I have been keeping a secret from you...
But today I received permission to write a bit about it, which means it's time to spill the beans!
I have been selected to judge the handspinning portion of an alpaca show!
Several months ago, I received an email from a friend in my guild, asking if I would be interested in such a job. It sounded like fun, and so I agreed and she passed my name along to the woman who is organizing the show.* The Pixie and I took my spinning samples out to her alpaca farm one beautiful morning about a month or so ago and I was hired! Yesterday afternoon we spent a couple of hours carefully judging alpaca samples at my dinning room table to prepare and train me for my upcoming job. I had a wonderful time, and by the end of our time together we were both satisfied that I would do a great job.
I will start to receive the fiber samples next month. Each sample will consist of about 2 oz. of fiber packaged in a Ziploc bag. I will evaluate the samples based on a set criteria, judging each against itself. (as opposed to judging them against each other) Once the initial critique is done, I will card, spin and wash a portion of each sample, which provides the information I will need to complete the judging process. I won't know until all of the samples are in, but the show is expecting approximately 100 samples.** I'll have until the beginning of March to complete the work!
This is all very exciting for me because it feels very much like I'm returning to my roots. I grew up in the 4-H system, and spent my high school career showing French and Giant Angora rabbits on a national level. I love the show circuit, and am thrilled to be a part of one again - especially since I'm on the opposite side of the table this time!
*My name and bio have been printed in the show catalog, but a certain level of anonymity is still necessary to protect the integrity of the show - which is why I'm not giving anymore details or names than I have been.
**This is also why I've been working to get the number of WIPs I have down.