Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Spinning the Goat

This weekend I started spinning some of the lovely first clip kid mohair locks that Carolyn sent me in April. I was waiting to spin them (because they're so nice!) until I could get some other spinners opinions on how to do it.

I tried cat-brush carding at home and it didn't really do it for me. But, at the spinning guild meeting in June I showed the lovely locks to some other spinners and they said, just fluff and spin!

So I did, a little skeptical, but, it worked! And it's fun!

If you want to see the locks pre-washing and after washing, check this out (scroll down to the April 25th post).

Here is a handful of the locks pulled out of the bag. The only prep to these so far has been the washing:

Step 1: Fluff and Floof: Simply take a lock and pull it apart to get air between the fibers. After my F&F, the locks now look like this, a bona fide floof pile!

Step 2: Gather into a pile in your lap (or wherever you like to draft from), mix the fibers up a little so they stick together in a big floof pile, and spin!

To my amazement, this works! I thought it would be hard (and yes, it is harder than roving strips) but not that hard! I started by joining some to the leader, put some spin into it, and voila! Yarn!

Now, I wouldn't recommend spinning these if you're not comfortable with joining yet. You will have to join a lot during the process of spinning the locks. But the fibers (which I had heard were slippy) really do like to stick together despite their lack of scales (like the sheep has).

One of the cool things about spinning from the lock like this, is you get little curly lock ends that will poke out from the yarn like so:

It really makes this a cool yarn I think.

On the bobbin (hard to take a pic of white yarn at night..I know), but you can see the little curly whirly bits popping out here and there:

The actual strand of the yarn is about a fingering weight single. With the curly bits it makes it a bit 'novelty', but a novelty I'm not opposed too! A nice, natural, organic novelty single! The curly bits are random, averaging about 3 a yard.

The plan is to spin a bobbin of it, and spin a bobbin of similar thickness white Corriedale then ply the two together for a 50% kid mohair, 50% Corriedale yarn. Dye it, then knit it into a nice shawl or scarf. A lacy motif I'm thinking.

Another thought I had while spinning this was that I was definitely happy to be doing this on my wheel instead of a spindle. With the wheel I can use both hands to play with the floof and control the spin with my feet at the same time. It seemed to me that it might be a little trickier on a spindle.

Also, I don't think goats have lanolin per se, but the yarn feels a little oily or sticky so there must be some natural oils in the mohair which help it stick together. I'll have to wash the finished yarn a few times to get it out (and help to 'fuzz out' the mohair).

Thanks Carolyn! I love it! And I might have to get some more from your prize winning goats at some point.

I also worked on the gray Correidale last night, did another strip of the "pennance spinning" teal semi-felted Churro, finished Nate's first sock (which he tried on and loved!), and finished the first rib and cable mitt! Wooo! It was a good fibery night.


At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Rose said...

Lovely yarn! I like your plan on plying it with corriedale. I did something similar using a spindle, and it made a nice yarn.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger bungalowmum said...

Cool! Looks like fun!

Where did you get those wire metal shelves for your yarn? And what do you call them. I've been searching for exactly that!

At 1:48 PM, Blogger zibibbo said...

oooh the locks look like fun! What neat curls, will add those to the fiber coveting list :)

At 12:49 AM, Blogger Carolyn said...

Wow, it looks great - I wish the locks were that colour on the goat ;)

I had my first ever try at spinning at the Royal - kid mohair. My "teacher" showed me how to card it first. I have to say my efforts weren't very impressive, and only afterwards did she tell me mohair is quite a bit harder to spin than wool :(

You're doing a great job - I think it will be lovely mixed with the corriedale. You're right, goats don't have lanolin but they do have a certain amount of grease (like human hair!) in their fleece.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

ooh fluff and froof! I'll have to remember that method. Love the mohair - It looks so soft.

At 5:47 PM, Blogger Ali said...

That's some beautiful yarn you're spinning there. Just wow!

At 8:19 PM, Anonymous the kitchener bitch said...

Cool! I've been fooling around with Cotswold curls which are very similar in sheen and texture, but with scales - you should check them out the next time you get to a fiber festival.


Post a Comment

<< Home