The wool of the Navajo-Churro sheep was our first experience with animal fiber. As a farmer there is no better education about your animals than shearing day, followed by weeks of meticulously picking and cleaning fleeces. Navajo-Churro fleeces are thick and strong, like bags of lusciously highlighted 6-inch hair. The under coat (soft) and outer coat (coarse) are clearly defined. Fibers come in a range of neutral colors, are moderately soft to very coarse, have an amazing luster, and lend themselves to a variety of fiber arts including spinning, felting, knitting and weaving.
Weaving is the most important historic use of Navajo-Churro wool. Softer yarns are used for blankets and throws. Coarser yarns make excellent tapestries and sturdy rugs. Depicted below is a Late Classic Period Navajo Child’s Wearing Blanket, circa 1875. This piece was meticulously woven from the softest lambs’ wool, spun to a fine lace weight. The finished blanket is perfectly reversible.
It wasn’t long before we expanded our fiber flock to complement the many wonderful qualities of the Navajo-Churro. The purchase of our first two guard llamas opened our eyes to the world of camelids, which includes both llamas and alpacas. Watching a statuesque 500-pound llama grazing peacefully in a sheep herd, or a group of alpacas resting quietly on a hillside, is a beautiful and satisfying sight. Llamas and alpacas are intelligent, social, light grazers, easy to take care of, and produce ultra-soft fiber for blending.
Our breeding focus is the Huacaya alpaca. We purchased our stock based on their superior conformation and fleece quality from Colusa Riverside Alpacas and Renaissance Ridge Alpacas. We are members of the California Alpaca Breeders Association. Our four beloved guard llamas are from Rain Dance Ridge Llamas.
We are a Certified Producer for the Northern California Fibershed, an organization devoted to bringing animal fiber producers and textile artists together within a vibrant local network. We are also members of the California Wool Growers Association.