Before Ottawa temperatures dipped below -20, I took a visit to Wilhaven Ridge Alpacas located just east of Ottawa in Cumberland. My mum knows one of the owners (and she had given me a cream coloured skein of their alpaca laceweight yarn last Christmas) and so we went during one of their open Christmas days held on December Saturdays.
Being a farm child and fibre nerd, I was over the moon to hang out with alpacas, feed their chickens, and deliberate over what yarn I would get. And yes, holding that chicken made me feel about seven years old again. Alpacas are an uncanny sort of creature with fluffy stilted legs and enormous deep black eyes, and it was stirring to see Hans, one half of the couple that owns the farm, interacting with the alpacas: the females grouping around a baby, the males running up to greet us and blow hot air into our faces.
I ended up going home with two skeins of sock weight alpaca that will become this shawl and a jar of grape jam that I’m saving to bring back to London with me. Visiting small farms is a reminder that I want one of my own one day, maybe no alpacas but definitely a chicken or