olanthe is home to 11 amazing alpacas: Sunny, Mamacita, Faith, Summer, Harmony, Mischief, Patience, Love, JJ, Hope, and Maylea Sky. Did you know that alpacas are cousins to the camel and the llama, and are originally from South America, high up in the Andean Altiplano of Southern Peru to Northern Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile? Today they live all over the world. Alpacas are super sweet creatures that look like a cross between a giraffe and a teddy bear. They communicate by gentle humming; grow to be about 5’ tall, and come in 22 colors: from black to white and everything in between, including: browns, goldens, grays, and some even have spots! Alpacas weigh 15-20 pounds at birth, and are usually up (and running!) within 30 minutes after they are born. Alpaca fiber is considered one of the world’s finest and most luxurious silky fibers, because not only is it super soft, it’s hypoallergenic too!
HOW HATS FOR IOLANTHE’S KIDS ARE MADE
Our alpacas give us their beautiful coats which we shear off of them every year in June. This doesn’t hurt them one bit, in fact, they quite love getting shorn so they’re nice and cool for summertime! We roll their blanket (the prime fleece) into what we call a Noodle, and then take the noodles to our mill. Once the mill washes and processes the noodles (into beautiful fluffs), our lovely volunteers spin the fiber into yarn on spinning wheels, and more lovely volunteers knit that gorgeous yarn into super soft hats for Iolanthe’s Kids.
Click on their photos below to learn more about each one. 😉