Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Destiny, The Show and a Hat

I have a special find that I have to share with you.
One of my fellow alpaca producers, Shannon Cassidy-Rouleau has written this book called "Destiny's Purpose".

The story centres around an alpaca called 'Destiny' and the journey that takes place when Destiny rises above his unique challenge to find his purpose.

There are many layers to this story. Anyone who has struggled to overcome obstacles or supported someone else’s struggle, will identify with the characters in this touching read-aloud.

Included in the book is a non-fiction section about alpacas.

The illustrations by Dennis Auth are beautiful.

A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation – to advance research for a cure, to educate the public about this condition, to provide hair prosthetics for children in need, and to bring child sufferers to national conferences to meet other children like themselves.

I'm excited to carry this book in my shop now. It's also available online here.

Last Friday, I hopped in my PT Cruiser and headed down to the Alpaca Ontario Show 2010 in Orangeville, Ontario. I was excited to see my alpaca-lovin' friends and discuss industry topics. Also, I looked forward to viewing those 375 alpacas in the beautiful ag centre that they have there.

I used to be quite involved in showing and with the show committee. I haven't shown for over 3 years now. Friday night, I was missing that pre-show excitement that I saw in my friends. But, all in all, I don't miss the pre-show stress and travelling with alpacas. Maybe another year, I'll have more tolerance for it again.

I was able to visit with many good friends in the industry and also talk with like-minded business people. I saw some inspirational fibre art on display and for sale as well.

After a positive experience, I had a sunny drive home up Highway 400 on Saturday.

Things might have ended differently. Sunday, while driving around close to home, my car started making very loud sounds with everything vibrating under the hood. I found out later that one of the bolts that hold the motor to the mount completely sheared off and was rolling around in the splash guard. I'm very thankful this didn't happen when I was doing top speeds on the highway on Saturday.

This is a picture of alpaca fibre taken from my young herdsire, MHA Striker.
Unlike sheeps wool, alpaca fibre has no lanolin. This makes alpaca easier to process without heavy scouring with detergents.

The little ridges that you see in the fibre is called 'crimp' and it is a desirable trait.

This alpaca's fibre is brilliant white. What you see as discolouration in the picture's right is actually dirt in this unwashed fleece...the dirt doesn't penetrate to base of the fibre, as the fibre is packed to densely on the animal.

By the way, Becky "The Unknown Knitter", scolded me for not showing a picture of that big hat once it was finished, fulled and dyed. Here it is!
Rest assured, it's an old picture...we don't have snow.


marj. said...

I hear you on the pre-show stress and the travelling with alpacas. Sometimes it's nice to just sit back and watch. It was great seeing you Friday night and Saturday. I'm so glad that you decided to make the trip and happy that you made it home safely.

Azure Islands Designs said...

Thank you for sharing the book "Destiny" with us...I was a hairstylist for 14 years and during that time had a number of customers with Alopecia...including a couple of children and teenagers...such a sad situation for them...I think it is wonderful donations will be made to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation!!! Makes me want to purchase a book...it might be the kind of book to donate to a school...will talk to my daughter about it!

It is always great to visit with show friends...catch up with all the news, etc...lucky for you your vehicle held up while you were on the highway!!!

Thanks for showing the photo of the finished hat...very pretty...quit the difference!


Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

Thanks Marj - was great to see you and Steve!

Thanks Heather - That book makes a great donation for a school or community library. Our Callander library received one - which is great since I work there and now when somebody asks "you raise WHAT?"...I can give them the book. Also a good story about believing in people who still have to find their special purpose. The author is a special education teacher herself.