Pickin’ …

I had a great day yesterday. Our guild has taken as a project the TEXOLAN alpaca show. We had a great turnout! We wanted to show the process of animal to finished product, beginning with the skirting table, then to the picker (which I manned) on to the carder and then to the spinning wheels or drop spindles and looms. It was really wonderful to see so many spinners and weavers in one place. The guild also had a table that held finished items produced by our members. In case you’ve never seen or used a picker, it’s a dangerous piece of low tech machinery. It has many thick nails driven in at angles to grab the fibers, but if you’re not careful, you can grab your fingers. You can see what one looks like here. You gradually feed the fiber in and swing the top part back and forth. The nails separate the fibers. The pile of fibers looks like cotton candy and is wonderfully soft and fluffy, especially when you’re using alpaca. It is tiring, and my shoulder is a little sore today. I am so lucky that a new guild member volunteered to be picker-trained and do the job today. What a gal! (Thank you Amy) Later in the week, I’ll post some pictures on our guild web site. I’ll have to develop a new page for activities I guess. I wish I had taken some pictures of the whole setup, but I didn’t want to try and keep up with my camera while I was picking. I always forget about the cell phone camera.

The Week Coming Up

This week I plan to limit as many distractions as possible. Except for grocery shopping and two other “errands” I plan to stay home and weave and dye. I have to deliver my two pieces for the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas members’ exhibit (Our CHT conference is coming up in March) and pick up the grid framework for my first arts festival booth. I plan to set it up outside and practice setting up a booth space. Maybe you can tell from this that I did not get much accomplished last week.

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