It's a girl! A baby alpaca girl!

We've had another cria born - the 4th this year. The proud mother is Helene and she has given birth to a lovely little baby girl. Tracy has not decided on a name yet.

She was born on the hottest day of the year so far and wasn't able to start feeding within the first couple of hours. Tracy thought it best to give her a helping hand so she wouldn't dehydrate and bottlefed her Colostrum, a nourishing substance they would usually get through their mothers first milk. After receiveing that, she was able to stand up and shortly started feeding of Helene. She is now progressing as normal and is looking strong! 

The other members of the herd are wishing her a warm welcome

Only a few hours old, chilling in the grass

Mother and cousin greeting the little one

It's amazing to see how much the other babies have grown already!

Feeding off mum all on her own! 

We're still expecting a couple more babies this year as it appears two others also are pregnant. They are not due until the end of August, so if you fancy meeting any of our little ones, the workshop on the 16th of September would be perfect!

Love from Tracy, Kari-Helene and the alpacas (now 22 of them!)


Wonderful time at Woolfest in Cumbria!

We have just returned from Cumbria where we have attended Woolfest for the 4th time. We love this show, it's well curated, well visited and every consideration is made to ensure stall holders and visitors have the best possible experience. Kari-Helene especially loved the coffee from The Orange Square this time.

We rented a holiday cottage in the lovely village of Allonby and absolutely loved it! The cottage was cute, clean and cosy and the village itself was picturesque and friendly. We had great weather and a fabulous beach nearby. How could it get any better!
The weather doesn't look great in these photos, but hey - it hardly rained and was only a little bit windy. In Cumbrian terms that is brilliant, isnt it?

Pretty Allonby!

Stunning beaches of Allonby!

Our lovely cottage, Roseacre. You can book it too!

Woolfest was as always a treat. The stallholders put such an effort into their displays. Kari-Helene loved Ananuca especially, and after the show learned they received the best in show price! Well deserved. The garden bench complimented the colours of their yarn perfectly!

Another highlight was seeing the Valais Blacknose Sheep! They are the cutest animals we have ever seen (after alpacas, of course!) and really stole the show. People were surrounding their stall to sneak a cuddle and a photo! Farmer Jamie was overwhelmed by the response as this was his first attendance at a wool show. We hope they will all be back!

Ananuca hand dyed yarn from Chile

Tracy in action on our stall!

The cutest sheep we have ever seen!

Sorry buddy, you're cute too!

As always it is such a treat to meet all the lovely people coming to Woolfest! This year we were visited by Lisa and Carole who had knitted one of our designs since last year! Lisa made Duchess in Champagne and Carole made Olivia in Black. they both looked so lovely! Thank you both so much for taking the time to show us!
Lisa wearing her Duchess Cardigan.

Carole in her Olivia Coat.

On the way home we made our obligatory stop at Mainsgill Farm shop. We arrived just as they were feeding their camels and alpacas!

And now we are back home to a pretty normal week. No travelling, no workshops, no events. Although these days that seems to be the exception! We will be catching up on emails, accounts and pattern writing and maybe even squeeze in some knitting! 

Lots of love, 

Tracy & Kari-Helene xxx


Knight(s) in shining armour - alpacas on the run again!

Most people are so lovely, it helps you forget the nasty ones!

Tracy would like to say a massive thank you to:
Cambridgeshire Police
Jane Mead
Tim and Alan

The kindness of strangers will never cease to amaze us.

A couple of weeks ago, on the afternoon that Havana and Lucky Lady bonded, Tracy was feeling elated; it lasted less than an hour.  She had a call that two of her baby llamas were out on the road. Not owning llamas, it was a pretty accurate guess that they meant alpacas and she ran to the girls field where all were present and correct.  Then she saw Charlie's face over the hedge and drove round to the boys field to discover that someone had stolen the electric fence - battery, energiser, ground stake, posts, wire... the whole lot.  This meant that George and Charlie could adopt a more 'free-range lifestyle.


Tracy sorted everything out and things have been quiet until this week.  Early Thursday morning, the police called to say that there were alpacas on the road which would cause a problem during the rush hour.  It takes 30 minutes to get there, so Tracy lept into Bessie and drove to Barton in record time. The police had managed to herd the boys into Bael's Acre where they live and had put 'Police do not cross' tape across the entrance so they couldn't get out.  Tracy investigated and discovered that more of her fence had been removed.  Making their enclosure smaller and secure once again, she put the boys back into their newly designed paddock and left at 9.00 p.m.

Doing the accounts on Friday morning, another phone call at 10.30 a.m. alerted her to the boys being out again.  This time the perpetrators had cut the cable ties securing the barrier at one end of the field shelter and herded the boys onto the road. Luckily they had run into an opposite field that is full of wheat and poppies - unluckily for Tracy it is enormous.

Tracy drove the faithful Bessie down the farm track to the end where Jane Mead had advised her that there was a paddock at the bottom with a gate; it had cattle in the field.  The boys, recognising the van, ran over to meet her so getting food out of the back she tried to create a temporary fence around them whilst they ate.  Being skittish, they ran off.  Then she tried to make them follow her using the bucket.  This worked well and feeling confident, Tracy rang Fiona (from Inside Out at Burwash Manor) who ran down the drive and stopped the traffic.  Even following Tracy and being enticed with food, they wouldn't cross the road, whirling round and running back to where they had been.

Next Tracy caught Dusty, made a temporary headcollar from baling twine and took her for a walk! Going into the field for approximately 550m she immediately caught the attention of our two stud males, George and Bollinger, they ran across to check Dusty out and Charlie and Iago followed to see what all the fuss was about.  The plan was for them all to follow Dusty and have Fiona do her traffic duty again.  Didn't quite work out though as George tried to mate with Dusty and so did Bolly.  Tracy was now in a bit of a pickle.  Enter Tim, out for a walk during his lunch hour, he rounded the bend and said "Do you need a hand?"
"I do a bit!" Tracy replied and whilst Tim held Dusty, Tracy ran to Bessie and got the headcollars and lead reins.  Huh, George and Bolly were caught but Iago and Charlie had lost interest.  With Tim's help, George, Dusty and Bolly were walked back to Burwash Manor with the plan to put the boys in with the sheep owned by Bex.  Bex knew of the problem and took down the fencing so they could be led in, but the two cows didn't like their new field mates and chased Bolly who leapt the fence across to the drive.  Luckily again, Tim had phoned his colleague Alan who was coming up the drive and he caught Bolly.  Now, what on earth to do with them?

Bolly, the high jumper

George was penned into the field shelter with Dusty, Bolly was penned into the coral area with Inca, so whilst they were safe and occupied, it was now time to think of catching Iago and Charlie.  Tim, Bex and Alan were absolutely marvelous.  Using food, temporary fencing and will power, the last two escapees were rounded up, caught and unwillingly walked back to the girls' field and put in with their relatives.

So they are all safe for now and in a location closer to the farm where we hope they will be left alone!

A big thank you again to everyone involved in helping, both from us and the alpacas!

Tracy & Kari-Helene xxx


And here is Louisianna - a stunning baby alpaca girl!

On Thursday 5th June, Fantasia gave birth to Louisianna - named after Tracy's niece, Louise.  For short Tracy calls her Loulou in the field. She's a little shier than Luna, but as the days go by, her confidence is growing and her playful side is starting to emerge.  She just loves playing with her friend, Luna, and the pair of them often charge around the field playing "catch me if you can"!

She has a fabulous light fawn fleece and was fathered by Dijon of Woodbine Farm Alpacas, and he, in turn is brother to Juno.  Both of them are the offspring of Neptune at Houghton Hall Alpacas and are carrying his fabulous genetics.

We are loving seeing how these new babies are thriving in the field with their mums and aunites and are very excited to meet the ones due later in the year. Tracy has recently got a bit suspicious a couple more are pregnant so we might be in for a surprise later on this summer!

Love and alpaca kisses,

Tracy & Kari-Helene xxx


A knitwear design talent to be reckoned with - Verity Germer

Just before Christmas last year we received an email from Verity asking if we would like to sponsor her graduate collection at Kingston University. In 2005 Kari-Helene graduated from the very same university and it felt very "full circle". Verity received our ivory yarn in Fine and Chunky and we were very excited to see what she would come up with!

Graduate Fashion Week was at the beginning of June, and there has been photos and articles popping up online featuring Verity's designs. We were sad we could not attend her shows, it looks like they were pretty spectacular!

Her collection is called "Imperfect, Impermenant and Incomplete" and features chunky knits vs fine gauge, man made vs organic. You can see the full range of photos from her shoot online on Institute Magazine.

Verity's collection featured on Vouge's website!
 We are proud sponsors and wish you all the best, Verity!

Tracy & Kari-Helene xxx


Introducing Luna - a new member of the Purl Alpaca herd!

On Thursday the 4th of June, Duchess gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl and we have named her Luna. She has got a bright, white fleece and is a little bundle of energy. She charges around the field already and is very inquisitive and curious! Kari-Helene was in the field taking pictures when she managed to film this little snip of Luna coming to say Hi!

Luna's birth was easy and quick and she was on her feet shortly after being born. Baby alpacas are usually up and running withing 2 hours! She has bonded well with her mum, Duchess, and has become good friends with her aunty Juno. Juno is the naughty one jumping the fence all the time so we hope she won't be teaching Luna her cheeky tricks! Duchess is a very relaxed mum and prefers sunbathing to running after Luna in the field, so we expect Luna to be a very independent little lady!


Success! Introducing Lucky Lady

Did you read about our interesting 24 hours trying to make Havana and her baby bond? Well, you will be pleased to know we have reached the point were the baby alpaca is feeding of her mom and is out in the field with the rest of the herd! The hard work has paid off!

Because of the specific circumstances surrounding this little girls birth, we have decided to name her to reflect this. So here she is; Lucky Lady! 

Baby alpaca feeding from mum, Havana.
Lucky takes her first feed from mum, Havana.

Baby alpaca in field with mum, Havana of Purl Alpaca Designs.
Lucky leads Havana out of their enclosure looking strong and confident.

Lucky looks to see why mum isn't so close behind - ah, she's hungry.

Baby alpaca feeding of mum
Well, I'm hungry too!
It looks like there were more hungry alpacas in the field! Juno decided she didn't want Havana having all the special treatment and popped her head through the fence to eat the leftovers from Havana and Lucky's stay in the enclosure.

Cheeky girl!

Juno, a funny alpaca, eats food through a fence

We'll be back with more alpaca fun soon!

Tracy & Kari-Helene xxx