Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Vicuna

 
The Paco-Vicuña Registry
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Grade Chart
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Grade Chart

Paco-Vicuña Trait Vicuña Comparison Only Premier Plus Premier  Classic Plus Classic Standard Plus Standard
Type Number (Vicuña) Type #1 Type #2 Type # 3 Type #4 Type #5 Type #6
Head Shape Vicuña type Vicuña type, with some variation Vicuña type, with some variation Thicker alpaca type to vicuña type Thicker alpaca type to vicuña type Thicker alpaca type to vicuña type Thicker alpaca type
Eyes Protruding Protruding Protruding Protruding to normal alpaca Protruding to normal alpaca Normal alpaca Normal alpaca
Body Conformation Back-line slopes down to withers. Some natural cow-hock. Back-line slopes down to withers. Some natural cow-hock. Back-line slopes down to withers. Some level back-lines. Some natural cow-hock. Back-line slopes down to withers. Some level back-lines. Some natural cow-hock. Back-line slopes down to withers. Some level back-lines. Some natural cow-hock. Back-line slopes down to withers. Some level back-lines. Some natural cow-hock. Back-line slopes down to withers. Some level back-lines. Some natural cow-hock.
Body Size Smaller (90-110 Lbs.) Normal alpaca to smaller Normal alpaca to smaller Normal alpaca to smaller Normal alpaca to smaller Normal alpaca to smaller Normal alpaca to smaller
Fine bone structure of legs. Fine boned Fine boned to heavy boned Fine boned to heavy boned Fine boned to heavy boned Fine boned to heavy boned Fine boned to heavy boned Fine boned to heavy boned
Fiber fineness 8-13 micron 12-18 micron 13-20 micron 16-23 micron 16-23 micron 18-23 micron 20-26 micron
Guard Hair Present Present Present Present to none Present to none Present to none Present to none
Fiber Growth minimum 3.5" Shear every 3-4 years Shear every 2-3 years Shear every 2-3 years Shear every 1-2 years Shear every 1-2 years Shear every year Shear every year
Fiber Color Main Body Vicuña color Light vicuña color to dark vicuña color, a few white to black animals Light vicuña color to dark vicuña color, a few white to black animals Light vicuña color to dark vicuña color, a few white to black animals Light vicuña color to dark vicuña color, a few white to black animals Light vicuña color to dark vicuna color, a few white to black animals Vicuña colors to Alpaca colors
Bib Color White White to similar to blanket color White to similar to blanket color White to similar to blanket color White to similar to blanket color White to similar to blanket color White to similar to blanket color
Bib Length Much Longer than fleece Longer than fleece Longer than fleece Longer than fleece Longer than fleece Same or longer than fleece Same or longer than fleece
Leg Wool Very short Very short Medium to very short Heavy to very short Heavy to Very short Heavy to very short Heavy to very short
Disposition Wild Tame to Slightly wild Tame to Slightly wild Tame to Slightly wild Tame to Slightly wild Tame Tame
Ó 2005-2011 Phil Switzer

Mariah Hill Showdown.. May 2009 in Quarantine at Mariah Hill Livestock Exports

video

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

ALIZE AND HE CRIA



RESIDING IN CANADA....WITH MALE CRIA AND PREGNANT AGAIN
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A VERY PREMIE CRIA

ALWAYS USE MATING DATES.... AND ACCURATELY KEEP RECORDS ON MATINGS, SPIT OFFS.
IF PADDOCK MATING, THEN STILL KEEP ACCURATE RECORDS ON DAY THE FEMALE ENTERED THE PADDOCK AND DAY THE FEMALE LEAVES PADDOCK, AND ANY SPIT OFFS, OR OBSERVATONS OF MATINGS ETC.
OCCASSIONALY, BUT NOT VERY OFTEN, YOU WILL HAVE A PREMMIE, AND HAVING ACCURATE DATES WILL TELL YOU HOW PREMMIE THE CRIA IS.
THIS CRIA WAS BORN WITH VERY LOW BODY TEMP, WAS 6 WEEKS PREM.
YOU CAN SEE HOW SOFT THE BONES ARE IN THE LEGS - WITHIN 2-3 DAYS, THESE LEGS WILL STRENGTHEN UP, AND WILL BE FAIRLY STRAIGHT.
IF THEY DO NOT, THEN SEEK VET ATTENTION, SOME TIMES THEY ARE STRAPPED, UNTIL THE LEGS ARE STRONG ENOUGH.
VET ATTENTION IS ADVISED THOUGH, AS YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE ALL TENDONS ARE OK, AND STRAPPED NOT TOO TIGHT AS NOT TO RESTRICT CIRCULATION.
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SNAKE BITE KIT

NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH COMING 3RD WEEK DECEMBER.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

We are very please to announce the launch of the The Australian Snake Bite Kit.

We hope you will never have to use THE AUSTRALIAN SNAKE BITE KIT.

However, If you work and play in rural Australia, even on the fringes of Australia's cities,

there is a good chance that you will encounter snakes.

All snakes should be considered dangerous.

Should you be bitten by a snake, you can be confident that THE AUSTRALIAN SNAKE BITE KIT

includes the latest up to date instructions and the highest quality materials.

It is a must for the farm, the house, the ute, the saddle, and the bush walk !

To purchase a kit, just click the link below.
SNAKE
          BITE FIRST AID KIT

USEFUL I PHONE APP

Hi all
if you load the free app called viber you can call any other viber contact for FREE anywhere in the world!!! When you go to your contacts it will automatically show who already has the viber app and the call will be free. there is another for free texting: 'whatsapp' which costs $1.19...
enjoy and share the news!

JET OUR RAINBOW LORIKEET

JET LOVES FLYING AROUND, AND LOVES SITTING ON HEADS.
ELYSE IS OFF TO GO TO WORK, AND HAS A HELPER TODAY.
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ALPACAS ARE SO EASY TO ROUND UP.

Posted by PicasawE USE A 4 X 4 RAV 4 TO ROUND UP THE ALPACAS FROM THE BACK PADDOCKS.
ALPACAS LOVE MOVING TO NEW PADDOCKS, AND WE USUALLY MOVE THEM AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK, TO NEW PADDOCKS,
THIS WAY, THE GRASS IS NEVER EATEN TO THE GROUND, MAKING IT HARDER TO REJUVENATE. AND ALSO THE PADDOCK IS RESTED, LESS LIKELYHOOD OF WARM INFESTATION, LESS STRESS PROBLEMS CAUSED BY OVERSTOCKING.
LIKE US, THEY LIKE A CHANGE OD SCENERY, AND THEY DO HAVE THEIR FAVOURITE PADDOCK.
THEY ALSO LIKE TO SEE EACH OTHER, AS EACH GROUP OF ALPACAS WILL GREET THE OTHER GROUP AS THET ARE HERDED TO THE MAIN HANDLING YARDS.

FIRST STEPS

BABIES, (CRIAS) WILL ALWAYS INSTINCTIVELY STAY CLOSE TO THEIR MOTHER.
THIS BABY IS JUST OVER 1 HOUR OLD.
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MARIAH HILL SCANDOLOUS

YOU CAN SEE THE CONSISTANCY OF THE STUD MALE, WITH SHOWDOWN, AND SCANDOLOUS, PURE POISON...SIRE - J. STEFANO (DEC.) (FULL ACCOYO).
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MARIAH HILL SHOWDOWN


MAGNIFICANT LUSTRE, THIS MALE NOW STANDS AT STUD IN BELGIUM
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Mariah Hill Statement

Now resides in the UK.
his fleece has the highest lustre.
Extrremely fine, and excellent density...opens cleanly like a book
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Black Onyx


Black Onyx resides in Belgium.
A must for any black breeder.
This fleece is just so amazing for a black breeder...crimp even stretching from front of chest to the tail.
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Suri

Of course we all know there are two types of Alpacas.
Huacaya and Suri
Huacaya are the ones we see more of, but the beautiful SURI, can never be forgotten.
Although both are same in temperment, and other features, the SURI, fibre is very different to the huacaya.
I see them like a curtain of silk, especially when they run.
there really is something to see a beautiful suri in his full fleece, when they frolick around the paddock, and this beautiful curtain of fleece as it flows like coral on a sea floor.
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MIck dore

THe property we live on was one of the Original farming properties of Victoria.
When it was settled, in 1841, this area was NSW and in 1851 when they separated Victoria away from NSW, this was the largest operating farm in Victoria at the time.
The family was the Dore family.
In 1851, they were then offered to purchase the land, as previously, they only leased the freehold, as that is how it was done in the early settlement days in Australia.
Mick Dore was the son of the original settler John Dore.
this tree is outside the old house, which my son Andrew is buying and has made home for him his fiance and his expected daughter in August 2011.
The Dore family imigrated from Ireland during the potatoe famine.
Don't you just love the dog in the tree behind Mick, and also his beautiful blue eyes.


This one photo
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Friday, May 27, 2011

What is this

I thought it pretty weird, a very cloudy day, and this beam of light coming through the clouds, there was no opening in the cloud, and it was there still for q good 10 minutes.
I just thought i had never seen something like this before.

Learning Day at Bendigo on Goat, Sheep and Alpaca Nutrition

Victorian breeders you may like to attend a Learning Day at Bendigo on Goat, Sheep and Alpaca Nutrition, guest speaker will be Dr. Bruce Macgregor, attached is the invitation sent to me by Peter Greenfield, I felt that there may be many breeders who have not received this invitation and would benefit from the Dr. Macgregor's experience and at the cost to attend is very minimal, once again if you know of others who may like to attend please get them to contact Peter to make a booking. I feel that these information days are very important for all new breeders, so lets show our support and at least forward this invitation to others.

The day       Sunday 5th June  commencing 10am

The Venue      Bendigo Club, Park St, Bendigo

VIC Road Map       P283   R 15  off crook st

Cost per person,    $10.00 There will be light luncheon provided

RSVP by 30th May 2011

Please contact Brenda or Peter for further information

email scud1@impulse.net.au    Ph 03 54394804

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fleece preparation to get you those big $'s


 

 Fleece Preparation (on the animal prior to shearing), as well as your shearing area is vital to keep as clean as possible to obtain those premium fleece prices.

Currently, there is good money and high demand for excellent premium fleeces....Ultrafine and Super fine, but equally, the preparation can let an excellent fleece fail, as explained by Paul Vallely from the Premium Fleece Workshops.

This is an excerpt from his paper he has recently put out to the public, to try and get the word through to the grower, that standards are still low in the preparation of fleece to be submitted for payment, whether it is for the premium fleece and Ultrafine bale, or to the local spinner down the road.

The effort you put in today you will benefit from tomorrow, because even that spinner down the road, if she is happy with your fleeces, not only will she be back for more next year, but her friends will come to...it is easier than finding new clients each year...by keeping the current clients happy.
The word of mouth is a great advertising tool, that is very cost effective.
One other word for the breeders preparing to shear...
My daughter ELyse who has completed the woolclasser course, when setting up the shearing shed prior to starting to shear.
She makes sure she has the First Aid Kit, and also disinfectant, and all is in order. she also checks around the shed, for any sharp objects, that you may have not noticed prior to the inspection, and remember your safety and the animals safety, all electric wires, and leads if possible anchor over your heads, not on the floor, and all objects, that can topple over easy like electric fans for example, to be anchored properly, before any animal enters the shearing area.

Aside from the shearing area, always make sure there is plenty of cool fresh water, and an area away from the shearers, for a tea break.

Set up your large bags, preferably made from cotton, than plastic, and set them up around the wall of the shed.
We still separate each fleece in it's own bag, but at one stage breeders were told to separate each fleece with newspaper, but if left over a long period of time, the newspaper begins to break down, and can contaminate the fleece.

It is advisable though to separate each fleece.

We always have a can of Tetracycline, (this is used also for Pink eye), i find this is a fantastic product for healing, and if an alpaca is accidently cut, spray this on over the wound if small.
If the wound needs stitching, then after the procedure, spray this over the wound, as this will really make it heal fast.

Super Glue...was originally invented to be used in the operating theatre to mend wounds.
My 30 year old son, has a huge wound from a very large operation when he was 10 years old, which was glued together, (his was also secured by a large plastic bandges over the wound), but many shearers these days will glue the skin togethet, wuick, easy, and it works well.
Please remember to just get the glue on the actual part you are joining together, and leave a small opening at the base of the wond, to let any fluid build up to drain away naturally.
.
Please take note of the following suggestions by Paul Vallely, for the preparation for shearing and your fleeces.
Don't forget your samples for the GIFT test, Paul will be sinding his offsider, kim to great Britain, I am told in May, and i think then over to Europe also in May to do some talks, and also testing of your fleeces.



GUIDELINES FOR SHEARING AND PRESENTING ALPACA FLEECES FOR THE PREMIUM FIBRE MARKET



The alpaca fibre market is witnessing an increase in demand for fleeces, particularly those suitable for the premium end of the textile market. In order to meet the criteria for acceptance into this market, however, fleeces need to be shorn and prepared in a manner that greatly reduces the incidence of contamination and reduces the variation of fleece types within fleece consignment lines.

While many years may be spent achieving genetic progress towards improving fleece type, and while a whole year may be spent trying to maintain suitable fleece quality standards, all these efforts can be wasted in the few moments during the time the respective alpaca fleece is shorn.

These guidelines focus on the consignment of fleeces for the premium suri and haucaya fibre market and therefore, concentrate on the shearing and handling of the saddle area. These guidelines can be applied to all other fleece types, however, their applicability might be dependant on the relative worth of fleeces.

This document was prepared, and ownership is asserted by Australian Alpaca Fibre Testing (AAFT). AAFT give permission for copying or reprinting the whole or portion of the document providing AAFT are acknowledged in the copy or reprint.


1          Pre Shearing Preparation


1.1       Plan order of shearing:         Plan the order of shearing by prioritising the fleece types of your alpacas. The highest priority fleece types should be shorn first. For instance, shear the white superfine types first, then the broader whites followed by colours, lighter shades first. The aim of this practise is to avoid the more valuable fleeces being contaminated by fibres from the lesser valued fleeces. Further, lighter fleece colours should be shorn first as the darker the fibre, the greater the limitations on dying. If catering for the eco market where dying is replaced by using natural colours, it is still good practise to shear the lighter colours first.

1.2       Plan layout of classing lines.             Plan where the various fleece lines will be placed so that the more valuable lines are furthest from the shirting table and shearing area. The reason for this is to ensure contaminant fibres from lesser grade fleeces are not carried past the more valuable lines.

1.3       Make a list of staffing requirements.   Far too many alpaca shearings are carried out in a hasty manner, typified by taking short-cuts and dropping of fleece preparation standards. It is crucial that there is adequate number of suitably trained and/or experienced staff so that shearing is carried out in a careful and unrushed manner. The staffing needs to accommodate the work roles of alpaca handling at the point of shearing, sorting fibre at point of shearing, picking up fleeces, maintaining cleanliness of point of shearing, fleece skirter, fleece classer and general duties to help with herding alpacas and odd jobs. Obviously, some staff will be responsible for more than one work role and some roles might be shared with more than one person. Some shearing teams will provide their own staff, however, it remains the breeders responsibility to ensure there is adequate staff.

1.4       Ensure adequate and serviceable equipment is on hand.  Before shearing commences, there should be a stock-check to ensure all relevant equipment such as shed sweeps, bale holders, wool packs, fleece bags, bale fasteners, marking pens, animal husbandry equipment is on hand and serviceable. Normal straw or wisp brooms should be avoided, as the fibres/straw will contaminate fleece lines. Plastic shearing sweeps should be preferred. Containers should be available for necessary small items such as bale fasteners.

All used wool packs and fleece bags should be turned inside out to remove remaining fibres before being re-used for fleece storage.

A suitable skirting table should be available. The table should be sufficient size to take two saddles from any one alpaca at the same time. The table can be square or round, made from wood or metal, and have about 20mm square gaps to allow short fibres to fall through. The design of the skirting table should avoid fibres sticking to the surface area.

1.5       Determine fleece classing parameters.         Before shearing, it may be advantageous to speak to potential fleece buyers to determine preferred fleece line parameters, particularly with regard to acceptable limits on fibre diameter and fibre length. For this reason, it is a good idea to have fleece test data on the alpacas if available.

1.6              Ensure shearing and classing receives adequate lighting              Lighting is critical for effective quality control during shearing in order to keep the area clean of contaminate fibres such as guard hair. Before shearing, a check on serviceability of lights is required and that sufficient lighting is available. Lighting should be provided by fluorescent lights or skylights (natural light).

1.7       Reduce exposure to wind.                The shed or shearing area should be inspected to ensure the area is not at risk of wind as this will create significant problems for fibre contamination.

1.8       Ensure point of shearing has adequate flooring    The most preferred flooring at the point of shearing is wood, with no cracks or sharp edges that can make sweeping the area a problem. With less desirable flooring such as concrete, a rubber matt of sufficient size might be used.

1.8              Clean the shearing area thoroughly            As fibre contamination is one of the most common causes of devaluation of fleeces, the shearing area needs to be thoroughly cleaned before shearing. Items such as baling twine, old fleeces, feed bags, hay, dirt etc should be removed. It is worthwhile that yards and pens be also cleaned.

1.9       Ensure there are sufficient rubbish containers.     Containers should be available for foreign articles found during shearing such as baling twine. Further, containers should also be available for unwanted fleece types such as guard hair. It is a good idea to clearly label these containers so that the staff know what goes where.


2        CONDUCT OF SHEARING

2.1              Brief staff on required work roles and standards.            To ensure all work roles are covered by at least one person, areas of responsibility should be made clear to all staff before shearing commences. The briefing should not be carried out in a condescending manner, but should promote a team spirit in achieving professional outcomes. The briefing should acknowledge that a high standard of fleece preparation relies on every staff member, collectively and individually performing his or her work roles.

2.2       Clean alpacas before shearing.        Some alpaca breeders give their alpacas a clean to remove vegetable matter before shearing. The worth of this practise may need evaluation as any vegetable matter easily removed before shearing would be easily removed during the initial scouring during processing. It may, however, be worthwhile if appearance is a critical factor, such as for individual selling at craft markets.

2.3       The saddle areas should be shorn from the alpaca in a manner that avoids contamination.     Before the first saddle area is removed, many shearers remove contaminating coarse fibres around the belly area. When this is done, the coarse fibres should be collected before they have a chance of falling into the saddle area. Once the first saddle is removed, it should be taken to the skirting table. If the saddle is to be rolled for this, the sides of the saddle should only come into contact with the other side of the saddle, in other words, folded end to end. This avoids the coarse fibres at the edge of the saddle coming into contact with the centre of the saddle. If they come into contact with the centre of the saddle, it is extremely difficult to remove the offending fibres during skirting. The saddle should not be placed on the ground before (or after) skirting.


 

 

 
Before the second saddle is removed, some leg and neck fleece is often shorn. These parts of the fleece should be removed and placed in bags to avoid contamination. The second saddle should be removed and placed on the skirting table as with the first saddle. 

2.4       Always sweep between each alpaca.            The accumulation of guard hair and other coarse fibres left after each alpaca is shorn will substantially devalue fleeces. For this reason, the shearing area needs to be swept or wiped before the next alpaca is brought to the point of shearing.

2.8          If possible, sweep or collect guard hair as it is being shorn         As previously mentioned, guard hair or coarse fibres can substantially devalue fleeces. For this reason, efforts should be made to continually remove such fibres during shearing. This should be carried out in a manner that does not jeopardise OH&S standards, nor impede the shearing process.

2.9       Eating and smoking should not occur near shearing area.           Fibre processors have often complained at the amount of food containers and cigarette butts found in fleece consignments. For this reason, lunches etc should be eaten in an area away from the shearing area. An ashtray should be available outside the shearing area.

2.10     Husbandry practices during shearing.        Many breeders trim toe nails and teeth during shearing. While these objects can be easily removed during intial stage processing, they do more damage to a reputation than to the actual value of the fleece. If possible, toe and teeth trimmings should not be allowed to enter fleeces.      

2.11         Seek feedback from buyers.                     In order to identify areas for improvement in fleece preparation and classing standards, it is a good idea to seek feedback from buyers and/or processors. This practise also cultivates a credible reputation by showing you are concerned with meeting your ‘customers’ requirements.


3        SKIRTING FLEECES


3.1       Variation in fibre diameter over the saddle area.              The degree of variation over an alpaca has been shown to be slightly correlated to the average fibre diameter. Most alpaca saddles, however, vary by about 2 microns, although at the edge of saddle, the diameter might increase by a further micron. At the edge of the saddle, some clusters of guard hair might be evident. This hair might be as much as 20 microns broader than the centre of the saddle.

3.2       Fleeces should be correctly skirted before storing or packing.     A constant cause of contamination is the storing of fleeces in bags etc before they are skirted. When placed in bags, the risk of guard hair and other problematic fibres is very high. If guard hair finds its way through a fleece while being bagged, its value will be substantially decreased, or in some severe cases, made worthless. Once skirted, they should be placed immediately in packs or bags.

3.3       ‘High value’  fleeces should be covered/protected after skirting.     ‘High value’ fleeces should be bagged in such as way that contaminants will not be able to enter the bag. Such bags should not have holes and the ends should be securely tied with no open ends. If these fleeces are placed in open fleece lines, the fleece bin or pack should be covered to protect the fleeces from airborne fibres or foreign articles.

3.4       Herd recording.         Shearing is an ideal time to record comments regarding fleece type or fleece problems. Recording comments such as tender fleece, discolouring, high evidence of coarse fibres, fleece rot and fleece weights will help with herd improvement. These comments can also be included with fleece midside samples so that all fleece comments can be included with fibre test data.

3.5              Procedure for skirting and classing.           

A         Spread saddles out onto table with the tip side upper most.

A         Remove obvious faults from centre of saddle such as guard hair, urine stained fibre, excessive vegetable matter and foreign objects.

B         Any unwanted colour fibres should be removed

C         Look carefully at middle area of saddle to determine the prominent fleece type for that particular fleece, paying attention to crimp and softness (to evaluate variation in fibre diameter) and fibre length. Then work around saddle to remove short fibres, guard hair and other coarse fibres. Normally, the problematic fibres should be confined to 30 mm to 40mm from the edge of the fleece. Guard hair and other coarse fibres are often identifiable by a pointier tip, a harsher feel and a flatter crimp definition. The important issue with this procedure is that skilling can only come with experience.

D         Check for ‘soundness’ or tender fibre by holding a fibre bundle (about 5mm in width) and try to break it. Check a couple of fibre bundles to ensure the whole saddle is sound. If tender, the fleece will need to be placed in a ‘tender’ fleece line.

E          Place in classing line according to predetermined classing parameters. The best method for determining average fibre diameter is a three point grid test. The next preferred method is to use the mid side test, although it needs to be kept in mind that the mid-side test will be generally between .5 to 1.5 microns finer than the saddle average. Finally, if no test is available, subjective appraisal will have to be relied upon.


FINAL COMMENTS         


Following the above guidelines will assist in achieving high standards of shearing and fleece preparation so that fleece values can be maximised. Underpinning these guidelines, however, is the adoption of a diligent and determined approach to presenting premium grade fleeces to their maximum potential, combined with adequate skilling that can only be achieved through experience.         

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Our New Farming Apprentice

Jessie loves the new crias, and at the moment we have a 3 week premmie female cria. As you can see, he just loves the babies, and is beside ELyses side with the crias.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mariah Hill Alpacas & Exports: Selling Alpaca Yarn...on the Internet through Ravely

Mariah Hill Alpacas & Exports: Selling Alpaca Yarn...on the Internet through Ravely

Selling Alpaca Yarn...on the Internet through Ravely

https://www.ravelry.com/account/login 

 

Are you Raveling yet?

by Kate Perez

first printed in the March 2009 issue of Camelid Quarterly


Wondering what’s the one thing that knitters and fiber-arts people can’t live without in 2009?  It’s not self-striping sock yarn, Hello Kitty© stitch markers or the latest book by the “Yarn Harlot. “  It’s Ravelry  of course!  Ravelry.com has been called a social networking website, an online community and MySpace for knitters, but it’s so much more!
Ravelry gives each user an online area for storing fiber-arts projects with their photos, descriptions, patterns, yarns, needles or hooks used, and a rating scale for how the profile owner liked the yarn or pattern.  There is also a heart icon which other members of the Ravelry community can click to “favorite” and store the project in their own profiles.   Ravelry also contains databases of knitting and crocheting patterns, books, yarns, and contact information for those who sell those same products.
alpaca knitting screen shot
some of my projects in the Ravelry database in Jan. 2009

When a project owner types in the name or maker of a yarn, for example, Ravelry will look at the words and provide names of similar yarns stored in its yarn database.  If a match is found, the yarn in the project is linked back into the database.  Another member of the community can do a search on that yarn and find this project along with all of the Ravelry projects that were made using that yarn. The projects will include photos, descriptions and ratings for the yarn and the patterns used. 


search for alpaca yarn screen shota search on alpaca yarns inside of Ravelry (shown above)

By the way, that same user can also see how many other “Ravelrers” have that yarn stored in the “stash” tab of their profiles and whether they are willing to sell or trade it.  Often the photos of various yarns provided by the members of Ravelry are of better quality than those found on the websites and catalogs that sell those same yarns.  And, seeing the yarn rated and knit up in many different colors and into many different projects, really helps fiber artists decide which yarn to use for what project.

knitting yarns screen shot
my yarn " stash " photos in Jan. 2009

Inside of Ravelry, a “homemade” yarn can get the same amount of exposure as a commercial yarn. Ravelry provides its members with automatic links from their profiles to their websites, blogs, Etsy online stores1,  RSS feeds2 and MySpace and Facebook pages.  Even if they have none of these, a potential customer can still contact the yarn owner  by clicking on his or her name under the yarn’s photo from inside of Ravelry.  But, you may ask, what if the yarn owner is not a member of Ravelry?  
What serious fiber artist or fiber arts business wouldn’t be?
Ever wonder about the future of the fiber arts in an increasingly electronic world?  Way back on January 17th, 2008 when Ravelry only had 72,879 users, they did a survey of their members and found that the median age was 35.  As of January 6, 2009 there were 253,955 registered users and 2,417 more on the waiting list.  The average wait time was listed as 2 days, meaning that Ravelry is adding well over 1,000 new users each day.  Did I mention that it’s free?  No article could ever describe all of the amazing and intriguing features of Ravelry, so why not discover the rest for yourself?  When you do join, don’t forget to “friend” me, Alpacagal.



  1. “Etsy is an online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade.” – taken from http://www.etsy.com/about.php



  2. “RSS is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works” – taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS_(file_format)