Thursday 19 August 2010

Trip to see the fuzzies

This week I went out for a day trip.  I do like to go on excursions, with like-minded crafters, around the Midlands to visit interesting shops.  This week we had planned to visit Breedon-on-the-Hill to see Cath at Create & Knit.  I love this little complex, with its antiques, garden centre and delicious little cafe.  However this trip was not to be.  We forgot that Create & Knit isn't open on a Tuesday - DOH! I was very disappointed as this yarn shop has lots of interesting yarn that isn't available in Leicester shops, and Breedon is such a lovely village.

Instead we decided that we should go and visit the fuzzy critters at Toft Alpacas.  I saw my first alpaca at the Ravelry Day last year.  The poor creatures were freshly shorn and it was tipping it down all day.  I felt so sorry for them, even though I'm sure they were fine.  I love alpacas as they have such elegant necks and faces, but they have really gangly legs and look quite comical sometimes.  But even more than their appearance, I love how soft their fleece is.  The yarn spun from alpaca fleece is wonderfully warm and soft, and comes in some lovely shades. So we with this in mind went to look at the alpacas and visit the shop.

The shop is small, but it is on the farm, which is set in lovely Warwickshire.  You can also go and visit the alpacas in the fields.  On my visit, I fully intended to buy some lace weight yarn, as I seem to have grown quite addicted to lace knitting.  With such fine yarn you get quite a lot of bang for your buck. I didn't know which colour to get but I eventually bought 4 skeins in this fascinating mushroom colour.

I love this yarn, but I am quite sad that this weight of yarn does not come in the fabulous chocolate colour that I saw in some of the heavier yarns.  While I was there I was lured into buying some DK weight yarn from the sale bin.

I love that they are all wrapped up in tissue paper and sealed with a sticker that looks like their famous hand-turned wooden buttons.

The likeness is pretty good.  I might have splashed out and bought a couple of the small yew buttons while I was there as well.

Aren't they pretty?  They have "TOFT" burned on to the front and the type of wood burned onto the back.  These hand turned buttons are destined to be used on the garment I make with my fabulous Fez.  I think they can only enhance the yarn.

I really like the garments that are sold in the shop, but they are a little pricey for me, as are the kits.  They make fantastic items but they really are very expensive, though I nearly succumbed to the teddy bears (oh so soft).  I am very pleased with my yarn purchases though, and can't wait to knit with them.  I may end up designing something new to show off the wonderful tones that show through this natural, un-dyed yarn.  I'm getting all excited just thinking about it.  Must find a notebook.......


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