Weekend with Whair

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)

HairAdvert

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.

garbagebagofhair

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).  

frontporch

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).

whairHat

IF YOU WANT to see the steps to create this beautiful work of art continue on….

whair3

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)

whair

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…

whairHat2

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.

 

 

 

 

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30 thoughts on “Weekend with Whair”

  1. Well done for seeing through your creative idea. People buy human hair extensions and wigs. I think we are so used to man made things we can’t get over natural things. The same applies in many areas of life-think how many people are grossed out by cloth nappies or breastfeeding for example. Good luck with your venture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you MrsCraft… I was certainly surprised at how many people were repulsed… I think we as a society are so far removed from nature… in our food… in our clothing… etc. I have been lately trying to revisit old thinking… old ways… not because it is necessarily better (sometimes it is… sometimes it isn’t)… but to try reconnect with our past and with the natural world we live in.

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  2. This is pretty cool. Weird but also cool. I don’t think you need to be scared about sharing this with us. Your creativity is inspiring. Ps. Your kid looks ADORABLE in the whair hat.
    Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You Whair hat is awesome! And, it’s the most wonderful kind of weird..weird only by virtue of how avant guard it is. How amazingly-creative and imaginative you are (and you know me, I’m all about that 🙂 )….you are just so fascinating ! I love your zest for adventure, and for exploring and discovering, and experimenting….you are like a storybook character…and that is the highest compliment…you are actually living such an interesting life, and doing us the privilege of sharing it with us! Thank you….you always make me smile 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for this…it meant what I thought…except, I would be happy to give you a swollen heart…that is my intention …to lift your spirits as you lift mine (and others)…I believe a thank you should reflect the essence of the gift…not that it’s a competition, but I am speaking from the heart when I comment…you’ve brightened my day with your wonderful offering, and want to be sure that you are encouraged to keep sharing with us 🙂

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  4. It’s a great looking hat. It does have a bit of a grossness factor. 🙂
    Isabelle is a saint.
    Whoever came out with the ‘it puts lotion on its skin’ comment had me laughing out loud :D.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isabelle says I need to listen to you… The comment was sent via text.. (we had requested the hair via text from a co-worker’s step child… who was a hair dresser… and that was the response)

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  5. You’re my hero! I’m not surprised you got a lot of negative reactions; I remember when I first got into knitting, dog hair yarn grossed me out until I started spinning my own fiber and eyeing my dog as a free source of fiber. (I quickly went through all the wool I had and got desperate, so spun cotton balls in order to keep spinning). What will you do with the rest of the hair in that giant bag? Some Victorian hairwork?

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  6. I don’t think I would spin human hair … it ranks up there with dog hair, which I can’t stand the smell of (my mom has a whole box of white himalayan dog????, it’s soft! but the smell :s). But I admire your attempt!
    The only reason why I wouldn’t, would be because in my head that doesn’t feel soft. And I have yet to imagine a project for rough yarn…
    Though I must admit that when spinning and watching movies like the Hobbit (for instance), with those long beards and long hair, I can’t help but wonder as well whether you could spin any of it.

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  7. OK, again I think this is great, really great. I did hear of some people who made a wool mix from their dead dog’s fur and then made a jumper so they could wear him forever, but what disturbed me most was that they had matching jumpers made – so not right. Another friend I know who is a felter is frequently asked if she can felt the hair of a favoured pet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Claire… you are very cool… (I have heard about people and pet hair… some people find it less “creepy” than human hair… but that is because they have not smelt the two together wet…)… and I guess I am not finished with the “hair”… I will post an update

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