Some time ago I wrote about my love of yarn and my local search to find shops to satisfy my own addiction.
I received a call from a close friend who asked me, "why didn't you write about this "neat and great" shop in your own town"?. What shop? I quickly did a little homework and this is what I found.
When Alicia Chivers left her successful business life she and her partner in life George Castro had a dream.
They started Luna Bella Alpaca Ranch on a 3 acre piece of land in this highly populated area, but as I have said in previous Blogs, this was an agricultural area before the developers began to buy up huge plots of land and the boom of migration began. This 3 acre ranch is an oasis of love. Hard work, has promoted the growth of the herd to over 24 and counting. Cria or baby alpacas are arriving every year to enrich the herd. ..
I would like to refer you to Alicia's blog so that you can see the daily life of a Alpaca farmer, and to glean from this blog, what goes into the "Field to Finish" product that the Alpaca produces with their wonderful wool. LunaBellaAlpacaNews.blogspot.com Today I want to write about the second part of the dream.
All fiber products in this store are produced with Alpaca fibers which have been processed by Alicia and George and come from their own animals. Alpaca wool does not contain Lanolin making it naturally soft and hypo-allergenic. As my Mr. Dude walked around this very large and well appointed interior, he took some pictures which I think will give you an idea of some of the products carried here.
I am a knitter, so for me this was a treat, the beautiful textures and hand dyed colors made my fingers itch for a new project. I also found a great array of finely made needles, which are not always the easiest thing to find.
The products are all on the showroom floor, and then there is the studio, where is it obvious all sorts of magical things are happening. I met Lee, another delightful woman. A friend, mentor and local artist who is one of the teachers. There are classes in knitting, jewelry, Weaving, Felting, needle felting, and NuNo felting which is a Japanese art form. One of the the students had produced a beautiful scarf, which I have attempted to show. The picture does not do it justice, but to touch it's wispy, silky texture and see the beauty of color in person shows that a real artist has been at work. Susan Staffa is a regular in the studio and produced the beautiful Fish themed scarf in the middle. The jacket to the left was made by Alicia. A sophisticated style sense is everywhere and I can see the future of beautiful clothing being made and introduced into the product line.
Every Spring, in April, a week of shearing is done and then the work of preparing the fiber begins again. Some of the fiber goes to Texas and beautiful rugs are made from these fibers.. I remarked at the time that they made me think of the hand woven Rya Rugs of Sweden, but we are so fortunate to have these beautiful rugs made from home grown fibers, right in our town. American Made!
There is so much more to this story, but I suggest you visit this beautiful shop and you will understand what I found. I felt such warmth and enthusiasm and know that I will be returning. Who knows I may even take a felting class. Great parking is provided for those of us who want easy access . Soon our Winter visitors will be returning, how happy they will be to find that they do not have to send away for products that can be purchased right here in Largo Florida.
The address of Criativity is :
720 9th Ave.S.W.
Please call for class schedules, and winter hours. You will not be disappointed and I know you will be enriched.