Sunday, February 2, 2014


Last week I learned how to spin so I’ve been working on trying to get the techniloom roomque down. Although Candace told us not to look at the yarn we’re producing (Cindy is learning with me too), Candace said that it looks good. Here is a picture of the loom room. My spinning wheel is the one on the left. We moved the spinning wheels into this room because we needed to get them out of the way for an Alpaca 101 class that they held yesterday. They had a great turnout for the class…one of the attendees came from five hours away. So, I continue to work on my spinning technique so I can create my first skein of yarn.
I finished weaving another scarf. trim and drying areaHere is where we trim the fringe and lay our items to dry, after washing them. This area is in the same room as the looms.

commercial look

This is a commercial loom that someone donated to the center although I’ve never seen anyone work on it. The building where all of these looms are located is in the back of the White Violet Center and it used to be the laundry for the sisters. All of the items would come here to be washed in a commercial laundry area. All of the equipment was ripped out and the sisters are now responsible for doing their own laundry. There are two laundry areas on each floor in the building where I live, as do many of the sisters. One of the sisters must be responsible for putting out fresh towels in the rest rooms cause if I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, there’s a fresh towel there. I swear there’s a towel fairy that works hand in hand with the tooth fairy, making evening rounds. 
2nds for skirting
“Seconds” of fiber, from the skirting process that are located in the fiber room.

skirting table

The skirting table and the bare shelves where “blankets” of fleece are usually kept. We have all of White Violet’s blankets done. We’re now working on some fiber that was donated to the center. We spend a lot of time on snowy days, sitting around this table skirting fiber.
Moon over WVC
The brick building, on the right, is the White Violet Center. You can see the smoke stacks of the big furnaces for the complex in the background and the steeple of the church in the left corner.
sister ruth
Sister Ruth was hired to do a portrait of a family’s pet donkey. This was done by felting fiber onto a wet felted base material. She did an awesome job making it look just like the photo that they sent.

I’ve entered two photos into the National Alpaca photo contest. Once all of the entries are in (deadline is 2/18), then I believe the photos all go up on the web for folks to vote on them and the ones with the most votes, from each category, will be printed and sent to Harrisburg, PA (how appropriate that the contest will be back home) to be on display at the National Conference this year and a judge will pick the winner in each category. Wish me luck !!
Not much else going on. I’m on “close” duty this week so in another hour I’ll be going out to check the alpacas water, hay, minerals and condition of the animals. We check to make sure they are all set for the night and Mariah will need to have her physical therapy where we hoist her up with the sling and pulley and exercise her back legs while the weight is off them. She didn’t do so well with it this morning, not wanting to stand at all or put weight on her legs. Hopefully she’ll do better this afternoon.
I think it was last week that I had a really profound and powerful moment, as I was sitting in my room. I was working on the pink scarf on the loom and looked over at my bed. When I packed stuff to come here, I packed an afghan that my grandmother had given me many years ago that means a lot to me. I brought it in case it was cold in my room. On top of that blanket I also have a small lap blanket that my mom made recently because I was freezing a few months ago when the weather started to get colder and I couldn’t get warm. I also have the shawl, that you’ll recall my sister made for me that I wear around my shoulders when it gets chilly. I saw all of these things that great women in my family have made for me and it really struck me (it’s making me cry just to write about it). As hard as my grandmother and my mother tried to teach me, as a kid growing up, how to crochet or do “crafty types of things”, I could never “get it”. Back then my fine motor skills were way better than they are now. I seem to be all thumbs and have no coordination at all now and I’m not sure what that is all about. But I have learned to weave and I’m learning to spin and I’ve learned to felt and I felt a really strong connection to these wonderful women in my life that have done this stuff for so long. Pardon my pun but I felt like a fiber had connected all of us with a commonality that I’d never felt before. It was a strong epiphany for me in that moment and something I will always cherish about what the people here have taught me and given to me.
I hope your week is a powerful one and one full of inspiration and love ! May you find a connection to something new or rekindle a connection to something forgotten. Make the most of the week in front of you.

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