On a trip to Colonial Williamsburg, I picked up a small envelope of indigo-dyed Long-haired Leicester wool locks. I've gotten around to spinning them, in the hopes of having white (Wensleydale natural), brown (Romney natural) and blue hand-spun wool I could embroidery with.
I looked up information on spinning from the lock, and learned that you need to "flick open" the lock by flick carding it. A pet brush works as a flick carder in a pinch. My tourist locks are a jumbled mess of shortish locks, so I am doing them in ones and twos, rather than in a big handful like in the video. It takes me back to brushing dolls' hair - blue My Little Pony tails in particular.
Things learned, in no particular order.
- The indigo is not colorfast. My spindle and fingers turned blue. (So I either need to figure out how to fix it, or maybe this is not a good idea for embroidering with.)
- For some reason, this was easier to do with the drop spindle than the grasped spindle. Big ugly slubs with the grasped spindle.
- I would have thought lock spinning would have been the ultimate way to do worsted. If it is, worsted yarn looks much different than I expected. Still pretty fuzzy.
- Part of me thought lock spinning would be simpler/easier than combing wool for worsted. No, brushing out each individual lock is a big pain in the butt. Want to get Viking combs at Sheep and Wool.
- I can totally cheat and pick the fluff out of the brush and spin that, too. It's not worsted when I do that, since the fibers are in all orientations. Don't see much difference in the yarn? But maybe it would come out in the tensile strength.
- The fluff is easier to spin than the locks. Not sure if that is because I learned on fluffy roving? Or if fluffy carded roving is popular because fluff is easier to spin than combed wool.