Passion is such an amazing thing. It can take you places and lead you to meet people that you never imagined you would. Today, it was my growing passion for handmade and understanding how and where things come from that brought us to Rivanna River Alpacas.
Today, we met Dee Dee and Bill. Transplanted from Chicago nearly 9 years ago, Dee Dee and Bill are alpaca breeders and fiber producers. Having left successful and busy lives, they decided to follow their own dreams and passions to have a farm and raise alpacas.
Alpacas are beautiful, gentle animals belonging to the camelid family (with camels and llamas). Originally from South America, they look quite a bit like llamas, yet smaller. The most distinctive thing about alpacas is their fleece. These animals have the softest, loveliest fleece I have ever felt. If you can imagine how a cloud would feel, this is how I would describe alpaca fleece. Sheered once a year, the fleece, now called fiber, gets washed, dyed, and spun into a high quality yarn, used in knitting, crocheting, or weaving.