Introduction: How to Drop Spin Wool Locks

This instructable will show you how to spin fiber locks using a top whorl drop spindle. Locks are a lot of fun to work with and have many applications aside from just being turned into yarn. Locks from fiber animals are often used for doll hair, to add texture, or as beards. This is a very basic intro to get you started as locks can be a bit tricky when you're first starting out.

Step 1: BoM

Locks of fiber

Drop spindle

Step 2: Locks

These are locks from a Cotswold fleece that I got at the Connecticut Sheep & Wool Festival this past April. This was the first fleece I ever cleaned, it was sooooooo dirty and the locks came out a gorgeous white after being washed. Cotswold is one of the many breeds of sheep that has locks with crimps/curls.

The dyed locks I'm demonstrating with came as part of a special edition Tour de Fleece Batt and are from a crossbreed ewe.

Step 3: Draft

Grab some locks and gently draft (fluff out). How much or how little you draft will change the structure of the lock. The locks I'm using are really tight and well defined,

Step 4: Spin

Pinch one end of your fiber and loop it around your spindle. Spin a length of fiber long enough to become your leader. When your yarn is long enough, walk it back onto your fingers and pop it off the hook. Wrap the yarn around the spindle, leaving enough room to bring the end back up to the hook and wrap it.

Make sure when you are spinning that you are flicking the spindle in the same direction each time. I have a little arrow on my spindles to remind me which way I want the spindles to turn.

Step 5: Joining

To attach a new lock, it helps to draft and fluff the end of the fiber you're working with and the fiber you're going to attach. Make sure you holding the two ends layered over one another so that they'll twist together when you spin.

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Bio: I am a teacher outside of Boston and I love making cool stuff! Any prizes I'm lucky enough to win will go directly to ... More »
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