success with the box picker

Last summer Rich and I used the plans from Minnetonka Works to make a box picker (original post & photos). In the end it was a beautiful piece, but didn’t do much to help speed up my fiber processing. It seemed that the teeth overlapped too much, or the locks I was attempting to pick were too long. They would just wrap around the teeth and then nothing would move.

poplar box picker for wool
Disappointed, but not ready to throw it on the fire, I found a home for the picker somewhere in the mess that is my wool room. I figured I would find a purpose for it eventually. And after more than a year, I finally did! In the midst of an extensive custom project, I discovered that it will work with mohair. Hooray! Believe me, hooray. I was facing hand-picking four bags of mohair locks, but decided on a whim to try out the picker. I was thrilled to find that it was functioning (seriously, who wants to spend that much time making something and then it doesn’t work??).

Possible reasons for success:

  • These are extremely clean locks, so there isn’t a drop of grease to make them sticky.
  • They are shorter than the wool locks I have tried.
  • They aren’t has dense, thick, wide (?). Not sure how to explain that.

Basically they were a bit matted and needed to be fluffed for spinning. Can you see the difference in the photo below? The locks in the basket have been picked, but those in the corner have not. They have retained the curl, but were just opened up a little.

basket of mohair locks picked with a box picker

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