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This last weekend I was invited to travel to  Harrisburg, PA to attend the Mid-Atlantic Alpaca Breeders Association MACAPA Jubilee. This was a gathering where the owners of 1,000 alpaca got together to show their animals in competition, to have fun with costume contests, to compete in a fleece to shawl competition (they have only a few hours to go from hair to finished garment) and with my oar being put in, to learn to knit all that beautiful alpaca yarn. I am proud to say that I turned 14 non-knitters into knitters with a lot of laughter which always makes learning fun.

 

The reason I was there was because I had written The Crafty Llama and Alpaca Knits (the newest in my knitting series of books) so that it could be used as a tool to encourage knitting the beautiful alpaca yarn that is produced by farms across North America. Not only was it written for the owners of alpaca to knit sweaters and accessories from the incredibly soft yarn these animals produce every year to show their pride and love for them, but there is an additional value.

 

Each farm holds days when the general public comes to visit. After they see the alpaca, they usually visit the farm shop to buy some yarn or products made from the fleece of the alpaca they'd just seen. The farmer can then sell them copies of the book (available to them at wholesale) which in turn encourages the public to buy more yarn from the animals they just saw to make the patterns I created. This is a win-win situation for me as author/publisher, the farmers and the public.

 

If you get a chance to visit an alpaca farm, do. You might be lucky enough to get a kiss, as I did, from a friendly alpaca named Spike.

 

For those of you who will be attending CAPA-U next month, feel free to ask me about this marketing adventure. I'll be the one running around trying to be everywhere at once. Definitely stop for a chat, I'll need to sit down.

 

Peggy Gaffney

Kanine Knits Books and Patterns

http://www.kanineknits.com

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Comment by Kimberly A. Pierce on May 26, 2013 at 8:52am

Wow! this is absolutely wonderful, Peggy. We do have an Alpaca Farm here as well called:

Pine Hill Alpaca Farm LLC  in Sterling, Ct.

Maybe someday we'll hope to see you there! My daughter and other children love the Alpaca Farm.

~Kimberly

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