The look on someone’s face when an alpaca approaches them for the first time, when we talk to a customer who savoured their socks all winter long, or when they pull yarn from a pot that was dyed with the sumac they just collected in the field always puts a smile on my face.
The focus of Stone Spindle Farm is alpacas and fostering a connection between our customers and the animals that provide the fleece that is the foundation for the many products that we produce.
Historically alpaca was known as “The Fibre of The Gods” and after you experience it you will understand why. Alpaca is many times warmer than wool and has no lanolin, making it hypoallergenic.
Our logo mimics the turning of a spindle, and the cycle of the seasons. From the growing of plants used for dyes and the harvesting of fleece, we strive to keep our environmental footprint as small as possible. From their padded feet to what they eat, alpacas evolved to be environmentally friendly.
We build upon this with our shearing, dyeing and manufacturing practices. Our shearing process is as gentle as possible for the safety of our animals and crew. After shearing, the fleece is sorted it is shipped to local Canadian mills for processing or kept on the farm for hand spinning into artisan yarns. We only use natural dyes and the animal’s natural colours to craft unique yarns and hand spinning fibre for artisans and crafters of all levels. Our list of products is always growing and maintaining the quality of offerings is of the utmost importance to us. We strive whenever possible to have things made and sourced locally and this has enabled us to develop relationships with our suppliers and manufacturing partners that make this a reality.
Much of the dyes that we use are grown or foraged on our farm and the dye gardens are growing and expanding yearly. Our alpacas are a part of this as well. Their manure is used to fertilize the gardens and fields to naturally build the health of our soil and the plants that grow in it.
Education is also a large part of Stone Spindle Farm. I am a graduate of the OHS Spinning Certificate Course at Haliburton School of the Arts and am currently working on my Master Spinner. I’ve also completed the Alpaca Shed Sorters Course at Olds College. These have formed the basis for my continuing exploration of fibre arts, natural fibre, alpacas and their re-emerging place in the world today. Handspinning, natural dyeing, and knitting classes are taught in the farm studio. Teaching and educational talks are regularly done at museums, schools, guilds and conferences to spread knowledge about craft and alpaca’s unique characteristics to our wider community.