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What in the world? My new picking board…not a touristy posting

From the top
From the top

Things have slowed down enough at the campground so that I can play with my wool while waiting for guests to come off of the road in the evening.  My current favorite wooly pursuit is spinning and I don’t like to simply buy prepared roving from the store and make yarn.  No, no!  I like to buy a bag of dirty fleece from a shepard at the farm or at a fair, wash it until I have great piles of wooly stuff and then spin it into yarn you’d never find in a normal store.

One part of the process is the picking…this comes after the fleece is washed and before it’s ready for spinning…it’s the step that creates clouds of open wool.  For a long while, I’ve done this part very slowly in the most primitive fashion…with my fingers…think of it as running your fingers through your long hair until all the snarls are out and it looks like you have lots more hair than you started with.  But when you’re playing with a 6 pound fleece, your fingers get very tired quickly!

Measured in inches
Measured in inches

The other day Dad made me a picking board like one I saw at the Common Ground fair a couple of weeks ago.  I’m posting these pictures for others who might like to make their own ingenious device because I’m thrilled with the results.

I belong to a Yahoo Spinning group that has been the most wonderful resource of information anyone can imagine and this is particularly posting is in reference to the recent questions I’ve been asking while deciding about buying an expensive piece of processing equipment…more on that later…

If you are looking for an inexpensive way to spare your hands and fingers undue wear and tear, consider this tablet.

The angle reduces the wear on the wrist
The angle reduces the wear on the wrist

The carding cloth was shipped overnight from Howard Brush Company of Rhode Island, it took less than an hour to build the tablet and because I have it sitting on a piece of non-skid shelf liner, it doesn’t move…a wonderfully useful device for less than $60.

If you are making your own, make certain that the plywood under the cloth is at least 3/4″ so that it doesn’t bend when you’re picking the fiber.  Mine has the cloth stapled to the background but when I have a chance I’m going to glue it in place with contact cement so that it doesn’t lift at all.

5 responses to “What in the world? My new picking board…not a touristy posting”

  1. Can’t you just use a hand carder? I know it’s smaller but it should work right? You could even clamp the hand carder and have both hands free.

  2. Hand carders are harder on my wrists…the angle of the tablet is easier to use and the additional size is an added bonus. I have hand cards that I use for rolags and small projects and also a small pad that I had bought from Strauch that clamps to the table but in my experience, I accomplish more in a shorter period of time with this set-up

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