Making Snuggly Toes

Snuggly Toes yarn on cones, surrounded by baby goats and alpacas.  The first step of Snuggly Toes is the alpacas growing the fiber, obviously.  Without alpaca fiber, there would be no Snuggly Toes.

 After it's sheared, I clean it by picking out the big pieces of hay.  Then the real processing begins. It's all sent to Starry Nights Mill in Newberg, OR.

 What I get back is bunches and bunches of yarn wrapped on to cones. Here  they are with a few of the animals from Springtime Farms.

Tight shot of Meredith's hands putting alpaca yarn on knitting machine border=

Snuggly Toes start out as a knitted blanket. I used to crochet these by hand,  but that's impractical for a real business. Luckily Westcliffe, CO (where I used to live) is full of really interesting people, including a woman who owns many knitting machines. Eventually I bought one of hers.

To get the machine going, you have to manually weave the  yarn through the needles.

Meredith starting to move the   Meredith hanging weights on the blanket starting to come off the knitting machine.  Meredith at knitting machine with blanket hanging down from it.

After the yarn is set upon the machine, I slide the handle on top back and forth. The bottom of the handle has "flippers" that move the knitting needles out and back, allowing the yarn to knit. It's very hard to describe, but a simple swish of the handle and a blanket starts appearing. When a bit of the blanket is showing, I hang weights on it, like in the middle picture. The weights keeps the blanket in the right place as I knit more and more. In the picture on the right you can see the blanket hanging down.

Each blanket is felted three times, so those fibers are really stuck together. The entire process makes Snuggly Toes incredibly durable.

Meredith's pinning a Snuggly Toes pattern to a felted blanket of material.

When the blanket is completely felted, it's time to cut out Snuggly Toes. This process is like cutting out any other pattern. Pin it to the fabric and cut. Each pair is cut by hand.

Tight shot of Meredith pinning Snuggly Toes pattern to fabric.

Snuggle up with alpaca warmth!