Raeschell Noonen collected and used yarn for years as a decorative feature in her home. The color, look, and feel of natural fiber added warmth and beauty to baskets spilling over with hand-dyed alpaca, angora and llama yarn. In 2010 Raeschell met live alpacas and llamas, fell in love with them (those eyelashes!), and began visiting and photographing camelids at McFarland’s Llama Farm. Each time she shared the photos it was with the disclaimer: “not in my backyard”. But that changed when she called about the zoning of her Edgewood Road home: outside of city limits and zoned“Agricultural/Residential”. Her husband could park the John Deere mower in the garage. Their nearly two-acre yard became Nimby Acre (Now In My Back Yard): home to two Suri llamas, two medium wool llamas, three huacaya alpacas and two angora rabbits.
Learning how to handle and shear the animals lead her to a Camelidynamics Clinic in Bend, OR. Here Raeschell met a wonderful fiber artist and watched a man weave a hound’s tooth twill scarf from baby alpaca yarn. She ordered her loom that very day and has been weaving ever since. She now teaches weaving at Kenyon College and has opened her own weaving studio, Nimby Acre Fiber Arts, 36 Public Square, Mount Vernon, to teach fiber processing and weaving. She no longer has baskets full of lovely yarn. She wears it.