Who We Are

 woman smiling, standing in front of a pine tree wearing a black coat and patterned gloves.

Hi there! My name is Laura Ilko. A lover of yarn and all things fiber. I am always searching out new techniques, patterns, constructions, and ideas for my fiber arts. You will almost never not find me with a project in tow, whether that be in the car, waiting at the doctors, sitting outside with my kiddo…it doesn’t matter to me! My husband John and I live a very quiet (and most would think peculiar) life. I left my corporate marketing job to move back to his family ranch in the foothills of Black Mountain in Craig, Colorado. A small coal town nestled in the corner of Northwestern, Colorado - a stones throw from the Wyoming and Utah borders. 

My husband had always raised animals growing up - mainly sheep. We wanted the same life experience for our son, and began to think what we could do! Of course my love of yarn and and this vision collided, and we started researching how to raise alpacas. It didn’t take long for us to fall head over heals in love with these wonderful animals. We purchased our first 6 girls in 2015, and have since grown to over 50 alpacas. Our focus is on producing animals with beautifully soft and luxurious fiber that will turn into one of the finest yarns you can work with. 

Almost all the yarns that we carry have been produced right from our own herd (we always make sure to say which yarns have not come from us!). After we shear the alpacas we sort through all the fleeces and group them into similar colors, lengths, and fineness. The fleeces are then sent to an artisan fiber mill to be created into yarn. We love doing it this way because we can produce the exact type of yarn we want. From there, it goes straight to your needles or hooks to be made into beautiful garments and accessories.  

man in work clothes holding up a small alpacaIn addition to yarn and fiber, we also have a sister business, Living Water Fibers and Alpacas. This a retail store that specializes in high performance active wear. We love sharing the gift of alpaca, and realize that not everyone has someone who loves them enough to hand-make them a pair of alpaca socks or a sweater….so we are filling the void! You can learn more about that here. 

Our story begins and ends by honoring God in all we do. In this life we all have a calling, and this is part of ours. We met in college, and were married after graduation. We had worked in a broad spectrum of jobs, yet our desire was ministry and to own and operate a family business. We prayed and searched out the options of what business we could work together in and strike the balance with in our ministry. Our main reason for where we are was to obey God! My husband was called into the ministry to become a pastor in 2005. Shortly after we began the crazy hectic journey of church planting. Calvary Chapel Craig is a nondenominational church that desires to see God’s love poured out on the community we serve. (To find out more about that, click here).