Ag report: Checking in with the ‘Rock Hollow Boys’

Ag report: Checking in with the 'Rock Hollow Boys'
Published: Jul. 5, 2023 at 5:57 AM EDT
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HERMON, New York (WWNY) - Dayna Lancaster, owner of Rock Hollow Farm in Hermon, introduces us to her “boys.”

“My boy, Pitt, here. Hi buddy! That’s Pitbull. He was born during an evening of a Pitbull concert. This is Fluff. He’s truly a wimp on the inside. My oldest boy, Alejandro. We call him Allie. And we have Marcus, and this is Sam and Spot. Then we have Ahab over here, our surfer boy. And in the back, we have Tuxedo.”

They’re the Rock Hollow boys. Their sole purpose in life is to chill out — and grow their coats.

“They are known as fiber boys,” Lancaster said. “They are shorn like sheep once a year and I use their fiber then and process it to make yarn.”

Once the boys are shorn, their fiber is sent to a mill. Then the magic can happen.

“When the alpaca are shorn, we gather their fiber from the floor and put it into bags, so this one is labeled fluff,” Lancaster said.

Spinning yarn has been a craft since the 13th century. It’s an art not many people know how to do anymore. But at Rock Hollow, hand spinning makes the already unique product even more special.

“Not only is the gift giver giving a quality product to somebody, it comes with a story,” Lancaster said.

And don’t worry, the alpacas take all the credit.

“This is their gig,” Lancaster said. “They make it all. That’s why I say this is yarn by Pitt. There is yarn by Sam. This is yarn by Tux. Because I don’t make it, they did.”