Washing Locks for the Rowdy Girls

The Rowdy Girls is a group of great, fun, interesting, quirky and totally joyous ladies who mostly live out here on the west side of Houston.  I think they discovered us at the Ladies Night Out event in Columbus several years ago and they came out and took a weaving class here at the studio.  It was the most fun Cricket weaving class I've ever taught.  We laughed through the entire day.  They teased each other and supported each other and praised each other's work.  Wow.  What a group.


Since that weaving class, I have talked to Debbie Andreas and Nancy Lawrence regularly - not frequently but regularly.  They got on a fun kick of needle felting which is something Peggy and I don't do.  I think they found kits someplace and enjoyed it so much they needed more fiber.  Knowledge about felting we don't have but fiber?  Yes!  That we have in spades.


The Rowdy Girls are getting together this coming week to plan out their year.  They get together about once a month and at each meeting they do something fun.  They take turns picking the activity so it might be painting or crochet or weaving or felting or beading.  You get the idea.  They are only limited by their collective imaginations.  It's a great model for a group of great people who enjoy getting together and don't mind being bad at a new skill.

I talked to Debbie yesterday and thank God she called me.  I had totally forgotten I was getting fiber together for her.  The fiber is easy but in addition she wants some mohair locks.  They are perfect for curly hair on felted dolls or animals.  All I need to do is wash some up.

Here is the process.  First, have a fleece that has nice curly locks.  Check!  The raw locks are full of vegetable debris like grass, hay, sticker burrs and sand burrs.  They are also very dirty, may be stained with urine and have attached manure tags.  They very much need to be washed and have as much of the debris picked out as possible.


Second, wash those locks in hot water and soap but very carefully so you don't pull the locks totally apart in the process.  That takes some planning and the ability to not stir the pot.  Obviously, Peggy would be better at that than I am.  I'm always the one who stirs the pot and then gets lectured at when the yarn is tangled and hard to reskein.  It's hard to keep myself from stirring!  


There is one other thing to think about.  You can't pour the hot soapy water down the drain because all that waxy sticky stuff will sediment in the pipes and block the flow.  It's no surprise how I figured that one out.


So after four very hot washes... 

and three very hot rinses, here is what the locks look like.

Now they just have to dry.  I'll bag them up once they are dry and get them ready to go to the Rowdy Girls tomorrow.