Bowmont: the saga continues (spinning from the lock)

Being the lax and remiss blogger that I clearly am, I need to summarise my Bowmont work rather, or it will never get blogged.  After washing, those dirty locks fluff up nice and white and clean (with just the occasional dirty tip or fleck of VM*):

The next question is "how to prep the clean wool for spinning?"  I investigated four different answers to that question, and I’ll describe each over the next four days.

Today, I’m talking about theoretically the quickest and simplest method – spinning directly from the lock, using a dog comb to open the ends of each lock first:


The comb in the photo is not a flea comb (most flea combs have flat teeth, which can damage the fibre, apparently), but a fine, round-toothed comb.  It cost me about £3.50 from the local pet shop.

I didn’t particularly enjoy spinning this way; it took a lot of time to open the locks, and I found the locks still fairly tough going to draft.  Worse, I found it hard to get a smooth, strong join between one lock and the next.  I spun from the tip end of each lock, for no particular reason other than that it seemed intuitive to me.  Others in the guild have since said that they always spin from the butt (cut) end of the lock, and that it makes drafting easier and smoother.  The singles I produced were smooth but not very consistent, and when plied together the resulting yarn was rather straggly and unattractive:

If I were to attempt spinning from the lock again, I’d definitely try spinning from the butt end to see if I found any difference.  I’d also like to try doubling each lock over my finger and spinning ‘from the fold’ – something which I have never done but may well try with some of my remaining fibre.
* VM = vegetable matter!

One comment

  • The Dragon

    Do you actually go somewhere and spin this Ota? or do you discuss in an on-line group? ie is there someone to physically show you what to do if you are unsure?
    Either way it looks like fun!

    15th May 2007

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