Sunday, January 5, 2014

Alpaca Direct Review and Giveaway!

I was recently given a chance to Alpaca Direct's new and improved website for a spin. Which I did, with glee...



And even better, I have a gift card to give away to one of you to do the same!

But first, a bit about the company:

Alpaca Direct is owned and operated by Kelley and Jim, who first got into alpacas when their daughter began showing them in 4-H. They soon fell in love with these charming animals and their scrumptiously soft fiber, and now own an alpaca ranch and a lively brick-and-mortar yarn store in Idaho (which I'd love to visit someday) in addition to the ecommerce site. I had the privilege of talking to Jim and Kelley on the phone, and they are as friendly as can be- their enthusiasm and pride for their business really shines through. They know their products inside and out: Kelley told me, "We test knit every single yarn we carry- if we don't like it or can't figure out what to do with it, we don't carry it."

The site itself is super well organized- you can search by brand, fiber content, or weight, and though of course they specialize in alpaca, there are lots of other natural fiber options and blends as well. When I was browsing just before the holidays, they warned me that stock was a little low due to the rush, but there were still plenty of tempting options. They also carry roving and spinning supplies, as well as alpaca clothing and gifts... which is lovely if you don't feel like knitting alpaca socks but do feel like wearing them (this girl, right here.) Have you guys ever held an alpaca teddy bear? 'Cause let me tell you, they are SOFT. The one thing I did recommend with regard to the website is "MOAR EYECANDY!" Because, as I'm sure many of you are painfully aware, knitters are prone to "oooh pretty" impulse buys ;-) Not that that's how I acquired most of my stash, or anything.

Speaking of my stash, I went for primarily alpaca (because, duh) but tossed a little Silky Wool in too. The shipping was super fast considering it was right before Christmas (and they had a free shipping promo going on, woohoo!)

Obviously I have some black projects planned.


Aaaaaand get excited, 'cause one of you can win a $25 Gift Certificate to Alpaca Direct!
All you gotta do is comment and tell me what you'd name your alpaca, if you had one, and I'll randomly select a comment in one week's time (Sunday January 12th).

I think I'd name mine "Herman"...

Unlike the noble alpaca, Pog produces no useful fibers of any sort, though not for want of trying.



Disclaimer: I was provided a gift certificate in exchange for my honest review; 
however this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own :-) 

180 comments:

  1. how fun! i'd name my alpaca Beans :)

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  2. I think Rex would be a dashing and noble name for an alpaca.

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  3. I think I would name my alpaca Jerry if it was a boy or Daisy for a girl.

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  4. Donald. Or Donaldina, for a lady alpaca.

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  5. i would possibly name it "sir princess unicornia of fancypants land" and tie a fake horn on its head (after asking consent, of course), but call it "roger" or "ronnie" for short.

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  6. "Rakhantu"

    And I see a cowl made out of that soft stuff, if I win that is.

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  7. The inlaws have land..and we will eventually end up there and the Hubs has talked about raising alpacas...we'll see....Everett...I'd name an alpaca Everett

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  8. Fluff-beast, but probably just Beast for short :)

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  9. I have a friend with an alpaca named Sarah Jr. (he's named after her). It's a great story, but not mine so I'll stop there. If *I* had an alpaca, I'd name her (or him) Juniper.

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  10. OMG that cat. I got really distracted by his orange eyes and bright knits. I like to get a feel for the animals before I name them (let me introduce my cat, Chompy, who loves me with his teeth), except in rare occasions where I think of a good name first (such as my cat Ravioli, who my ex kept in the breakup). But for an alpaca, I think the name we would have given my dog would fit: Byelotchka, or Byelka for short. It's the only word I know in Russian; it means squirrel.

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  11. Tina! Like the Llama in Napolean Dynamite.

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  12. If it were a male Alpaca, I would call him Furious Purpose, from the Culture series of novels. Excession I think.

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  13. I think I'd name mine Kevin. :)

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  14. I'd name my alpaca Fuzzybits. We'd be best friends forever. I'd love Fuzzybits.

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  15. For some reason Buster sounds like a good alpaca name for me. =)

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  16. alpaca!! I would name mine friedman because I designed a book cover for an author named friedman and he requested for it to have alpacas on it.

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  17. I would call mine Kate Moss because of the skinny legs and pretty face.

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  18. It must be necessary for me to have two alpacas. Mr. Bates for a male, and Anna for a girl.

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  19. Jules or Verne, depending on the sex of the alpaca in question.

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  20. I'm thinking Soli, for some reason.

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  21. We have 18 alpacas, my favorite name-wise is Steven Ambrose.

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  22. 1) Pog is adorable. Oh my word!
    2) My Violet (lab-hound mix) lurrrrrvs to sniff and snort alpaca yarn and fiber to be spun - I'm fairly certain that when I spin my alpaca stuff, it will actually be an alpaca/lab blend...
    3) Idaho? I'll be driving through Idaho this spring. Time to visit their site and have a looksee for some directions - hopefully they are on our route. Or near enough that I can cry that the children and the dog really really really need a bathroom break and oh look, there's an off ramp that might go somewhere!
    4) Wait - why was I commenting? OH! Alpaca names! I think it would depend on whether I got a male or a female alpaca. Or maybe I could just have one of each - if they are a couple, they shall be Frank and Fern. I read a blog by people of those names and I think it's just awesome. The blog, of course, but also the names together. If I only get one, hmm... I think Bernice and Harold. I'd like to be more flowery but I tend to think of alpacas as desiring more human names. I've never had one tell me otherwise, so I'm sticking with the idea. ;)

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  23. rudy could work for a male / female :)

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  24. I'm not really into pun names for animals, but I like the idea of an Alpaca named Al Pacino.

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  25. I think if I had alpaca, I would call him George. And hug him all day.

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  26. Their website is so much nicer than it used to be! Hmmm, I think I'd have to name my alpaca Alejandro, b/c that is a sexy, luxurious name for some luxurious fiber.

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  27. I would name my alpaca "TwoPly"

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  28. I would name a male alpaca after my father, Linford, because I have always loved that name and it would remind me of my Dad every time I saw him.

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  29. I would name my alpaca Snickerdoodle.

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  30. Crow if there is dark fuzzies or Waffle if the colors are browns/yellows.

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  31. I would name my alpaca Al. Boy or girl.

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  32. I think I would name my alpaca.... Sherlocks. Because alpacas have woolly (except not wool because they're alpacas and not sheep) LOCKS. Excuse my terrible humor.

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  33. Well the real answer is you've got to get to know your new alpaca first! It once took me over a month to name a cat. And I've been trying to think of alpaca names for 30 minutes now...

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  35. For some random reason, I really want to name an alpaca Malfiore. He'd be stately with grey locks and a wonderful coif on his head.

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  36. If I had an alpaca, I'd name him Schumann, or Clara, if he was a she; (most of my animals have been named after classical composers).

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  37. Dolores but you can call me Lolita

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  38. I'd like an alpaca named Leroy : )

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  39. Sebastian. definitely Sebastian :)

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  40. I would name mine Ava the Alpaca. Maybe I need to get my nieces to do one for 4H"

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  41. I would name my alpaca Beauregaard.

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  43. Lester. For some reason, alpacas need to have spunky names. At least mine would! I think my Lester and your Herman would be buds.

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  45. Yay a new blog to read AND a giveaway! I would name my alpaca Awesome or Alf

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  46. If I had an Alpaca, I would name it Jim. He would be friends with Susan and Arthur. THey would live on a farm with Llamas Chloe and George. Over in the next feild would be sheep, Charles, Hildibrand, Gumfry and Sir Watson McEvers III.

    Actually, I might name the alpaca Sir Watson, and the sheep JIm.

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  47. Paisley or principeta,or turquoise... =o) Interesting question,amazing giveaway,thank you for the chance to win it.

    Happy New Year!!!!

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  48. Esteban. His name would be Esteban, and I would make him fancy special alpaca hats that he would refuse to wear. I would keep them all displayed on the mantle, waiting for the day Esteban decides that yes, he really would look quite fetching in a purple velvet fedora (but never, ever a trilby).

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  49. I'd name mine Fluffzilla. :)

    Purlescence at Ravelry

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  50. I would name mine 'Huxtable'. If this is open worldwide of course :-)

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  51. I would name her Packy.

    But upon reading others' comments, I love Hummer. Hilarious!!!!

    My husband bought some socks & some yarn from Alpaca Direct for Christmas. He was happy with the shopping experience, and I'm happy with what he picked out! BUT I would love to win a GC to shop for *more* (and to actually pick out what I would like). :-)

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  52. I would name him/her Daiquiri - because, why not?

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  53. I would name mine Leland I think! or perhaps Edward....

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  54. Alpacas are so so cute! I wonder how they would like Alaska and whether my husky would get along with them...
    I like the name Leelah for a girl-paca and Gilbert for a boy :)

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  55. I would name mine Buttons. They are so cute!

    Kmb34me on rav

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  56. Mine would be named George. :)

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  57. Alvin for a male and Allison for a femali

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  58. I would name mine Scout. But maybe its because I just reread To Kill a Mocking Bird.

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  59. I would name a girl Pandora...a boy....Apollo

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  60. I would probably be very unimaginative and most likely call it either 'Albert' or 'Allison'.
    I'd be more interested in the wool than naming it.

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  61. I've always wanted an alpaca. I'd name her Lydia.

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  62. Alfalfa was the first thing that came to mind - Alfalfa the alpaca - say that ten times fast! Or maybe Paco, which is totally cute. :)

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  63. Legs, as the alpaca is all legs!

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  64. Okay, this is weird. I used to say for years I wanted to have an alpaca. Just someone to talk to and who would be munching the grass at the same time. But I never thought of what to name this beloved pet...

    Perhaps Foenum, because it it the Latin word for grass. Doesn't anything sound better in Latin?!?!

    Great giveaway!

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  65. I think I'd name my alpaca Alphonse, for a guy; Alberta for a gal.

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  66. I would name a male alpaca Gentleman Jack and a female would be Lady Sybil.

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  67. I have been in wishful love of owning an alpaca.....I would name mine Clarence....because of course he would be an angel!


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  68. I'd name my alpaca "Stretch" because it would be so much taller than my cashmere goats :)

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  69. I'd name mine Huxley.

    lmecoll on Ravelry

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  70. I'd name mine Gertrude that way I could give her the nickname Gerti.

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  71. I love all of these names! They're great! What a fun choice for a contest!

    I would name my imaginary alpaca Otilia, because my current pets are all named after muses in Girl Genius

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  72. I'd name mine Sprout.
    wahoomerryf on Rav

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  73. Al -- and I'd probably tell everyone it was because of the Paul Simon song "Call Me Al," but it would mostly my general lack of pet-naming creativity (our goldfish was named "Fishy" to give you an idea).

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  74. My alpaca would be named Mahana, which means "warm" in Hawaiian!

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  75. I think Michael would be a good name for an alpaca

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  76. Mr. Pickles. Or Sasquatch... Sassy for short. Or Yak, although I'm still holding our for that to be the next cat's name, so I can say to people "Have you met my cat, Yak?"

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  77. I would name my Alpaca Ollie! Yep, Ollie alpaca.

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  78. Amos is my name choice. I placed my first order with Alpaca Direct before Christmas & was very pleased in all regards.

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  79. Willow or Catkin would be good names for soft grey alpacas.

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  80. Tina, like Napoleon Dynamite so can say, "Eat the food Tina!" Tee hee

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  81. Clive. So whenever it got up to some alpaca type mischief I could shout 'Man alive, Clive!'

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  82. Catequil (or just “Quil” for short), for the Inca god of thunder and lightning?

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  83. Hm, think I'd have to name an alpaca Kahoni (Hawaiian for kiss) since all the alpacas I visited on Whidbey Island, WA really luv to smooch!

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  84. My imaginary alpaca is named Roland.

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  85. Oh my god, POG. Too cute to stand!

    I like free things, and I like alpaca, so I'm joining the fray. If I had an alpaca, I would totally name it Softy. Because...soft.

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  86. I would name mine Jake if it was a male and Gwen if it was a female... Not sure why... those are just the names that popped into my head.
    I SO love alpaca. It's my favorite fiber!

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  88. I would name mine Einstein. I once saw an alpaca that looked like it was solving quadratic equations in its head...very clever stuff.

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  89. Daisy! Or Dale, if it was a boy :)

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  90. my first alpaca would have to be Khaleesi

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  91. I am terrible at coming up with names. Alice the Alpaca for a girl and Alan the Alpaca for a boy? I don't know, you probably ought to save the alpaca from my horrible naming ideas by keeping it for yourself.

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  92. I Would name mine Yarny. that would a cute and wll useable name....especially when I learn to use her fur to create or spin yarn :-)

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  93. pookie. yup. definitely pookie!

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  94. Bibi for a girl alpace and Orla for a boy alpaca.

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  95. I think Trevor sounds like a great name for an alpaca, don't you?

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  96. I would name my girl alpaca Imogene and my boy alpaca Edgar!

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  97. I would name her Gwendolyn. Or Terrence for a boy.

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  99. I would name it push me pull me and call it pushy for short. I'm a Dr Dolittle fan from childhod. :)

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  100. I would name mine Bob lol I don't know why I picked that name but yeah that's what I'm going with :)

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  101. Tiberius! Or Freya. :)
    Rav ID is globalite

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  102. I’d name mine Cardgan and/or Slipper, of course. I also think someone should figure out how to breed a mini-alpaca for all our backyards. My son says Carl and Steve, and Carl would be a psychopath…. but he doesn’t know a thing about yarn.

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  103. I'd have to have at least two girls. So, Thelma and Louise.

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  104. Hubby says, Cronk and Easma. For a boy and a girl.

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  105. The Doctor. Because of obvious reasons lol.

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  106. If it was a boy I'd name him Sullivan and a girl I'd name her Penelope. :)
    Happy Knitting.

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  107. I think I'd name my alpaca 'Scarf' since he/she would remind me of how nice their coat would feel when I finally get to knit it into something beautiful.

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  108. If I had an alpaca I would name him fuzzy :)

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  109. I think I would name him Ernie! Or if it's a girl, then Lola :)

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  111. Tina, definitely!

    (Napoleon Dynamite is inspirational!)

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