Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Island Alpaca Shearing Day, 2017

Island Alpaca Co. also celebrated the farm's 10th anniversary on island!---This family-friendly day represented one of the real highlights of the year on the farm!

Matt Best, Shearer Extraordinare!
  
Courtney and David, capturing fleece for skirting
Professional alpaca handlers and shearers, Matt Best of Newport, New Hampshire was back again this year, shearing the fleecy winter coats off their herd of 52 alpaca, averaging 7-1/2 minutes per shearing and over 8-1/2 pounds of fleece per alpaca! Josepha Shu of Boston was the lucky winner of the "Guess the Weight of Fleece Harvest" winning an Island Alpaca online store gift certificate.  Every bit of the harvest of over 445 pounds of fiber will be made into luxurious yarns and beautiful alpaca products, both hand made and from their fiber cooperative in Fall River, MA. Teddy Louie was the lucky winner of the entry ticket drawing, winning an alpaca throw!
Eric and Cheryl DeWitt, Nicola Blake celebrate.
Annamarie shows her skills at the wheel!
Caleb and Oliver aim high!
Annamarie spinning alpaca yarn as visitors observe!
Simone and Courtney share a laugh

Island Alpaca Staff and on and off-island volunteers participated : Anna Marie D'Addarie - spinning demonstrations, creating alpaca yarn. Eric DeWitt, Barn manager, Dr. Cheryl DeWitt - healthcare, Nicola Blake, Courtney Fitzgerald and David M. Hannon - prepping/skirting fleece once shorn, Oliver Danielson and Caleb Hannon - hosting/feeding/clean-up, Simone and Eve Brewer - fleece bagging and weighing, Alpaca wranglers - Jack Calderella of Lexington, MA, Sam Hannon, of Boston, MA, Neil Hartery of Westford, MA, Ethan Howard of Falmouth, MA and Charles Ronchetti of Lexington, MA. Rosmarie Jost - gift shop, Lizzy Kass of North Kingstown, RI - alpaca sorting, Daisy Moreau - Admissions and Gift Shop, Jeanever Moreau-food prep for humans, Olivia Rogers, Admissions,  Tain Peck - bagging fleece, and finally Mom-Luise Ronchetti of Lexington, MA - the overseer!
Kudos to all, they could not have done it with out you!!!




Neil sweeps while Nicola and Courtney skirt
Courtney and Nicola prepare fleece for show!
Lizzy and Ethan calm an alpaca in queue.
Eric, Charlie, Lizzy and Ethan ready and alpaca for shearing!
Triton ready to go!
Shearers clipping Silver Angel, Charlie, Jack and Sam getting ready for fleece.
Oliver keeping the alpaca fed!
Leonardo, AKA Mr. Nosy is continues to charm.

Boondocker showing off his new coiff!
"Big Boys" on their way home to their pastures!
"Big Boys" back home!
All done!
Girls settling back in!
Revelation, Atticus and Hunter cool and calm.
Showing off their new Do's!
Watch a prior Island Alpaca Shearing Day Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRrM1rfVi8I--
Many thanks to the photographers, David Hannon, Lizzy Kass and Eric Dewitt.

THE FLEECE TO PRODUCT JOURNEY
Each spring, the alpacas are sheared for their fleece. The animals are handled in a loving and humane manner by our professional alpaca handlers and shearers with all safety protocols as a priority.
The highest-quality fleece ‘blanket’ (from the torso of the alpaca) was 'skirted' (the process of removing sections of the fleece that are dirty or coarse), sorted, bagged and taken to the mill to be made into yarn specific to each animal. That yarn is sold by the skein, or given to local knitters and weavers who make beautifully hand-crafted items that are sold in our farm store.
The remainder of the fleece will be brought to their alpaca-fiber cooperative in Fall River, MA.This year's harvest yielded over 350 pounds, half of which will go to the fiber cooperative. In return, the Fiber Coop provides hats, shawls, scarves, gloves, socks and many other quality products that Island Alpaca also sells in their farm store. Barn Manager Eric DeWitt explained that alpaca fiber Performance Socks are a "must-have."
 Each alpaca will produce five to ten pounds of fleece depending on their size, age and density. Alpaca fiber comes in a spectrum of over 20 shades which is more variation then any other fiber-producing livestock. Although they are prized for their natural colors, alpaca fiber also dyes well. Alpaca fiber is hypoallergenic and warmer than sheep’s wool because of its structure. The hollow interior of the hair follicle holds air inside, making it a better insulator. Not only is alpaca fiber warm, it is extremely soft, without the "itch-factor" often associated with wool.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Weekend Story Time @ Island Alpaca Continues on Saturdays

Bring your children for a 1/2 hour of story telling in the barn, and meet up close, one of our baby alpaca! Hosted by Island Alpaca staff, Alexis Hughes! Date: Saturday March 12, 11-11:30 am, and every Saturday, thereafter.

"An Alpaca in My Pocket" and, "Blue Ribbon Alpaca", This first-ever, hard-cover children's alpaca story-book is the story of an alpaca, her envious companions, her awesome fleece and the children who love her! Recommended for ages 4+. Dress warmly!
A donation is welcome.

1 Head of the Pond Road, Oak Bluffs 508-693-5554

Hot off the presses! 

Our new, custom Island Alpaca Hooded Sweatshirts... worn by a staff member at our screen-printing shop in Oregon! Meet Melissa our most helpful sales agent modeling their hard work! Scheduled to arrive @ the end of next week. Adult S to 5XL, Kids sizes coming in too. More info/pre-order by clicking here!

Monday, March 6, 2017

"Nosy-Approved!"

If you can't beat 'em in this frigid weather, join 'em. Sporting our new "alpaca" animal hat for adults, Eric indulges in his own alpaca fiber. Mr. Nosy (aka Leonardo) inspects closely... and we think he likes it! To get your own "Nosy-Approved" Alpaca Hat of your own...for kids and adults! http://islandalpaca.com/product_detail.php?p_id=602
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Monday, February 6, 2017



 

  Your "Valentines Central"!

Saturday, 10 am - 3 pm February 11, 2017 
@ Island Images Gallery, 56 Circuit Ave, Oak Bluffs
One-Stop Shopping.. Something for everyone! 
Find Island Alpaca among other unique Island businesses
Island Alpaca featured products:
fur toys, slippers, socks, hats and more...
Other vendors to feature wampum jewelry, pottery, body/bath products, silk flowers...
Watch for flyers and updates...
Hot Cider and Cookies too! 
Questions? Call us @ 508-423-1443

©2015 Charles Sternaimolo

Friday, January 27, 2017

Weekend Story Time @ Island Alpaca Continues on Saturdays

Bring your children for a 1/2 hour of story telling in the barn, and meet up close, one of our baby alpaca! Hosted by Island Alpaca staff, Alexis Hughes! Date: Saturday March 12, 11-11:30 am, and every Saturday, thereafter.

"An Alpaca in My Pocket" and, "Blue Ribbon Alpaca", This first-ever, hard-cover children's alpaca story-book is the story of an alpaca, her envious companions, her awesome fleece and the children who love her! Recommended for ages 4+. Dress warmly!
A donation is welcome.

1 Head of the Pond Road, Oak Bluffs 508-693-5554

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Island Alpaca Ambassadors!

Island Alpaca staff members, Simone Brewer and Courtney Fitzgerald, hit the road today with two of our friendly alpaca ambassadors, for a meet and greet with the Windemere residents. The alpaca were welcomed by all! Many thanks to Windemere for inviting us to visit! Thanks too, to David Hannon for getting us there and the wonderful photo coverage. ( and the Martha's Vineyard Times for sharing our story! )