The mini paca’s began life quite by accident in October of 2014. The first two ever made were a pair I called Mr & Mrs Dishy.
Their story however, begins a little before this and would never have happened if not for the involvement of a few others.
Earlier in 2014 I took a small sample batch of fleece along to the East Anglia Alpaca Mill to be spun into yarn. I had previously used another mill, but wasn’t very happy with the results. It was beautifully soft, had a lovely sheen to it, but it shed like crazy and had loads of untwisted lumps throughout it. In my opinion it certainly wasn’t acceptable.
Rather than producing yarn I wasn’t happy with, I began to stock pile my fibre until I could find somewhere that could spin it to the quality my fleeces deserved.
It amazes me now looking back how everything just seemed to fall into place. What do they say? It’s all about being in the right place at the right time. For me that place and time was the Heart of England fleece show.
As it happens it turned out to be a very good day. Firstly, I was lucky enough to be awarded the Supreme Champion Trophy for my Boy Angelo, and secondly, I was fortunate to hear a presentation, by Emma Taylor of the East Anglia Alpaca Mill. www,EastAngliaAlpacaMill.co.uk
Needless to say the rest is just history, I delivered a sample batch of fibre to Emma & Chris at the mill and they returned my fibre to me, just as they’d promised, as beautiful yarn,
Feeling inspired by my gorgeous yarn I immediately set to work, knitting and crocheting a range of scarves.
I was so pleased with the way the yarn knitted up, I immediately sent a sample to Sandra & Derek of Harefield Water Gardens in Rainhill, Merseyside, http://www.harefieldwatergardens.co.uk/
Not only are they my very dear friends, but having a small herd of alpaca’s of their own, plus owning and running a very successful retail business for many years, made their honest & expert opinion invaluable.
Sandra and Derek also loved the quality of the new yarn and the scarves, which they subsequently offered to display alongside their range of alpaca products in their shop.
Thrilled at the prospect of my scarves being promoted, my thoughts turned to ways of displaying them and promoting the fibre from which they were made. I can’t be sure if this was my eureka moment or not, what I can say is, soft toys and collectables couldn’t have been further from my mind,
Mr and Mrs Dishy were created with the sole intention of being able to model miniature versions of my scarves.I posted pictures of the pair on Facebook and was really surprised at the positive response they received, so much so that my scarves were forgotten and the mini paca’s started to take on a life of their own.
My next pair Snow and Noel, were Christmas themed due to the time of year, were also kindly received via Facebook and I was hooked. As I wasn’t working from patterns but just making it up as I went along, each one had a different look and took on a personality of its own.
Derek and Sandra came next, how could they not? They were more than part way responsible for their creation in the first place, so it was only fitting they had a pair of mini’s of their own.
By the end of October 2014, the mini paca’s had their own Facebook page and we were able to follow the exploits of Mini paca Derek and Sandra throughout the Christmas period. I still not sure who had the most fun, us watching or Derek and Sandra capturing the hilarious antics of their mini’s.
Looking back through the mini rogue’s gallery, the development of the design is plain to see. It’s only finally with number 0027, which incorporates a new and slightly different head shape, that I feel the design, for the time being anyway, is where it needs to be.