January 2017

December is a hectic time for everyone- and it was no exception here at Coco Alpacas.

We were involved in lots of events and Christmas markets which were very successful, and the shop was also extremely busy with our socks being a very popular choice for Christmas presents.

January looks as if it will be a bit quieter and we are turning the focus onto our Spring workshops, with an introduction to using a drop spindle. If you haven’t yet come across this simple and inexpensive piece of spinning equipment, you might enjoy finding out more. Personally I find that learning something new with like-minded participants is usually a great experience.

The drop spindle is a very old method of spinning fleece which is still practised in developing countries and is part of everyday life in South America today. Right up until the 15th century, all types of woven fabric, including the finest of linen, was produced in this fashion.

Fiona Nisbet – a Shropshire based textile artist, designer and maker will be introducing this ancient craft and teaching us how to spin fleece in this traditional style. All materials are provided and no prior experience is necessary.

In February, Fiona will return to teach us how to make heart and flowers from a variety of colourful, dyed fleeces (for full details of these workshops, see below).

And now for an update on the alpacas, who have been doing very well, despite the changeable weather. The animals prefer cold, dry conditions, but as long as they have a shelter to go in when the weather is wet, they are fine.

As the babies (cria) are now six months old we weaned them from their mums at the end of December. Of course, some of them objected to this- particularly the boys!! However, all are doing well and are now eating the concentrate which will keep them strong and healthy. This year the cria seemed to settle down quickly and we had no escapees!

I have decided to return to Ludlow Farmers Market on the second Thursday of the month, so I will be there this Thursday, January 12th, between 9am and 2pm.

And here are some dates for your diary:

Learning to Spin with a Drop Spindle with Fiona Nisbet

Wednesday 25th January 10.30 – 2.30.

Cost – £40.00

All materials are provided and no prior experience is necessary.

Light refreshments will be available throughout the workshop but please bring a pack lunch.

Needle Felting – Learn how to make hearts and flowers with Fiona Nisbet.

Wednesday 8th February 10.30 – 2.30

Cost – £40

Fiona shows how to make hearts and flowers using a variety of colourful dyed fleeces.

As above, all materials are provided and the class is suitable for beginners.

Light refreshments will be available, but please bring a packed lunch.

Shrewsbury Market

Finally, we’ll be at Shrewsbury Market between 9am and 4pm on Friday, February 3rd.


May I wish you health, prosperity and happiness throughout 2017.

Best wishes,


Peruvian women in their traditional dress spinning fleece with a drop spindle.

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