4 July 2010

Fear Factor Fibre – Mohair Locks

I decided to begin my Tour de Fleece Fear Factor Fibre challenge with something that has been sitting in my stash taunting me for years. I've wanted to spin locks since I started spinning because it's one of my nicknames from my group of girlfriends that lived together in London. Locks for Locks. It's just too much isn't it?

This little baggie of Mohair Locks was brought back as a souvenir from someone's fibre tour of New England and has been just waiting for me to get on with it already and just spin 'em! Apparently I needed to wait a few years, get a wheel and spin a bunch of wool before I could attack the locks.

But these locks have been tamed.

1. Mohair Locks, 2. Single Lock, 3. Teased Lock

Someone told me about how to work with locks. At least I think someone did. Or maybe I read about it somewhere. Anyways, you can see above how I teased open each lock so that it would draft nicely and then spun each one from the fold like so:

Again this is something I read/heard about. But of course being who I am, I had to try out the alternatives. I tried spinning from either end of the lock. It's a little easier to spin from the one to the other.

Of course it's tricky to tell which end is which, especially once they're teased open. So spinning from the fold makes sense. Half of the fibre is "the right way" and the other half is pulling the other way, averaging out the difficulty. And you don't have to pay attention to which end is which. These locks were kind of greasy which I hear makes them better to work with but I found that sometimes I was really fighting with the stickyness.

It took me a while to get used to spinning from the fold. I've never done it before and learning any new technique is bound to feel strange at first. By the end of the baggie, I got the hang of it. I'm ready to tackle the next bundle of locks once it arrives. I have some Merino and some Coopworth locks making their way to my mailbox.

Overall I really liked working with the locks. I teased a bunch, then spun a bunch, then teased some more and spun some more until they were all done. The variations of green really evened out in the spinning. But the resulting yarn has this nice semi-solid quality without being splotchy like some kettle dyes can be.

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