is sort of like a Grand Champion. She scored 100 out of 100 points. EEEHAW! for Celeste.

Celeste is our goofy girl who makes us laugh all the time. She will sneak up for a mint as soon as she hears the paper crinkle, grab it, and run off. Hopefully, she is pregnant and will have a spring cria.