Fiber Poker Challenge from the Third Participant

Fiber Poker Challenge from the Third Participant

So far you have seen the Poker Challenge offerings from Ann and Jan. We are all members of the same Guild. I accepted to do the spinning challenge only.

My cards were
Colour – pastels only
Fibre – must include mohair
Technique – lock spinning
Structure – lace weight

I had some really lovely, top quality, pink, super-fine merino, and some pale blue mohair locks. The merino spins into lace weight very easily, almost wanted to spin that way on its own. The thing I found most difficult was lock spinning. 

Research online showed a whole range of techniques, so it dawned on me that lock spinning is what you make of it. The mohair was really slippery and a bit of a challenge to maintain control, but the results were a happy surprise. I decided to ply the mohair with the lace merino to give integrity to the yarn. Once plied the locks on the mohair opened, but were held in place with the merino and the end result was a luxurious, soft, lustrous yarn.  Unfortunately, I am not the photographic genius that Jan is and even though I chastised my camera for not using a flash to show the gorgeous soft pink and sky blue of the final product, it ignored me.

So, I took it to the next step and did a purpose made yarn of my own design.

I ordered some wonderful dyed Teeswater first clip from my favourite wool dyer. It arrived all clean, soft, shiny and tangle free; this is a special treat that I allow myself every once in a while. I used this for the lace weight ply and used some of my own dyed mohair locks for the lock spun component. I have to say the Teeswater wool is exquisite. I flick card it open on both ends and remove any tangles by cutting the knots out. This gives me a staple of approximately 15 inches.

This was spun as close to lace weight as possible. And I know my wheel needs to be fixed, I’m trying to find a craftsman/woman who can do that, any ideas??  If you look closely at the first hook you will see the groove that is nearly cutting through the metal.

The mohair is not carded at all and only pulled apart a little bit to keep the lock integrity intact. Unfortunately, I have only a picture of similar locks. I used up all the others before remembering to take out my camera. The lustre of mohair is amazing and the softness of kid mohair is delicious. Adult mohair is not my favourite fibre because as the animal matures the fibre gets so coarse it can’t be used for next to skin projects and it loses its crimp and becomes a misery to spin.

The mohair was then plied with the lace weight Teeswater to give this yarn.

My plan, among several others I’ve discussed with you over the past few months, is to weave this into a winter stole or shawl. The Teeswater is long enough to take the abrasion of being in a warp, so to that end, I made the leftover laceweight into a fine three ply cable yarn. This keeps the colour grouping together. If I were to do this as a true three ply the colours would tend to get muddy and I wanted to avoid that. I think I have enough for the project.

There are eight skeins that weigh 645 gms. If not I can always spin more of the Teeswater and fiddle the design a bit. Motivation is now the issue. You all amaze me with the energy you have, the creativity you show and your unflagging drive, thank you for showing me a whole ‘other world of fibre art.

12 thoughts on “Fiber Poker Challenge from the Third Participant

  1. Your finished yarns look lovely – the colours and fineness.
    Reading your post almost makes me want to spin again. I say almost because it is now so long since I did any spinning I really can’t remember how. Don’t tell me that it is the same as riding a bike, you never forget how. I can’t do that either. I still have my wheel however and perhaps one day….
    I look forward to seeing the finished scarf, I’m sure it will be a delight to wear.

  2. That’s a yum on how all that yarn all looks. I’m eyeing it up for felting not knitting, though I am sure it will work work for for both.

  3. Great description and photos. I’d call that doodad needing repairs a cuphook. Found at hardware and variety stores, screw anticlockwise to remove, reverse to replace.

    1. You’re right, the unit that’s in there is a brass cup hook, but it needs to be stainless steel. The flyer on the wheel is made of metal so the hook is welded in place and can’t be unscrewed. The tubing on the flyer is filled with something I think called jewellers cement (?) and that holds the hook in place. I may have to drill it out myself and use an epoxy to hold a new hook in place.

  4. What sort of wheel do you have? I’ve never heard of the hooks being welded in before – unless it is a personal variation?

    1. These wheels were made by a family of wheel makers – Rognvaldson from Maeri Farm in Acton Farm Ontario. The father immigrated from Iceland as a farmer during the summer and furniture maker during the winter. His wheels were very popular and his sons learned how to make them. The wheels are known for their metal flyers, simple turnings and, to my eye, the gorgeous biscuit and pin joinery on the wheel itself. They do not warp, can be transported easily for demos and are solid little puppies. The family no longer makes these wheels, so they are valued as unique. All others I’ve seen have steel hooks, so there must have been a shortage that week and they used the brass ones instead.

    2. That’s interesting. I’ve had a quick look on google images. It’s very similar to my Wee Peggy, which I think is from Rappard in New Zealand, but my hooks are unscrewable!

  5. Your yarn is gorgeous Bernadette! My spinning knowledge is minimal and I have no idea who might repair your hook. It’s too bad that the family who made your wheel isn’t still involved as that would be the natural place to turn for repairs. I hope you get motivated to create the stole/shawl as I’d love to see it.

  6. Your yarn is Fabulous! and i like your photography!! (love the cariscuro on the last photo!!)

    i wonder if we can add a bit of plastic tubeing over the hook to protect it from further groveing. the plastic may grove but could be replaced. there is super fine tubeing for modle engens that mite be fine enuff. there are apoxiys that mite be investigated to coat the grove too. i am leary of welding a new hook on but we may be able to find a welder who is more jewlery oriented.

  7. Total respect here Bernadette! I don’t spin but I loved reading about your process and the end result is magnificent. Looking forward to seeing the shawl – it will make up beautifully.

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