Welcome to Alpacas of the Coast, an alpaca farm in Errington, BC on central Vancouver Island. We, Skye and Randall Donald, started raising alpacas in 2005 specializing in white fleece. Alpacas are a joy in our lives and we hope we can share that with you.
Oceanside-area knitters are invited to take part in the 2010 World-Wide Knit in Public Day by knitting in public at the Errington Farmer's Market on Saturday, June 12th from 10AM to 1PM. This social event offers local knitters the opportunity to socialise with friends, network with other knitters, and show off their fibre-passion to the public. Participation is simple: bring a chair and a knitting project and join us! Spinning and crochet is welcome, too.
Knitters are invited to bring a folding chair and set up in the market area facing the bandstand.
Errington Farmer’s Market is located in the Errington Community Park on Errington Road just past the intersection at Grafton Avenue. There is parking available on the field and at the hall. It is a really nice, relaxed, park-like setting, and there will be live music (scheduled is “Peter Mason & Friends”). There is a concession stand with coffee, cinnamon buns and more, and of course, there is the market itself. If the weather is fair, it should be a very enjoyable morning.
This event has been hastily organised for Oceanside knitters because there didn’t appear to be any other WWKiP Day events in our area. Quasi-organiser Skye Donald will be at her market stall for most of the morning, spinning or knitting, but she will join the group as she is able.
Free Yarn: Anyone that Skye spots knitting (or spinning or hooking) at the Errington Farmer’s Market on Saturday, June 12th will be offered a chance to enter a free draw for some farm yarn and/or spinning fibre.
This local event has been hastily organised by Skye Donald of Alpacas of the Coast
World Wide Knit in Public Day was created by Danielle Landes in 2005.
To find out more about WWKiP Day visit www.wwkipday.com
Skye and Linda are back at this year’s Errington Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning from 10AM to 1PM. This year’s products include wool rovings and spinning rolls, four kinds of yarn, hand-knits, eggs, and fruit from the garden. Look for socks and sock yarn to arrive later this spring.
Opening day was great fun. There was lots of traffic and some extra fun things to do, like making flower crowns and dancing around a May Pole. My nephew, Noah, took some great photos (and I added a few of my own). Folks visiting had a great time. The weather was fantastic. I have a new booth location this year which allows me to have space to demonstrate spinning. So many folks – young and old – are really fascinated with spinning, and it brings back special memories for some older folks, too. Last Saturday, Oceanside Web TV was there filming, and they’ve made a nice article on the market. You can catch me spinning at about 0:46 of the segment.
For more photos, click on the thumbnail or product name.
Made with 70% super-soft Errington alpaca (~20-25 micron average fibre diameter) blended with 30% merino sheep wool, this 2-ply mule spun yarn (worsted or light worsted) makes this yarn practical for any garment. ~226 meters / skein.
These fluffy coils of wool are ideal for needle felting or spinning. Some folks even use them for rug hooking or for braided pet beds. I usually have a rainbow of colours available.
$5.00 / 4 ounces (natural cream)
$6.50 / 4 ounce (hand-dyed)
$6.50 / 4 ounce bag (Felter's Fancy - mixed scraps of colour, plus 1 ounce of natural cream.)
Alpaca Pin-Drafted Rovings
Produced at Qualicum Bay Fibre Works, these soft, blended rovings are a delight to spin. Anna Runnings of QBFW has also experiemented with knitting the pin-drafted rovings with good results.
$17.50 - $22.50 / 4 ounces (depending on the blend)
These batts are designed for making comforters and quilts, but they can also be used for spinning, felting or for other crafts.Each batt is approximately 96“ X 62” and weights 1 to 2 lbs.We have two different batts to choose from: 100% Lasqueti Island Sheep Wool or a 70% AOTC Alpaca / 30% Wool blend.
(Special note: the alpaca fibre in our quilting batts was made using of all the fibre that was long enough for processing, but didn’t meet our softness standard to be made into yarn.)
$16.00 / lb (100% Wool)
$40.00 / lb (70% Alpaca / 30% Wool)
Made with 70% alpaca, 20% merino wool, and 20% nylon, these warm, durable socks come in four sizes (based on men's shoe size). Ankle socks have a shorter cuff than the work-socks. The colour is a natural creamy white.
ANKLE SOCKS $20.00 Small (4-6) or Medium (Size 7-9)
$20.00Medium (Size 7-9) $22.50 Large (Size 10-12) or Extra Large (Size 13-15)
Randy and I are pleased to introduce our 2010 cria.The first was born on February 19th, during the XXI Winter Olympics in Vancouver, so we decided to name her after gold medal snowboarder Maëlle Ricker.This cria was out of V Island Belle, and the sire is our very own Dorian de la Costa.Maëlle is Dorian’s very first off-spring, so we’re naturally really excited about her arrival.
Our second cria of 2010 came unexpectedly early.Born a bit premature on April 11th, we gave this little female and her dam, Mystic’s Jasmine some extra attention.Six days later, after a check-up from the vet, we let them join the herd.Jasmine was so happy to have fresh green grass again, and the little cria was so excited to have space to run.She continues to grow well, and you would never know that she gave us such a scare by being born early, though we’ll leave her coat on for a bit longer to help her stay warm.We have decided to name her after the great Canadian Olympian Clara Hughes.Clara is Dorian’s second cria.
Both cria appear to be white (although some days it is hard to tell, what with all the dirt and vegetation they manage to get themselves into), and they are eligible for registration in the Canadian (CLAA) and American (ARI) registries.
In celebration of the fact that these are the first cria from Dorian, we’re offering them for sale at an amazingly special price: $2500.00 CND each or $4500.00 for the pair.This is a fantastic price for young, double-registered animals, so don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to start a new herd or expand an existing one.
(Cria must be kept with their dams until they are at least six months of age, so Maëlle and Clara will be ready to move to a new farm in August and October, respectively.The price listed does not include transportation or registry transfer fees.)
Randy and I have a small flock of chickens here on the farm, and since we will be selling their eggs at the Errington Farmer’s Market starting next Saturday, I thought that I would say a few words about our birds.
Right now, we have 12 ISA Brown hens (all under 1 year of age) and 1 Buff Brahma Bantam rooster, affectionately named “Dork”.Our chickens range freely over the whole front-section of the farm.After they are let out of the hen house in the morning, they wander as they please.(We keep them in on really wet, windy or snowy days).In addition to whatever treats they find while roaming the farm, they are supplemented with 16% Layer Pellets from Top Shelf Feeds (a Vancouver Island feed company).The feed contains vitamins and minerals, but it is not medicated nor does it contain animal byproducts.
Our two slightly older hens each lay a jumbo sized egg every day.The younger birds (younger by about six months) lay an egg *almost* every day, and they range from medium to jumbo, though they are getting bigger all the time.Egg size is based on weight, not the size of the egg shell.Jumbo eggs are at least 70 grams, although we sometimes have eggs that are 80 grams (or more!).The shells are brown (that’s why the birds are called ISA “Brown”… because they lay brown eggs), and they have rich orange yolks.
Roma, our dog, loves the chickens because she really, really likes eggs.They’re a special treat, and she always gets any cracked or damaged eggs.She bites them open, licks up the insides and then eats the shell.
2010 Market Season Egg Prices: Large $4.00 / Extra-Large $4.25 / Jumbo $4.50