Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Monday, 13 August 2012

Cotton Fields Back Home: The Journey Continues

My little cotton shawl is coming along nicely, although more slowly than I would have hoped.  I'm knitting it on 1.5 mm needles--my record as the world's loosest knitter still stands--so I don't have point protectors small enough to fit the needles and I'm afraid to take the project out of the house.  (I know that rubber bands would do the trick.  For some odd reason, there isn't one to be found around here.)

Next up in my cotton spinning studies, is a bag of combed cotton top, a combination of organic white, mocha and green cotton.  It's not the Easy to Spin brand I've been using, so it drafts quite differently.  

Each colour pulls out from the top in its own fashion.  To accommodate this, I'm using an odd drafting style. I have no idea what to call it, but it's rather like a "push me/pull you" motion; I'm pulling forward with my lead hand, away from the orifice with my back hand, all the while allowing twist to flow into the fibre while I feed the yarn continuously onto the bobbin.  (I would love to show you a video, but although Morris loves to assist with spinning projects, he's no good at drafting or camera work and Mickey refuses to acknowledge wheel or camera.  He once had an unfortunate accident involving his tail and my Ashford Traveller; camera flashes annoy him to no end.) The resulting singles is thicker and more textured than the yarn in my shawl, but it's attractive and the fibres are soft, wonderful to spin.

My Victoria wheel spins cotton efficiently and quickly.  I'm using the highest ratio (12:1) and a light take up, with an easy, steady treadling pace.  (I'm in no rush.)

If you want to see some expert cotton spinners at work, watch these videos:

This one is short, but impressive:

This one, showing a woman from Ecuador, is my favourite:

This last photograph isn't connected to cotton spinning, but does relate to my last post on inexpensive spinning tools.  I found stacks of file cards at Peavey Mart this morning.  They're crude, need some sanding and some oiling and aren't as efficient as actual flick cards, but they do the job and cost 48 cents each (50 cents tax in).  I flicked a few BFL locks, shown below with the cards:


1 comment:

  1. you and Susan have got me back into the cotton bug. Just waiting on an order to arrive :)