An absolutely wonderful day at Mulberry Alpacas, in Knockin, where we attempted to learn the basics of carding, spinning and plying yarn from the very patient and talented Maureen Preen. The weather blessed us with some lovely cool breeze as we sat in the open air workshop and tried out spinning wheels. We worked with a lovely variety of sheep wool and some dreamily soft alpaca tops, surrounded by fluttering butterflies and the scent of lavender.
Alpaca expert Harry Edwards gave us a brief history of the alpaca, its native habitat, breeding patterns and took us around the shearing and sorting sheds to feel the babysoft fleeces.
An afternoon tour of the alpaca herd guided by herder Chloe (Harry and Ros Edward’s knowledgeable daughter) and shepherded by a flock of Lavender Orpington hens, was enchanting, the newly sheared alpacas, with their huge dark eyes and enormous sweeping lashes were shy but inquisitive – especially when we were able to hand feed them.
The afternoon was spent working our wheels (along with the odd sotto voiced curse) and learning more from Maureen about plying yarns, how to use the niddy noddy (yes it really does exist) – to make skeins and munching of lovely cake.
Throughout the day, Ros Edwards made sure we were superbly looked after with home made biscuits, and a wonderful lunch. Three of us were grain free ladies, while the fourth was vegetarian and at no point was there anything that we couldn’t happily eat, from the gluten and grain free cookies and cake to the sinfully lovely Strawberry and Blueberry Pavlova.
The cost of the course was £42 per person – which included the deposit and the lunch, which to me is an absolute bargain for such a splendid day.
Mulberry Alpacas run workshops through the summer months, and have three left – an alpaca husbandry day on Sunday 10th August for those thinking of buying alpacas as pets, an introduction to felting course on Saturday 16th August and another chance to learn to spin on Friday 22nd August. Groups are kept to a maximum of six, so book now!
Maureen Preen does give one to one workshops on spinning as well as the amazing crafts of peglooming and stickweaving.
Member since: 11th June 2012
Charmed to my boots by Oswestry and the Welsh Marches. I happily do my best to support the fantastic independent shops and businesses in the area through The Best of Oswestry.