Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Minnesota Morning

Hi Knitters,
I am having a hard time even thinking about how to write down my experiences from yesterday. I get kind of overwhelmed just thinking about it and then I can't figure out a good and appropriate way to tell you about it. I decided to break down the day into sections. Hopefully this will help me sort it out.

By the way, can you get over that great expression in the photo above? I can't. It makes me laugh.

On Saturday morning, the owner of Blue Sky Alpacas/Spud & Chloë, along with her kind husband (who does all of their fantastic pattern photography), picked me up at the hotel. I was checked out and ready to go. They took me out to their house, which was wonderful. They are in the midst of a renovation which was all familiar to me. I loved seeing the work in progress and all of her tile and color and floor samples. I eat that stuff up. The best part besides spending time with my beloved boss lady? I got to meet her three alpacas that live with her on the farm. I have never even been near an alpaca before and it was a treat.
I didn't realize that these animals have enormously endearing personalities. That's why they are so sought after and popular, I guess. I can't remember the names except the golden one is named, Colonel Mustard. Isn't that great? He was a funny one, too. She kept telling him to put his teeth in! That made me laugh.

My boss lady was extremely excited about her manure spreader that you can see in the distance there. It has opened a whole new world for her. Too good, right?
We had some carrots with us which they thoroughly enjoyed. I love the hair on top of their heads so much. Funny.
This experience was so fun for me. I know people think Wisconsin is all farms and everyone lives on a farm (and a lot do) but I am just a city girl with horrible allergies. I have very little experience with animals of any sort due to my life long battle with allergies and asthma. For me this close up experience was a treat.
The alpacas are incredible animals. They have a sweetness about them that would be tough to match in any other animal. They are kind of nervous or flightly but I could tell they really love and trust their owner.
I have an extreme cat allergy so I didn't linger about these adorable kittens but I did appreciate their cuteness. They were full of sweet kitten noises, too. When my mom was a little girl she had a kitten she named Lil' Sweetheart. Every time I see a cute kitten I always think of my mom and her Lil' Sweetheart that she loved so dearly. These two are definitely lil' sweetheart caliber.After the house visit I got to visit the Blue Sky Alpacas/Spud & Chloë office and warehouse. I took a ton of pictures but when I looked through I noticed that in most every shot there were projects and new colorways and things that haven't been released yet. I couldn't post those so I will just tell you that I didn't want to leave the premises when it was time. I could stay there for a week and still not want to leave. The creative energy is palpable. The yarn is the most beautiful and unique in the industry and the people who work there are top-notch. The beauty of the studio space is something I have never seen or experienced anywhere. You should know that when you buy Spud & Chloë or Blue Sky Alpacas yarn and patterns and needles and bags that it all comes from an exquisite little Minnesota hideaway that is truly like a fiber/design dreamland. It is a magical spot tucked away in the wilderness.

I was loaded up with gifts and love and new, fresh inspiration. My boss lady (she doesn't like public recognition which makes me love her even more) is incredible and generous. She gets me wishing I had a lot more hours in the day to work and knit and create. She inspires me. I got sneak peeks at all kinds of cool yarn, colors, projects, ideas, sketches, textiles, etc. It was priceless. After this stop I could have just packed up and gone on home.

We went to lunch and headed off to the Shepherd's Choice in Anoka.

Little did I know the day was only going to get better from here on out!
Here is a very short 30 second video I took of the alpacas. At one point I turned the camera as if I was taking a photo, which wasn't good, but I still thought you might enjoy seeing exactly what I got to see:)

I'll be back tomorrow with part 2 of Anoka, Minnesota.
best, susie