Alpacas of Alagaesia

Variety is the spice of life!!

Leann & Don Alexander
64639 US 31
Lakeville, IN 46536
574-299-9356 (home)
574-903-6831 (cell/text)
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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Carding - an article by Louet about carding and their carders

Carding


The most important difference between drum carders and industrial carders is in the number of carding drums. On industrial carders, the carding process is accomplished through a series of different drums working interactively; however, on drum carders, usually only two drums are being used. Also, on an industrial carder, the process in continuous, and the fibers are continuously transferred from one drum to the next and in the end the fiber is taken off the last drum in the form of a sliver or batting.

On a drum carder, the fibers are deposited on the large drum, after a short carding process between the small and the large drums.

The fundamental differences between the industrial carders and the drum carders have resulted in the following design and operating consequences for the Louet drum carders:

The most important difference between the Louet drum carders and other drum carders is the method of supplying fiber to the drums. Most drum carders have a feed tray where teased fibers are deposited and then pushed towards the small or intake drum. Next, this intake drum transports the fibers to the large drum. The Louet drum carder has a small board below and in front of the in-take drum. This board exists for construction purposes only. The board is not designed to be a feed tray.

To feed the Louet drum carder, take some fibers in your left hand, and have the in-take drum pull this fiber out of your left hand, while you turn the crank on the large drum. Carefully, do not allow too much fiber to be pulled out of your hand. You will develop a kind of sliver between your hand and the in-take drum. This is a fiber preparation, akin to the teasing required for other drum carders, and is therefore a time-saving feature of the Louet drum carder. As a result of the fibers being pulled out of your hand, the majority of fibers will be orientated in the direction of the carding action.

This effect cannot be created by teasing, but it is essential in obtaining the required carding effect.

The Louet drum carder has ½" high carding cloth instead of ¼" like our competitors. The practical result of higher teeth on the carding cloth is that the Louet drum carder can hold twice as much fiber as our competitors drum carders.

The quantity of fiber that can be carded to a batt depends on the size of the large drum and the size of the teeth. If you want to card a small amount of fiber, we advise to fill only the center portion of the large drum. It is easier to remove the batt from the middle of the drum than to remove a thinner batt from the whole drum.

The drums on an industrial carder are adjusted so that they do not touch each other. This is necessary due to the multiple steps required in the industrial carding process. It is our experience, however, that with a drum carder that has cloth with flexible teeth, the best results are obtained when the teeth intertwine. The exact depth of intertwining is not important. Louet has been manufacturing Louet Drum Carders for more than 20 years for the market world wide and we have never had to replace carding cloth due to wear of the carding cloth that could be attributed to the intertwining of the teeth.

Again, in more than 20 years, we have never replaced a gearbox.

Besides higher teeth the Louet carding cloth also has two other significant differences with our competitor's carding cloth. The teeth are placed in the carding cloth in a way that allows the teeth to flex in the direction of the carding action. This flexing makes the carding process easier on the fibers, causing less fiber breakage. The teeth are staggered alternately. They do not form continuous rows of teeth as in other drum carders. The combined effects of these teeth and teeth placement is a more homogeneous carding result.

Due to the unique features of teeth placement, size, and flexibility, the commonly used comparative feature of "number of teeth per square" in carding cloth does not give an accurate indication of what to expect from Louet Drum Carders.

The in-take drum on the Louet drum carder accumulates more fibers than other drum carders. For best result, we recommend to leave this fiber on the take-up drum, and only clean the take-up drum if it is absolutely necessary due to incompatibility of fiber to be carded, or color changes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring Brings....

Blossoms on the trees, Robins in flight, tadpoles & baby turtles, Oh Ya... and... NAKED ALPACAS!!!!!
Yes, it is that time of year again! The most anticipated day for any farmer...the HARVEST! Yes, the day-to-day with the alpacas is fun and they bring us so much laughter and joy all the time...but what is the most prized thing they give us??? YOU KNOW IT!! THEIR FLEECES!!!
This year we are holding our shearing on Saturday April 28th. Felicia will be coming up from Kewanna to help us with the harvest. We have 30 plus alpacas to shear so it will be a full day! As always, fleeces will be available for a discount the weekend of our shearing. We still have a rainbow of colors that we are offering and we take a lot of pride in the fact that many of them are ROYAL BABY FINE! Take your chances and pick out your fleece the weekend of shearing or come out before and reserve yours while still on the 'paca! You can reach me (Leann) at 574-903-6831 to schedule a time to come out. I am very flexible as I am here washing and spinning like crazy right now to make some room on my fleece shelves! LOL!!!



So, you have a fleece...now what?

We are working on helping you with that also! For years we have carried Finniwig fiber art tools crafted by local artisan and friend, Chuck Tubbs, and for the last year, we have offered spinning wheels, hand cards and now even a drum carder, made by local craftsman, Virgil Meisner. Both are great guys making great fiber arts tools LOCALLY! It is awesome to have such talented people so close by!

We are also currently working on setting up an account with Louet to expand what we can offer you! Louet has single and double treadle wheels for the entry level or the more advanced spinner. Even an electric carder, weaving looms, swifts and ball winders, and a whole lot of etc! If you have any questions about Louet products you can call me or you can also visit the Louet website (Louet.com) to see a lot of what they offer. Anyone that is helping me place my initial order will receive 20% off the retail price!!! Believe me, I will have no problems filling up the order with my own wish list!! I am more than happy to help you with yours too! I will not only be carrying their fiber tools but also rovings and fibers from them to compliment the alpaca when I feel like mixing it up a bit! I will soon be bringing in some silk, bamboo, tencel, merino, ramie, soysilk, mohair, and probably more!!! Not to forget to mention the colorful dyes I am going to start offering as well!!!! I may need an intervention before this is all over! LOL!!!


Hummingly yours,
Leann Alexander

Thursday, October 27, 2011

OPENING SOON!!! Mistletoe Market in South Bend!!!

We will be opening November 1st in downtown South Bend!! Look for us in our co-op shop, "Mistletoe Market", nestled in directly behind South Bend Chocolate Cafe, directly south of the College Football Hall of Fame, and directly west of the Century Center! We are sooo excited to be a part of Downtown South Bend this holiday season!!!
November 4th is First Friday and our actual "Grand Opening" event! We will have the alpacas there, facepainting, cookies and punch!! Please come and share in the festivities with us from 5-9pm!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Twisted to the core!!!!!

In the making...

In the making...

I have been having a lot of fun making some funky corespun yarns lately. After shearing, my workshop is full of a beautiful palette of alpaca fleeces in a rainbow of natural colors. The yarns that I have been working on are using multiple colors at once which makes me feel like a kid with my hand in many cookie jars all at the same time!! These yarns are sooo soft to touch! I may not want to wear a scarf made from them right now (90+ & it's only June!) but their time will come!!! My samples are worked up on a 10mm/N Hook. This yarn will make for fast projects!!
My favorite so far is the one I am still making more of which includes Peruvian Adonis' blue ribbon fleece that came from my wonderful friend Diane Sebright, our herdsire Pink Cyclone, our maroon girl Gabby, and Chipeta's beautiful and soooo soft black fleece. It has bits of tweediness when the colors combine and includes some of my most favorite colors like rose grey, maroon and black!!!
I am able to spin this to order. If you would like samples of some the fleeces I am working with let me know!
Made from Adonis, Cyclone, Gabby, & Chipeta

Made from Adonis, Cyclone, Gabby, & Chipeta

Also made from Adonis, Cyclone, Gabby & Chipeta

Also made from Adonis, Cyclone, Gabby & Chipeta

Yarn and sample made from Gabby & Chipeta

Yarn and sample made from Gabby & Chipeta

Yarn made with Gabby & Chipeta

Yarn made with Gabby & Chipeta


Thursday, May 26, 2011

We MAY just B crazy!!!!!

This CRAZY sale ends 6-1-2011!!!

This CRAZY sale ends 6-1-2011!!!

We MAY B crazy here at Alagaesia this last week of MAY!!! We are offering our herdsires to you at 50% off their already low and reduced prices!!!! This just MAY be the best fiber quality, best genetics, best prepotency, best color options, best diversity (I think U get the picture!) available to refine your next cria and now they MAY very well be the BEST PRICES you will find ANYWHERE!!!
Focusing on Royal Fiber qualities and Lasting Fineness, our boys offer all of that and the genetics to back it up. You can choose from Legacy, Hemingway, Royal Ring of Fire, Victor, Caligula, Vengador, MacIntosh, Vic Jr, Javier, Shaquille, Silvio, Silvino, Excalibur Codi, EastWind’s Andino, Auzengate….just to name a few!!!!
Don’t miss out…this offer expires 6-1-2011!!!!
Short on cash??? This MAY be the best part yet…a low $100 deposit locks your price in until you are ready to use your breeding!!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Legacy's Lucan has arrived!

5-3-2011

5-3-2011

Monday night Mike Cates delivered Luc to us and this boy melted our hearts before stepping off the trailer! Greeting me with a kiss before he officially landed his feet in Indiana and then giving Don a smooch once he had...this boy is smart! LOL!!! We were instantly impressed with not just how personable he is but with his total coverage of so much fleece! Not just any ho-hum fleece...but perfect bundles that open up to a VERY bright and crimpy staple. It feels like butter to the hand with his brightness and fineness. We ooo'd & awe'd over it and him for about an hour before I could tear myself away to call Megan and tell her how much we love him already! I have a VERY good feeling this boy will be the key to our future refinement of our cria and our clients cria!!! Over the miles we had already fallen in love with Luc's bloodlines and what great alpacas he represents, but in person...everything else he offers is truly icing on the cake!!!
If you haven't already, you can check out Luc's webpage at http://alpacasofalagaesia.com/Lucan.htm or at http://openherd.com/alpacas-for-sale/40960/cands-legacys-lucan

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Megan & Ted for sharing him with us. We will treasure him!!
5-3-11

5-3-11


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The first cria of 2011

Me & my mom!

Me & my mom!

With much anticipation, Raindrop finally delivered her cria the day after our shearing, on 4-20-2011. Raindrop and Chino have an extremely handsome little boy whom we are calling Ebony Masterpiece. We knew this pairing would make a cria with a fleece that is out of this world. He is not even a week old but I feel that they did just that!!! Shiny curls with density...you can't even find his skin! He is going to be quite a pleasure to watch grow!!!
I hope you enjoy some of these first pictures of him.
Aren't I the cutest???!!!

Aren't I the cutest???!!!

I have the best mom ever!

I have the best mom ever!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our handsome little man, Ruger!

This little man attracts the attention of all of our visitors! It is easy to see why, you just want to kiss that adorable face and give him a big 'ole bear hug! We have had so many offers for him but we can't give him up for anything!
I took some new pictures of him on the 18th and I just had to share.
I hope you enjoy!

Leann

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Marching in like a...cria???!!!!

KFF Hallie is sooo photogenic!

KFF Hallie is sooo photogenic!

March is coming in like a lamb...er... I mean cria!
Frozen mud but we have sun and we are all lovin' it!!! The shutterbug in me wants to take pix but the poor 'pacas and the pastures are so icky looking I can only bring myself to get mostly some face shots! Here are some scenes from our morning outing....
Alagaesia's Atlantis is doing some Marching!

Alagaesia's Atlantis is doing some Marching!

Ashlynn kisses make the day even brighter!

Ashlynn kisses make the day even brighter!

Ruger looking cute as ever!!

Ruger looking cute as ever!!

Raven kisses are the perfect end!

Raven kisses are the perfect end!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Introducing the newest "Macho-men" of Alagaesia

AFR's Spain

AFR's Spain

We are thrilled to share our newest Machos on the farm, Spain and Ghana! Both bring gorgeous fleece qualities and genetic bloodlines and abilities to further advance ours and our customers herds. Both are very mild mannered and sweet, just a joy to be with. Their fleeces are extremely dense and when you open the bundles up you see the crimp and character that are so well known from their bloodlines. Bringing Victor, Javier, Sara, Vengador, and more Caligula into our herdsire lineup gives many more options in locking in the high quality we expect and demand.
The Vic Jrs Ghana

The Vic Jrs Ghana

Spain's fleece

Spain's fleece

Ghana's fleece

Ghana's fleece