Welcome to my first blog on our brand new Blackwattle Yarn and Fibre website! I have been thinking of a starting a blog for some time and thought why not make a start with the creation of our brand new website!
Firstly let me introduce myself, I’m Angela Smith, and with my husband Matthew, we run One Tree Hill Alpacas and Blackwattle Alpaca Yarn and Fibre, located in Murrumbateman, NSW. Just a short 20 minute drive out of Canberra. We specialise in breeding appaloosa alpacas, the spotty ones. We have about 70 alpacas on our property that overlooks the Brindabella Ranges near Canberra. We are located in a fantastic cool climate grape growing region and we are surrounded by 3 wineries.
All my coloured yarns are hand dyed at home, by me, in our farm shed. We also stock a range of natural yarns sold under the Alpaca Breeders Collection label. Currently all our yarn bases are grown and processed in NSW. So not only 100% Australian – but 100% NSW!
Why start a blog? 10 reasons really:
- I talk a lot….especially about alpacas. I love to talk alpaca – all things alpacas – all the time (sorry not sorry!).
- I thought it might be a good way to spread the wonderful news and information about alpacas and their products to a wider ‘victim’ base than just my work mates, close friends and family. Sorry I talk a lot about alpacas but I just love them and their products. Addicted I hear you ask? Maybe…just a little.
- I crochet. Knitting is not my thing as I find it really hard to concentrate on one needle so not sure how I would manage two, but I love watching knitters create their products – very talented people.
- I have a Bachelor of Visual Arts, from James Cook University, which I was not using in my day to day job of a work, health and safety advisor, so I thought I could use my creative side by dyeing yarn, which I have fallen in love with.
- I take lots of photos (understatement really). You capture some truly magical things from behind the camera lense from time to time.
- We have alpacas, about 70 of the delightful creatures. All have names and different personalities.
- I have a very short attention span so my posts will be quite varied from alpacas, to dyeing yarn, to alpaca fibre, all the way through to patterns and pattern designers. I will also post about farm life in general – stories that are educational, uplifting, funny and sometimes sad. Farm life teaches us things that most people would not think about – resilience, patience, creativity, practicability, growth, what your limits are and how to exceed those limits.
- Did I mention that I love talking about alpacas?
- My need and personal drive to educate people about alpacas and their products. My humble thoughts are that the wider knitting and crochet communities prefer merino based yarns and fibre for their works and I feel that this could be due to the negative perceptions that alpaca fibre and yarns may have and the lack of availability to high quality alpaca yarns in Australia. Alpaca breeders in Australia need to focus growing and producing alpaca fibre and products of the highest quality, and products that the knitting and crochet communities want, and then provide an avenue for the customers to purchase the products. I have always thought that there is not enough alpaca in the fibre market place and I want to help fix this.
- To support Australian grown and processed products! We grow stunning, and I mean STUNNING, alpaca fibre right here in Australia and aside from what is generally believed, we do have fibre processors and mills right here in Australia that make wonderful yarn, fibre and felted products from alpaca. As producers it is our duty and obligation to provide customers with information about Australian grown and processed products to enable them to make informed purchasing decisions. If customers don’t know about our wonderful products that are grown and processed in Australia, how do we expect them to purchase them?
Welcome to my first blog on our Blackwattle Yarn and Fibre website.