American Express is sponsoring Small Business Saturday on the 30th so I thought it was only fitting to tell you the story about how our small business Alpaca Direct was started. About 9 years ago my dear friend and neighbor on a nearby ranch stopped by to say hello and mentioned our neighbors down the road had Alpacas for sale. I asked her why she had not purchased one as she loved animals and rarely resisted the urge to bring home another animal to add to her “collection”. She laughed and we scooped up my daughter Lauren and headed back down the road to see the alpacas. The moment we saw the baby alpaca’s we were in love.
Our daughter Lauren immediately asked her dad if she could have one as she had been doing a great job raising rabbits for 4h and wanted to work with a larger animal. We quickly learned that alpacas are herd animals so we had to buy 2 or more or they would become stressed and may even die if left alone. We ended up buying two weanling males, Keeshon and Lightning.
My friend Kelly bought Lightning’s dad Viking and placed him with a Llama she already owned. We found them easy to train and easy on our land as they do not mess with fencing or damage the ground. They were also a great animal for our kids to work with weighing 115-130 pounds on average. Lauren was 11 years old at the time and could move them around without a problem. Having the alpacas taught both our son and daughter how to be gentle in a kind of way that only animals can teach. It taught them how to set boundaries but be fair and clear in their communication. Looking back, I think that having the ranch with our 50 animals was well worth all of the work that was involved to make it run smoothly.
Once we started raising alpacas we learned how amazing alpaca fiber was and wanted to share this discovery withothers. I remember wearing an alpaca sweater when we were in a snowstorm in Bend Oregon and I was warm despite being stranded on the side of the road.
Alpaca is such a beautiful fiber with unique qualities however it is largely unavailable to the general public. I wanted to share alpaca with everyone so they could experience the joy of warm feet in the winter or a soft, luxurious alpaca scarf around their neck. That meant we had to find products made from alpaca that were high quality and reasonably priced. We went from having 2 alpaca’s to a herd of 15 and creating a store and website (www.AlpacaDirect.com) that now sells thousands of products to over 100,000 customer around the world. My son and husband work on the website and my daughter has helped with care of the animals, modeling and choosing what products to carry.
We work hard everyday to bring alpaca and other quality products to our customers. We have some of the warmest alpaca socks on the market and if you have cold feet then you will love alpaca. Socks make a great gift so stop by the store and buy some alpaca socks for your loved ones this Christmas. Give them the gift of warm feet and I have a feeling they will ask you for more socks in years to come. Have a safe and blessed holiday season. Have great family times and cherish those loved ones every chance you get!
We hope you can stop by our store this Saturday to support our local small business.In case you have not heard about us, Alpaca Direct is a direct merchant of high quality yarn, socks, apparel and gifts. We carry a full line of fiber arts accessories, including hundreds of needles and thousands of yarns. Our unique selection of products also includes Peruvian alpaca sweaters, hand-loomed lace scarves, performance alpaca socks and cuddly alpaca fur toys.
Cuddly Alpaca Bear
Our building is handicap accessible, with ample parking and is easy to find. We are located on Hayden Avenue, just two blocks west of Hwy 95 at 1016 W Hayden Ave. in Hayden.
Our store is open 10am – 4pm Monday through Friday, and 10am – 3pm Saturday. Visit us at 1016 W. Hayden Avenue or online at www.AlpacaDirect.com – your local destination for luxury yarn, apparel & gifts. “Like” us on Facebook and Yelp for exclusive coupons, product spotlights & news!
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We've been seeing faux-fur pom poms everywhere lately—they're so cute! They add a touch of chic to any knit hat pattern.
Shop owner Kelley figured out how to make faux-fur pom poms at home, easily and inexpensively, with faux fur from the fabric store and items she had around the house. She's so clever.
Here's a video of the process.
I discovered the Norrland Hat pattern on Ravelry and decided to take on the challenge. I love the trees and snowflakes, and I have never done colorwork and cables at the same time. Since I love learning new things, I bought the pattern immediately and cast on.
I made some modifications, including turning the hat into a slouch instead of a beanie, and I wanted to explain those in case you want to modify your project, too.
Hats are the knitting trifecta: small projects that are useful and make great gifts. You can most hats done in a short time, and many are one-skein wonders.
Here is a variety of free hat patterns, from beanies to slouches to earflap hats, that are guaranteed to suit your gift-knitting needs this season and for years to come.
Note: Please use the following sizing chart for general reference only. Sizes between different vendors and manufacturers may vary. Please match your measurements to those in the size chart below.