This past weekend was the date of the National Alpaca Farm Tour. Being the patriotic sort, I felt it was my duty to visit at least one such farm and stimulate the economy by buying yarn. Actually, I sat on my duff for four hours and chatted with visitors while demonstrating the art of spinning, but it sounds better the other way.
Located outside of Tonganoxie, Kansas, Kaw Valley Alpacas is pleasant place full of critters and good humor. I sat under a shady pavilion (within arm's reach of the Rice Krispy treats) with my wheel and a bucket o' coffee while visitors admired the various knitted and woven alpaca products available.
It's funny, the different responses you get while spinning yarn. There's everything from the "polite smile, nod and move on" maneuver to the "plop down and fire off a thousand questions" reaction. The most common response, it seems, is the hypnotized stare.
Spinning turns people into cats.
There's something about that wheel going around and around that makes folks just kind of... stand there. It's like the time my dad made a giant mobile out of old CD's and fishing line and hung it up in the bay window. We went in to see what he was looking at, and all of us ended up staring at this thing with our eyes glazed over. "Seeee... Deeeeessss!"
Aesthetics for zombies.
It's pretty much the same thing with the spinning wheel. It's not unusual for me to look up from my task to see a ring of people with their heads on one side, just watching. I keep telling myself that one of these days, I'm gonna find a way to plant subliminal suggestions in the wheel. "Give me your money... Go and get me a cheeseburger..." It could work.
As a new group headed off to the barn to see the alpacas, I asked if they were humming today.
"Sometimes!" replied tour guide/proprietor Macel Koerth with a chuckle.
A little boy in the group was impressed. "Do they really hum? Why do they do that?"
Macel grinned, having answered this question a thousand times. "Because they don't know the words!"