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Time to bundle up!

It’s hardly an elaborate money-making operation when BJ Forster attempts to sell her unique wool hats and scarves at the Nevada County Fairgrounds each Saturday this month.

“It’s really just a a labor of love,” Forster said. “I sell things to feed the hobby.”

Her hobby is raising alpacas and sheering them once yearly to make hats, scarves and yarn from the sheep-like animals’ fur. Commonly found in Peru, the alpaca is growing more common in the United States in the past few decades, Forster said.



Every Saturday this month, Forster and fellow members of the nonprofit Foothill Fiber Guild display their unique animal wool products and knitting, crocheting and felting abilities at the Nevada County Fairgrounds at the Certified Growers’ Market, Forster said.

Guild members also display sheep, llamas, cashmere goats and Angora bunnies at the Saturday event, Forster said.




The alpaca wool is more gentle to the touch compared to other wools, Forster said.

“You can wear it close to the skin,” Forster said. “It won’t be scratchy. But it may not wear as well as other wools.”

Shetland sheep wool tends to be a coarser – and stronger – clothing material, she said.

Forster also has made vests and jackets from the wool, but she tends not to sell them. Instead, she gives them to her husband, Doug.

“He enjoys the animals,” Forster said of the 10 alpacas the couple keeps.

The guild is at the fairgrounds from 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 20 and 27.

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To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail gregm@theunion.com or call 477-4234.


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