Visit to Waldron Grove Alpaca Farm

Visit to Waldron Grove Alpaca Farm

Last weekend, I took a little ride to the Waldron Grove Alpaca Farm in Campton Hills, Illinois for their annual Open House and Art Sale. The two day event featured their 30 Suri alpacas and an array of handmade items for sale and demonstrations by five featured artists.

alpaca farm

The farm is owned by Susan and Ron Waldron since 2003.  Susan is an oil painter and felter.  She combines needle and wet felting using her Suri Alpaca fleece exclusively for her designs.  She and Ron also specialize in alpaca farm start ups.

The alpacas are a little shy so they kept to themselves, but it was fun watching them in the field.  Susan had two wonderful weather days for the event.  (Lately, our weather has been very iffy.) A little windy but sunny and warm.

The garage was filled with wonderful art pieces for sale.  While I was there I was able to watch a spinning and drop spindle demonstration by Laurie McGee who is a dyer, spinner, weaver and knitter.  She also makes custom yarn, hand combed tops and gives spinning lessons.

Laurie spinningLaurie w







Laurie 1

There were many of Susan’s oil paintings, tapestries, silk scarves, shawls, silk coverups and clothing beautifully displayed around the area.  She also sells alpaca needle felting kits featuring alpacas, irises, and other flowers. You can learn more about Waldron Grove at

                            more scarves shawl on rack scarves


felt kits          clothes rack

LuAnn Toborg and Anita Riemer were manning the cash register while I was there and I had an opportunity to talk to both of them.

LuAnn specializes in hand dyeing yarn with natural plants, berries and flowers.

Lu AnnLaurie

Anita creates dyed yarn with acid dyes and makes cowls, scarves, hats, felted wallets, jewelry and baby blankets.


While I was there, Susan demonstrated needle felting and hand carding for her guests. She’s modeling a wool jacket she embellished with alpaca.

susan demo

Of course, I bought some alpaca to play with.  I also arranged to come back to take a lesson on using the needle felting machine.

It was a fun afternoon talking with fellow felters and artists and perusing all the wonderful works of art available for sale.

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14 thoughts on “Visit to Waldron Grove Alpaca Farm

  1. It looks like you had a great day, Marilyn! I’d love to see all those gorgeous items close up in real life 🙂
    Did you pick up any tips for felting with Suri while you were there?

    1. Thanks Zed. It was a great day. As far as tips, I’m going for a machine needle felting lesson sometime soon. Since Susan produces a lot of items she needle felts the design then wet felts to finish, unless it’s something like the jacket she was wearing. I don’t know how she finished that. I’m looking forward to trying the alpaca I bought.

  2. I’m nowhere near Illinois but I just checked out their website and this stuff is amazing!! I hope I can go check out Waldron Grove Alpaca Farm anytime I might find myself in the area. Such beautiful items for sale! Thanks for sharing!

    1. You’re welcome Peggy. I know Susan would welcome you when you came.

  3. Wish I could have come! What a lot of goodies on show. I had a look at Susan’s website and I like her clothing.

    1. Thanks Lyn. Susan does a wonderful job of displaying all the works. It’s like walking into a boutique. 🙂

    1. It was very nice Ann. There were a steady steam of people while I was there and the weather was perfect for a drive in the country so I think she had a good turnout.

  4. What a wonderful way to spend a day. I took a look at her site and she has some beautiful items. I hope her weekend was successful.

    1. It was Ruth. It was nice talking to the artists and just communing with nature. Susan does very nice work. I’ll be checking in with her to see how the weekend went.

  5. Sounds like a fun outing, Marilyn! And it’s always nice to see what other artists are doing. I am bookmarking the site for a possible future “local” trip.

    1. Thanks Cathy! Susan usually participates in Alpaca Days in September. I’ll keep you posted if there is anything in between.

  6. Marilyn, I don’t know if you’ve mentioned this before, but is there a particular type of felting for which you use the alpaca?

    1. Not that I’m aware of. Susan uses a combination of needle and wet felting in order to facilitate the process. I haven’t used my alpaca yet, but from what I’ve heard you can use it for either. Her alpacas are Suri and the fiber is very soft.

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