I write this post with a tad bit of reservation… I want to be honest and true to my “weird” weekends and this one will be a great example of what may happen during a weekend at my bunker… With that stated… this one might be a bit over the top. I didn’t think this was so bad.. but anything that makes my wife say “think of the kids” might be…so I warn you all… Please don’t stop reading me and “unfollow”… even if you find this one too “weird”… I promise this is the last time I do this…
Maybe it wont be so weird if you know the back story… so here goes. I have been spinning wool for several months now. As I spun my thoughts went to what else can you spin… I thought back to a world war 2 french news reel that I had seen. In one news clip they spoke about wartime shortages… and that they had started using “hair” for fabric… In our past we have used hair for many things including jewelry and clothing. (here is an advertisement I found for human hair for sale… along with goat, camel, and cashmere)
So… I began searching the web… for info on spinning hair… and yes people do it and in fact you can buy human hair yarn on etsy ($10 an ounce)… So… at work I started joking about doing this… with the idea I could crochet a hat for bald men using humain hair. They could then have hair on their head without the shame of wearing a toupet.
If this is weirding you out (you are reading a blog called weird weekends)… stop now…
After the reactions from friends and co-workers… this next picture might need to come with a warning… (NSFNP… Not Safe For Normal People)… if you are getting worried…look no further…
For those curious and open minded… look… This was not an easy procurement and I owe “co-worker Joe” all gratitude for making this next picture possible.
Garbage bag of Hair… (cool huh)
I thought it would be easy to get hair but as I asked around I found out that people didn’t think it was a good idea… I heard a lot of comments at my expense like… “you are so weird”… “my wife thinks you have mental issues”… “don’t be gross”… and even a… “it puts the lotion on its skin”… remark. But “co-worker Joe” got his hair cut this week… and asked if he could have some hair. He got much more than his own hair… and was able to drop off a garbage bag full of hair at my desk… Best part… It was free… (kind of freaked out many of my co-workers… had to take it out and put it in my trunk)
My wife didn’t like this idea… especially when she heard exactly what I was going to do hence the “think of the kids” comment and she refused to help… Even now that I am done she continually says… “C’est dégoûtant“…(I even had to do this outside… at least it is beautiful here on my front porch).
The rest of this blog is a “how to” take hair… (the garbage bag of random people’s hair) and create what you see in the picture below (my first… maybe only… “whair” hat… “whair” = wool and hair).
IF YOU WANT to see the steps to create this beautiful work of art continue on….
The hair was all different lengths and actually should have been carded but I don’t have carders… so I figured that if I mixed the Hair with wool… carefully aligning the longer hair I could start to spin it. You will note in the picture that I have the wool on the bottom and the hair on the top. I would then roll the two together… stretch the wool/hair (whair) out again… then repeat several times. This evenly distributed the hair and the wool.
The wool helped me with drafting while spinning. I use a bottom drop whorl and drafting is when you spin the whorl and the attached wool yarn… then draw out more wool (to create more yarn) into the thickness you want. The draft is usually done with my right hand pinching tightly where the wool is yarn (spun) and the left hand on the felt (un spun wool) pulling it away from my right hand until the right thickness is created. I pinch with my left… then release my right and let the “spin” travel up the newly drafted wool. (the right hand then spins the whorl pinches the yarn where the left hand is… and the process begins all over again). Hand spinning wool like this does take practice… and one thing I learned is that the distance from the left hand to the right hand when drafting is dependent upon the length of the fiber… and if you have uneven fiber or really short fiber… it becomes very difficult…. almost impossible. Mixing the wool makes it at least a little bit more manageable. (you can see my whorl and a some whair yarn I have spun in the picture below)
What I found interesting with this spin is that the hair produced a “mohairish” or spikey thread… I also noted that the spun hair is very pretty… (more shinny than the wool… this is going to sound strange… I found myself wishing there had been more red hair… found that hair color very beautiful when spun…)
After spinning enough to get started (or in other words getting tired of spinning) I started crocheting the hat… As I mentioned before I hate crocheting… but all of my promised “crochets volunteers” or “knitters” would not touch this yarn… (jesh… it was washed before it was cut… and people are cleaner than sheep… just don’t understand…)
So I crocheted… and this time I think I did an excellent job (if you look at the hat above I hope you will agree…). I alternated pure wool with whair to produce a nice pattern for the hat. It might be interesting to note that this hat is one continuous thread… when I changed or ran out of thread… I joined newly spun thread to the end of the crocheted thread…the same way you join the thread when it breaks while you are spinning… (Spread open the fibers at both ends and then spin and draft).
SO… I created THE WORLDS FIRST WHAIR HAT… and I am proud… even if it is a hat that so far…. only my 6 year old will wear…
Thank you for reading this post (if you made it to the end). I am curious to hear what you think… Is this too weird… interesting?… Our ancestors used hair and for some reason we no longer find it acceptable…. wonder who is right.