Will Cavatina Still Speak to Me?–Skirting Fleece


Upon our return home, we saw the package–the fleece entries were back from the show in Estes ParkCavatina. This was my first try at   skirting fleece and I was scared to death that I would do something wrong.

The first fleece I sent was a two-ounce sample from Fantine for a spinoff. Fanny has lovely fleece either on or off her body, but for some unknown reason she suffered a fleece break in her early months. Was it too hot or too cold? Did she get too much of some kind of minerals or too little? Fanny took a second despite some breakage and second cuts.

Next up, little Demelza, our true black premie (a full month early) whose shorn fleece entry was oddly classified bay black for this show. I might have done the same since her first fleece is auburn tipped, but I thought it was closest to the skin that mattered? Or is this different for fleece shows? I think many premies have the colored tips. Someone told me it’s amniotic fluid, but I don’t know for certain. I almost didn’t send in Demelza’s fleece. She took a 5th of 6 at the Phoenix in the full fleece (on the hoof) show and a second out of four for this one. She certainly has a lot of potential if we can get a little more size out of her.

Cavatina was entered as an indefinite dark, although she is listed as a medium fawn on her ARI certificate. Classification of her fleece color is confusing at best, as you can see from her picture, she’s got a lot of different color going on, but her blanket is primarily fawn. To confuse things a bit further, she has lighter strands running through the fawn. In her previous show, she was registered as an indeterminate dark because of that. As I look at her fleece, I can see I probably should have taken out some lighter locks so she had better uniformity as a medium fawn or ID. I chalk that up to my inexperience. I broke locks to make everything line up properly and to pull out vegetation. I left in too much fleece in order to have a heavier blanket weight. Sometimes less is more, I guess.

I’m sorry Cavatina, I didn’t know all of these things. I am still learning and you are very patient with me. You still have your red ribbon from the last show where the judge exclaimed over your beautiful fleece: the color, the fineness and how wonderfully she thought it would spin. Our consolation prize is the lovely suri statuette that first time fleece exhibitors receive. Oh yes, and an appetite to try again.

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2 Responses to “Will Cavatina Still Speak to Me?–Skirting Fleece”

  1. darlong Says:

    Great to hear from another Suri lover. There is just something about them. We have 12 with 2 crias to come in the next couple of weeks, and 2 more in Feb. We built our own barns etc, and have learned a lot. It takes awhile to figure out the various show/fleece requirements, and the colour declarations still make me crazy. True black, Natural black, Rose grey (a lot of these look brown to me) etc. In addition I find that crias do darken as the non amniotic fleece grows in so it makes it more confusing.

  2. zenasurialpacas Says:

    Suri lovers need to stick together. 🙂
    We currently have 10, with one due around Thanksgiving and another two in March. I tell my husband we need a few more since 13 may be an unlucky number. Something like 800, I say hoping that he’ll give in to a more reasonable 3 or 4.
    Demi’s black is almost painful to look at in the sun. If you could have a blue alpaca, she would be it. Now that she is shorn and there are few brown tips, I don’t think anyone would think for two seconds she could be anything but true black.
    This was the first time I had ever heard Cavatina described as a medium fawn. I have heard a lot of colors mentioned, but not that one. As a fairly new breeder, I could accept almost any color they told me for her–only I wish they could make up their minds. She looks like a vicuna with dense fleece to me, but I don’t think there’s a category for that.
    We are learning almost every day too and are a little scared about moving to our Oklahoma ranch, but we are eager to be with them and move on to our next phase of alpaca ranching.

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