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Alpaca Show for Emrys

Well, after five years of keeping and breeding alpacas, we’re finally taking the plunge and entering two of our boys into the junior category at an agricultural show in Somerset. Exciting and scary, as I’ve never done this kind of thing before.

Susan has been trying to persuade us for some time now, and I’ve finally relented. One of last year’s cria – Emrys – is such a fantastic little boy, who I think might have a shot at a rosette. Fabulous fleece, looks great, very good genetics. So, I’m about to start halter training him and Rhodri for showing in May. I’ll be going down there with Susan anyway, who’s an old hand in the show ring.

Whatever happens, it’ll be an experience!

Emrys, New Year 2013

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Alpacas of Wales Yarns

I know some people are waiting on news about the forthcoming alpaca/suri blend I’m going to be producing in association with Susan Myerscough of Alpacas Of Wales – well, we may have found a mill who’ll provide exactly what we want at a decent price, with the quality and consistency we demand.

While the previous mill’s yarn was very nice, the consistency just wasn’t there, and we had to reject quite a number of skeins. However, this new mill has given us samples of a suri 4-ply, spun from a 7-year-old, below-average quality suri fleece, and they’re lovely. If they can do a good job with those materials, then we can have a high confidence in them producing a fabulous yarn with our baby alpaca and baby suri clip. We have 20 kilos left from Susan’s 2012 baby alpaca and suri clip, and we’re champing at the bit to get going before this year’s clip comes along.

What we’ll be aiming for is a blend of 75% huacaya/25% suri in a range of DK, 4-ply and 2-ply weights, with a defined colour card developed by myself and Susan, dyed here at Triskelion, and then sold through both of our websites and at UK yarn shows. I’ll hopefully be bringing you good news about this next week.

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Possible New Yarn Base

We’re getting in some samples of a possible new yarn base this week – a 50/50 blend of BFL and baby alpaca in a 3-ply/heavy lace/light fingering weight, 475m per 100g skein. I’ve loved the BFL/alpaca blends I’ve come across before, so I have high hopes for this one as our supplier is pretty damn awesome. Keep an eye out for the first ones going up in the shop – I’ll be giving it a workout in dulls and brights, and saturated and soft colours.

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Live!

The website is now live. All products listed on the site are now available to buy. There are still some minor cosmetic issues, e.g. the dynamically resized on the product listings thumbnails aren’t displaying with a decent quality, but are fine on the product pages. We’ll get there…

Please feel free to give us feedback on site usage – all suggestions and comments will be gratefully received!

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P3 Retreat Preparations

I’m attending the P3 retreat in Pembroke as a vendor this weekend. Around thirty or so knitters will be there, all being taught by the revered Brenda Dayne and Amy Singer. It’s the first public outing for Triskelion – everything I’ve been selling has been either to local friends and relatives or online via Etsy. Kind of nerve-wracking, but exciting nevertheless.

Over 100 skeins have been dyed. The last two skeins of Gofannon Lace will be on the stove tomorrow, and the last sweater-quantity batches are drying on the rack as I type. All that’s left to do is some reskeining, and then the mammoth undertaking of putting on over a hundred skein bands. That’ll leave me free for all the angst over whether I made the right colour choices and wishing I could go back and choose again, and the fretting and fussing over how to display the skeins.

At least I get a break from dyeing for a week. I feel like I’ve been slave to a timer for the last three.

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Are we there yet?

The user interface is almost done and dusted – just a couple of tweaks need doing here and there. PayPal appears to be working, which is another major headache gone. The email subscription and customer registration is also working and will be kept through for when the site actually goes live, so feel free to register with us and/or subscribe to our newsletter!

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Progress

Well, we had a little bit of a set-back (somehow, I deleted the home page and all associated settings…) but we’ve come back stronger (in that I know what the hell I’m doing now). However, the shipping system is now all set up and ready, which was my biggest headache. And IE8 viewers might also want to clear their cache, if they looked at the site previously – as always, IE8 is very, very naughty.