Nickelby At Darnum

shop news

From Paddock to Rack

shop newsAngela BetherasComment

We hear so much the catch phrase of "from paddock to plate" in marketing these days but here at Nickelby At Darnum we have another take - "from paddock to rack", clothing rack that is.  Whilst many alpacas are destined for the meat market these days as it is a growing market, Nickelby Alpacas are grown for their lovely soft bouncy fleece.  It is nearly shearing time yet again, certainly not my favourite day of the year, however to immerse myself in the bags of wonderful fluffy fibre is rather joyous.  The hard part is finding a spot to store it as I work through it all.  You see, I keep my fleece to use in my garments.  I either spin it myself or possibly felt some of it or when I am organised, which I have to be very soon, I send it to boutique mills run by other alpaca breeders to turn it into yummy yarn which I then use to make the garments which I sell under the label of "Nickelby Designs".  I dye all my own yarns which is lots of fun and often when you visit you might often see skeins of yarn drying along the fences.  I weave my fabric Saori style (watch for future blogs when I talk more about this) and then cut it all up! Not out of frustration but because of design.  I make my fabric into garments, yes I do lots of scarves and wraps, however unlike many, I sit at my sewing machine and turn the lengths of fabric into clothing.  A process I just love.  So next time you are in the area, pop on in and have a look at what I produce, feel how soft and lovely alpaca is and be tempted to take home a piece for yourselves.  If I exclude the 12 months the alpacas take to grow the fleece, the making of a wrap or a scarf which has been spun and dyed, woven and washed. The entire process has taken over 12 hours for each one but more on the process in future blogs.

With Christmas coming up if you are looking for that unique gift for someone special which made right here in Australia then please take a look at our online shop.  Until next time.....

Has Winter really left us?

shop newsAngela BetherasComment

What is going on with this weather? We had an extremely dry Winter and now the sky has opened up and the rain just won't stop coming down.  However that hasn't stopped us here, well it has stopped us a little, certainly the alpacas are finding it hard to poke their noses out from the shed and shelters where they run to when the heavens open but in the shop, whilst we can't mow the lawns for fear of sinking, we are welcoming many brave people who are happy to rug up and come and see what is going on.

Lots is going on, we have our new website with a clearer view of our online shop.  Which has been fun to build but I don't there is any way I can get everything up on line so what you see is really only a representation of what we have.

My SAORI weaving is proving to be very popular and I now have scarves in the beautiful Town & Country Gallery in Yarragon and at the La Trobe Regional Gallery in Morwell and watch this space as some of my work will be making its way to Melbourne in the coming weeks.  All very exciting so keep an eye on the website to find out where.

Also a new initiative which is already taking off is our "Ladies Who Lunch" so why not think about having your next girls day out here at Nickelby At Darnum.  Everyone seems to have a great time when they do.

So you might be thinking that with Winter over and Spring is really here, well soon, that there is no need to look into alpaca garments, you can just wait until next Winter.  Well did you know that because alpaca is a hollow fibre and is lighter than wool and breathes beautifully then it is perfect all year around.  Especially the wraps.  Our Nickelby Design range will also be using 100% Australian cotton in our range for Spring/Summer to also give that added Summer feel so don't write alpaca off just because the weather is getting warmer. The nights can still be cool and as we are happy to ship overseas it is always Winter and cold somewhere!

So we hope to see you up here soon on your travels around our beautiful region and if you can't make it then check out our online store and see if there is anything which takes your fancy.

From the alpacas and me, stay safe and keep humming (for those who don't know, that is how alpaca's speak!!!)