TxOLAN Spinning is Done

I'm very privileged to be judging fleece samples for the third year in a row for the TxOLAN Spectacular Alpaca Show, which will be held at the Will Rogers Coliseum on Valentine's Day weekend. As usual, there were lots of beautiful entries, and judging is never easy. My fellow judge, Rita, and I evaluate each 2 ounce sample of raw fleece, card or comb it (huacaya is carded, suri is combed), spin a small sample, wash and dry the sample, and then evaluate the yarn. It's a bit of a project when you consider that there are over 118 entries this year. Our goal with this competition is to educate breeders about what appeals to handspinners in alpaca fiber. We want to reward the breeders who produce fleece that will be appealing and marketable to folks who make their own alpaca yarn from scratch. Ribbons are awarded. Celebration erupts. And I get to put my hands in some really exceptional fiber. Alpacas compete in lots of different classes: confirmation, halter and obstacles, and a fleece show, where whole raw fleeces are judged. I'm glad I just did the Spin-Off judging.

All this judging and spinning took place in the Red Barn, and was studiously overseen by Smokey the Barn Cat. But sometimes the action gets a little repetitive, and she dozes. But she's great company.

If you're free February 13-15, jog over to Ft. Worth and check out hundreds of gorgeous alpacas, and see who came away winners in the Spin-Off Competition.


  1. Glad to see you got the judging done. Spinning all those samples and then washing them plus judging is a huge job.

    Now maybe you can get to spinning some of that fiber that came back from the mill.

  2. Yes, I'm excited about getting back to some personal spinning and knitting. I wouldn't let myself do that much this past month.

  3. Congratulations on finishing! The alpaca spinning world is grateful. I'd love to go to the show, but we have a spinning Weekend Retreat beckoning, thanks to Fancy Fibers. If I could go to Ft. Worth, it would be fun to purchase some more alpaca fleeces, and thanks to you and Rita, the prices just went up...


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