Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Balingup Long Weekend Part 2 - Alpacas and More

Another opportunity to show you some of the fabulous places around Balingup. I'm biaised I know but I love the village, the countryside and the great people who live there and give so much to make it a memorable place. Each time I come down, there is always something new and happening in the village - exhibitions, events, etc.

Golden Valley Duck Pond

Today, I really want to show you a place that I rediscovered....Jalbrook Alpaca, both the knitwear boutique and the chalets. I'd been many times before to the shopfront on the main street and had previously bought some of their lovely hand-dyed cotton as well as admired their range of South American knitwear. However, this was the first time that I'd visited the chalets and the new shop which has relocated to this idyllic setting, not far from the town centre. It is a real gardener's delight, a place of relaxation and beauty.

Jan showed us around the property and the boys got to feed the alpacas, Big B (my five year old boy) got spat at by an alpaca (a memorable if not terribly pleasant experience) but he was still really excited about having fed the alpacas and played with the little finger puppets she had. He is even going to do his news at school tomorrow on alpacas.

For knitters out there, there is some gorgeous handspun, hand-dyed yarn made on the property and also a range of Australian cotton that is also random-dyed at Jalbrook. The knitwear is really interesting on a design/texture level and is made by a community of women in South America who have been working with Jan for over 15 years.

As you can guess, I did not leave empty-handed. I bought a beautiful bright blue random-dyed skein of cotton and also a pair of little alpaca booties. I don't really enjoy making booties so this is one garment I am always keen to buy from other knitters. This is a must-see, both for the beautiful setting and the alpaca products!

Next post will be a look at The Village Pedlars and the beautiful Golden Valley Tree Park. Hopefully I'll have finished my baby cardigan then too! I'm up to the second sleeve and found my buttons - some pretty funky, slightly iridiscent green beauties.

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