Friday, October 9, 2015

HeartSong Studio's Holiday Long Locks

Anyone following the photos I've been posting of my Spring Weaving WIP, over on my Facebook Studio Community Page, may have caught a glimpse of this project. The idea for this sparked while I was playing with the design feature of Part One of my Spring Weaving project. I've had this smaller Kugel Ornament hanging in my studio for some time now. And, while I still had some of Laura Spinner's beautifully hand dyed long locks out on my work table, I decided to play around, and--- Voilà!
If you have one or more of those large glass holiday ornaments, or Kugel Ornaments, that it might be fun to give new life to, well---  the possibilities are endless!
You can work it with or without wired beads. You could incorporate small holiday sprigs as add ins. You could work with only one colorway--Natural or Hand Dyed-- and fiber of your choice. I repeat.  The possibilities are endless.
So, let's get started!
SPECIAL NOTE: Look for a special Invitation at the end of this post.
Sort and Clean

When it came to decorating my large Kugel Ornament, I started by sorting the fibers I wanted to include [pictured below are Mohair, Wensleydale, and Teeswater Long Locks].  

I then began to pick out any VM [Vegetable Matter].

*If a picture is all you need, click on the image above for a Slide Show
I also Flick Carded the cut/shorn ends, which helps to clean out any dirt and/or VM. 
You want nice clean ends, as they will be part of the overall decorative effect.
Note: If you do not have a Flicker Brush, you can use a small pet Slicker Brush.
SPECIAL NOTE: For a larger view of individual photos:
Right Click on a photo and chose either
Open link in new tab --or-- Open link in new window
IF you want to add any wired beadwork, It is easier to add it in upfront, and secure it
around base of the Ornament Ring.
Also, add whatever decorative ribbon, with which you want to use to hang your ornament, now.
Note: My apologies for not taking a more specified photo
of the Beaded Wire step of this process.
Get Your Crochet Hooks Ready

Fold over about 2 or 3 inches of the lock of fiber. 
Note: The fold will depend on the locks you are using,
the length of the drape you desire,
and/or the size of ornament.
Step 1: Insert your Crochet Hook through the Ornament Ring,
Step 2: Hook the folded over loop of fiber.
Step 3: Pull loaded Crochet Hook through the Ornament Ring.
You do not want to pull the lock of fiber in passed the cut/shorn end.  Actually, the ends
[certain breeds have very pretty curly shorn ends that] end up becoming part of the overall effect.
Pull the first loop of fiber through, in one direction,
and then pull in the next loop of fiber from the opposite direction.
Keep alternating your Long Locks, and/or layers of color.
And, fluff each loop of fiber as you unhook your crochet hook.
Before you know it---- Voilà!
Close ups of the top---
The following photo [below] shows exactly why I had such a hard time getting any good photos for this project.  These are beautiful crackle glass orbs; but--- my little old digital camera doesn't like all the fractures and glassy glare.
But, this is such a fun project because it gives you the perfect 360 degree decorative effect. It is perfect for hanging from a Chandelier, or from a wall mounted Plant Hook, or simply from a tabletop Ornament Hanger.
And, another nice thing about this project---- Since there is nothing along the lines of gluing or stitching involved, this really is somewhat temporary.  You could [if you so wish-- or need to], carefully pull out the locks of fiber after the holidays are behind, and use them for a more fibery-related [weaving or hand spinning] project.
One More Time?
Let's focus on one of the small glass orbs this time.
As with the Pink angular Kugel Ornament [pictured at the very top], I chose to not Flick Card the cut/shorn ends of the multicolored Long Locks.
They were very clean, and the lanolin/grease that remained at the cut/shorn ends [even after washing and hand dyeing] helped to hold things in place.
Just something that you will want to determine for yourself.  Along with how full you want to stuff the Ornament Ring.
I chose not to add any wired beadwork to the smaller ornaments.
Secure the decorative ribbon to the Ornament Ring.
Pull a lock of fiber through the Ornament Ring.
Pull another lock of fiber through, from the opposite direction.
See how the curlier ends of these locks help to fill in the top?
Just keep adding in locks of fiber, and fluffy out the loops of fiber, until the Ornament Ring is stuffed full.
Here is the finished Ornament.
As I stated above, think of how these might look with holiday sprigs.  Or done in Blues and Whites and Golds of Hanukkah.
Or, how about adding cuttings of Pine, or Pine Cones? Again, the possibilities are ENDLESS!
So, from HeartSong Studio--- Happy Fibery Holidays! And Blessings~
Finished Ornament Gallery
Long Locks Fiber Resource List:
For those who may be newer to the world of fiber, or are not as familiar with Long Wool Breeds and long locks, here are a few good sources of quality long wool fibers: Breeders/Shepherds; Hand Dyers; eShops. Special Note: Certain Shepherds specialize in EXTREME long locks. Check these sites/shops for the availability of desired fibers--- such as Mohair, Wensleydale, Teeswater, Suri Alpaca, etc.
SPECIAL NOTICE: If you raise and/or sell raw and/or washed or hand dyed Long Wool fiber, you are invited to post a link in COMMENTS [of this blog post], to your online fiber store, whether www site; or a Facebook business page; Etsy; or Artfire; etc., and to your Long Locks listings.
What's Next?
In keeping with the holiday theme, I have a Circle Weaving post that's been sitting in the Draft folder for far too long, and it is TIME for it to see the light of day. This will be the follow up that I promised earlier this year, to the Vintage Textile Mill Knitting Spool post.  This is HeartSong Studio's iCord Circle Weaving Hot Pad.
Leave any questions you may have in the Comments.
Or Facebook Friends can Private Message me.

Follow me to my Facebook Community Page @ HeartSong Studio
Bye for now, and Blessings~
And Happy Weaving!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    Natural colored and white mohair locks. :)

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Your so creative Laura. I have suri alpaca long locks in my shop.

  5. a great idea on the threshold of Christmas. thank you.
    natural wool good stuff. Fiber quality is very beautiful. I love alpacas - her silk soft curls, ringlets sheep long and curly, and of course the mohair. perhaps it is best for wool for spinning, felting, doll hair, home decor... more?
    more than 5 years I have been working with natural raw fleeces.
    see my work in my shop