Thursday, May 11, 2006

In which the Two Sock Knitters go to an alpaca festival


The Fool tasked me with making something up about the alpaca festival. Really, alpacas are sweet creatures who make noises like they're playing kazoos, and they have soulful eyes and lovely long eyelashes and they're herbivores. There are loads of them at the alpaca festival, and all the alpaca owners are friendly and happy to talk to just about anyone with a question about their animals.
Yawwwwn.
I'd rather make stuff up.



Two weekends ago we went to an alpaca festival in Madison, Wis.
Frequent readers will know that I have also recently been to a gourd festival, at which people admire, fondle and otherwise mess with gourds.
Alpaca festivals are much the same, except most alpacas don't take kindly to fondling. Oh, also? Unlike sheep and wool festivals, no one serves you alpaca-kebobs. Because, really, who could eat one of these?

Well, we all ought to eat alpacas. They're deadly and if we don't eat them first ....
You will note the sharp canine teeth. That is because, in the wild, alpacas lie in shady crevasses, high in the Andean mountains, and pounce on small rodents that happen to pass within grasp of their steel jaws and sharp claws. I think some kinds of alpacas are venomous. Don't be misled by the fact this alpaca has beautiful soft fleece covering its eyes. Alpacas have small pits near their noses that allow them to sense their prey's body heat before striking. Wait. That's snakes. Nevermind.

There are two main kinds of alpacas. Huacaya alpacas are the fiercest and the fluffiest. They have a soft, woolly coat and come in several colors, ranging from white to dark brown. Most Huacaya alpacas are Methodists. They like to sing hymns and have terrific church potlucks.

Suri alpacas are predominately Rastafarian and are known for their distinctive silky coat, which some people think resembles dreadlocks. They play an infectiously rhythmic popular music. Many Suri alpacas are noted reggae bassists.

Our alpaca overlords were pleased that we brought them an offering of two small toddlers. Generally, they were much less frightening than the sheep we took the toddlers to see last September. The sheep made the kids cry. (We met some friends in Madison; these aren't some children we snatched off the street to appease our woolly masters or something.)














We shopped for fiber - naturally. The Fool got a wee baggie of alpaca fluff which he plans to spin someday. I fondled some yarn, but I've got enough to knit right now, so no alpaca yarn for me.

15 comments:

All the Way With Knitting said...

I had them marked as little sweetie-pies...jeez is it true that they eat rodents ? No wonder farmers here use them as sheep-dogs ( errr alpacas) any fox with wicked ideas is going to be sorry.Still love them though and even more the stuff off their backs.

meg said...

Oh, they're completely sweet. I've never met a more adorable animal ... and their fleece is something amazing. But the Fool did suggest I "make something" up about the festival, so I thought about the most unlikely things an alpaca could do ... which included eating rodents ;)

the fiddlin' fool said...

Let me just say that I've been to a Huacaya potluck, and it was a grand time!

Elisabeth said...

What happens when a Huacaya alpaca meets a Suri alpaca? Do they fight to the death? Does the Huacaya alpaca try to evangelize the Suri alpaca? Does the Suri alpaca try to get the Huacaya to smoke weed?

Franklin said...

Hah! I knew there had to be something about alpacas that the media was too cowardly to tell us. Nothing can be that cute without a dark side under the fluff.

I applaud you for telling it like it is.

Also, I had a misconception that Suri alpacas were more into ska. Thank you for correcting me.

All the Way With Knitting said...

Oh dear Meg..I feel a fool but so relieved they are cuties.....Franklin ..some of the oldest Suri ones still live for calypso .

All the Way With Knitting said...

Not your fool of course I've got one of my own .This weekend will be bribing Holly with cash to knit the modular shawl I failed for me and listening to the blues for two days solid ..sigh.

Dee said...

Too funny! I don't know much about alpacas but the llamas I have known are really big spitters. They can really hock and fire one at you.

meg said...

I was sure alpacas would spit, as they are related to llamas, but the woman I talked to said they actually don't at all.

Ruth said...

My 3 yr old son was sitting on my lap this morning as we cruised the blogs and demanded to have a closer look at "the cat". "That's not a cat, it's an alpaca" I said. "It's a were-cat" he said decisively. Out of the mouths of babes...

meg said...

Well ... a were-cat it is, then. I wonder if that means my housecats will morph into useful fleece-producing critters under a full moon, rather than yowling lint-makers?

Aprilynne said...

Alpacha Fiction or Sci-Fi Alpacha maybe Alpacha Trek hehehe

You're good, we want a story now! I'll tell it on my Podcast if you write one! =)*)

Jamie said...

Oh yes, Alpacas DO spit!! One of them spat into my face when I visited it at the barn! *shocked* *sob*

longboat gal said...

Meg, you're very funny. Your husband has helped me when I was insane enough to try 2 socks on 2 circs. Please tell him I came to my senses, ripped the 2nd sock off and found that 2 circs work great for 1 sock at a time! Those llamas look very benign for being such fierce creatures!
Pam

meg said...

The two-socks, two-circ thing never quite made sense to me, despite watching the Fool do it. I usually carry my sock knitting stuffed in a bag, and I think I'd be asking for a big tangled mess if I did anything other than one sock at a time.