Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Cotton Cotton Cotton

 For the past several months I have been spinning cotton almost to the exclusion of anything else, apart from some already agreed upon spinning I did for a friend. It started out as something to do during long work meetings where I had to pay close attention. Keeping my hands occupied keeps my mind from wandering and I started out by spinning some of a large stash of cotton bolls an online friend sent me several years ago, several different colors and variety that had been grown in her garden. I spun singles on a takhli spindle and plyed the resulting singles on a high whorl spindle. 

I begin by hand ginning the cotton and then carding the lint into punis, of a sort. I use cotton carders and then form the rolag around a metal knitting needle, rolling it against the carder surface until the rolag compacts into a puni. I find that I prefer spinning from handcarded punis rather than rolags. 

I also have been spinning large amounts of card sliver from Sally Fox in natural colors using my 
minispinner, long relaxing sessions of spinning while I listened to audio books.

 Once the yarn was plied I skeined it up, on a small one yard niddy noddy for the spindle spun yarn and on a 2 yard skeinwinder for the minispinner spun yarn. Now I could finish the yarn by simmering it in a pot with washing soda and dishsoap, revealing the final colors in the cotton. It is always a fun surprise to see how cotton colors develop with an alkaline simmer. It makes me so happy to see the various shades hanging to dry. 

Some of the cotton is destined for knitting and some is destined for weaving. I will continue to spin cotton until a different fiber becomes my primary focus for a while, knowing that I will return to cotton again sometime in the future. 

1 comment:

Janelle Bane said...

Wow!! I just started spinning cotton on a takhli spindle. It's so much fun, but when I went to ply it it fell apart. My twist was not very even, and my DIY lazy kate was probably not the best. I found your blog reading about spinning hemp and flax in SpinOff, and I am just learning about cotton. Thanks for your wonderful blog!