Working with alpaca fleece and I love the results! Workshop coming, see below . . .

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Creamy white merino and alpaca.
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With touches of alpaca along the edges and in the center of this creamy white scarf, a look of heavenly clouds is created.  The shiny white wavy lines are created with pure silk fibers.
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Here I added bits of fleece all over the underlying merino design.  The alpaca felts best when paired with a very feltable fiber like merino.
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This scarf is reversable; one side (above) having charcoal, cafe o’ lait, camel, and white underlying the white alpaca fleece.  The other side (below) has a cafe o’ lait, camel and white underlying design with white alpaca on top.

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The brooches I sell to go with the scarves.  Sometimes people buy a brooch first then design a scarf to go with the brooch they choose.

I stopped by Alpacas At Marquam Hill Ranch and met the owner, Jennifer.  I visited with her about alpacas and whether their fleeces felt or not.  She let me know that they do felt, but they felt better when mixed with an easy felting fiber such as merino wool.  We chatted and got to know each other and decided we would collaborate on a workshop!

I bought a couple small bags of fleece and she gave me another, and I went to work.  I love the results!  Now we have a workshop planned at her ranch.

Here is the flyer for our workshop together (perhaps some of you can make it):

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What a perfect little paw print!  What I saw while I was organizing my garage :-)

Today (written on Wed. Jan. 25th) I’m organizing my garage! Or I should say I’m supervising the organization of my garage! Ha ha I’m sitting in a rocking chair, in a big fluffy down jacket, telling my son and my niece what to do.


My niece is a real go-getter. She has worked for me many times before. She helped me build my spiral house up on the mountain. I pay her well because she is a very hard worker. She doesn’t let the cold or the wet stop her.

I have two workshops coming up this weekend and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I need to get some furniture out of my house, which is too full, and do some cleaning, but my garage where I want to store some of the overflow is full already.

I called Rachel and asked if she had some time to come help me get organized. I was so happy when she said she did. She came right over.

Then my daughter Melanie called and asked if I wanted the minions over today. LOL, the minions are my grandkids. I call them my minions because they are my little helpers who earn video game playing time by working for me!  I told her I was intensely focused on cleaning but I could use the older two today if she wanted to bring them over.

She brought them over and the deal was that they were to help me until it got dark then they could play video games. They helped for a good 2 1/2 hours before playtime. By then I was exhausted and we all took a break and they played games. Later I had them do another little job, then they played some more.

By the end of the day, Rachel had worked for about 7 1/2 hours. The garage was clean, the house was rearranged, I was out $108 to an excellent worker, I was exhausted, the kids had worked, and I was happy that I had accomplished everything I was hoping to. It was a great day!

Upcoming : Wet felting workshop – you will make, and take home, a beautiful and textured scarf of fine merino wool and silk.

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Upcoming Workshop Dates in 2017

Jan. 14th    Jan. 28th    Feb. 11th    Feb. 25th    Mar. 11th    Mar. 25th

Time: 12 noon – 6 pm (or until you finish creating your scarf)

Place: 1717 Sonya Dr. SE  Salem, Oregon.

I will consider other dates if these do not work for interested participants.

Since the workshop is in my home, I am able to accommodate 4 workshop participants at a time, so register early to save your place, or places for a small group.  I have approximately 100 merino wool and merino/silk blend colors waiting to be made into gorgeous, soft, artistic scarves.  I also have some yak/silk/merino blends, baby camel/silk blend, pure silk fiber, and tensile fiber, for extra soft and shiny accents. I provide all the tools and tables to accommodate each participants needs.

You will learn basic wet felting techniques and how to place colors to get desired results.  You will make, and take home with you, a two sided scarf with a center core for strength and durability, of your own color choices.

  • There is no knitting or crocheting involved in this technique!

The cost is $85, or $75 when registered at least one week in advance.  Participants must be age 13 or older; however, if desired, a parent and child under 14, can register together as one participant and make one scarf together.

I must have at least one participant registered at least 24 hours in advance, as I rearrange my home to run a workshop.

To register, please email or text me of your interest, or leave your contact information here indicating which workshop you would like to attend.

Contact information

My email is micheleballantynedesigns@gmail.com

My phone and text # is 407-766-2588.  I sometimes do not answer the phone so please leave a message with your information, and I will return your call.  Please leave your name, phone number, and email address; as well as which workshop you would like to attend, or if you have a different date you would like to suggest for a workshop.  Once your registration is confirmed and your place is saved, please mail the workshop fee of $75 to 1717 Sonya Dr. SE Salem, Oregon 97317.