— The Openherd Team

Shepherd Hills Alpacas

You don't have to own a farm to own alpacas!

Frank and Diane Beauchner
1442 Par CausewayWescosville, PA 18106

It Takes Just One Gnome to Start A Village

How to Needle-felt a Gnome

What began as an idea to create something out of alpaca fiber that might sell well at an “all-crafts-must-be-handmade” craft fair, has grown into a village of gnomes (and an addiction to creating them; some friends and family members have suggested that an intervention may be in order!) It all began during the holiday season when I spied a gnome in a catalog and decided it would be fun to try to create one out of alpaca fiber. Coincidentally, The Knitter’s Edge, my local yarn shop in Bethlehem... Full article >

Alpaca United Update

Fast Forwarding the Commercial Alpaca Fiber Market

Alpaca United Progress Report:
Fast Forwarding the Commercial Alpaca Fiber Market

by Diane Beauchner

Editor’s Note: Following is an update on the progress Alpaca United has made since I last reported on this new alpaca organization. For complete information on its beginnings see my article in Alpacas Magazine, Spring 2011.

New Year. Perhaps one of your resolutions is to take a closer look at the direction the alpaca industry in general and your farm in particular is headed. Show atte... Full article >

Alpaca United

Leadership in the Nick of Time?

Finally—after years of fits and starts as a cottage industry trying to do something sig- nificant with alpaca fiber, an organization has surfaced that may provide the intent, leadership and ability to do just that.
Enter Alpaca United, an idea first promoted by Claudia Raessler, an attorney and owner of SuriPaco, a suri alpaca farm and domestic fiber business located in Maine. Raessler and Alpaca United’s fifteen-member steering committee are working under the direction of Nick Hahn, Chief Exec... Full article >

Part II: What Are You Doing with Your Alpaca Fleece?

A Tale of Two Co-ops

Part II: What Are You Doing With Your Alpaca Fleece?
A Tale of Two Co-ops
by Diane Beauchner and Anne Spreng

All your alpacas are shorn. Your adorable crias look slightly forlorn.

You know from experience that their fleece will grow out again so for now you breathe a sigh of relief that shearing day is a memory. You can relax.

Except…“The Question” looms… What do you do with the fleece?

The answer can be as individual as your alpacas. Do you process the fiber yourself? Do you pu... Full article >