My name is Brenda and my husband and I own a small llama ranch in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado - Split Rock Ranch. I "retired" from my "real job" in the construction industry this past June 2008 to work our ranch and my fiber business full time. There is so much I want to accomplish in my fiber art that I discover there are simply not enough hours in the day to do everything I want to get done! It is such a joy to have a business where you can work without it feeling like work and the days fly by because you are getting so much enjoyment out of your daily activities. My fiber mottos: "Where fiber is our passion...and it shows" and "So much fiber...so little time".
I have been a knitter and crocheter since I was a child but didn't do much knitting and crocheting when I was working full time and raising a family. We bought our first llamas in the fall of 1996 and we bought our "ranch" in May 1997. We were only going to have two male llamas as companions and to use as packers for hiking trips but in the late summer of 1997 we bought a female llama because we fell in love with the crias (llama babies), then we bought a show quality male llama and started to show him in January 1998. That llama started winning 1st place in every show and won a few Grand and Reserve Grand Champion awards as well as placing Top Ten at Grand Nationals two years in a row and we were bitten by the llama show bug. Our herd has grown as we have added more select females and show quality to our breeding herd and have retained many of our production (crias). In 2000 my husband bought me a used single treadle Ashford Traveller spinning wheel and I started spinning my own yarns. I realized that I had to find something to use those beautiful llama fleeces for! We also learned how to wet felt using our llama fleeces and started out making a felted vest and hat for our daughter using the fiber from our Champion llama. I quickly branched out into dyeing fibers and yarns along with the spinning and then discovered needle felting and started putting together needle felting kits and felting fibers. I also invested in an Ashford drum carder so I could card up our llama fleeces and started blending all sorts of fibers together to make unique one-of-a-kind (OOAK) custom fiber blend batts for spinning and felting. When my husband was laid off from his job in December of 2002 I decided I had to do something to supplement our income and started selling online on ebay, at llama shows and events and then started selling on etsy in April of 2007. I have met some wonderful people who have become friends on this fiber journey and have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I have also started to set aside more time to knit and crochet and want to learn nuno felting. I plan to spend more time on the production of finished fiber art in addition to the fiber supplies for other fiber artists. Does anyone know where we can buy more time for our days?!
To read more about our llama journey, see photos of our llamas, etc. please visit our ranch website at www.splitrockllamas.com. Our blog page is www.splitrockranchllamas.blogspot.com. Also, please visit my etsy store at www.splitrockranch.etsy.com.
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fiber and we as felters and fibers artists are poised to take advantage of the huge movement to "go green".
I look forward to meeting the rest of the Felting Team and working together as a group to promote the fiber arts!