Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I've been spending time revisiting an old skill: Spinning cotton. I've misplaced my brass supported spindle, so I made myself a new one. This one is carved from a chopstick with a whorl of poly clay. The trickiest part of the construction is the hook on the top of the spindle. If you cut too much off, you have nothing but a frayed point.

The deal with spindles like this is that they are supported spindles. That means that they need something to spin on. My spindle cup has a divot in the middle for spinning. It is really a pretty cup; I got it from Mielke's The cotton is from cotton clouds and it is a naturally green colored cotton. Spinning cotton takes practice, much practice. The major jist of it is that it is essentially 'double spun.' As you spin the takli (supported spindle) the first time, you draft the cotton loosely. The second spin of the takli is faster, and gives the cotton thread strength.
It takes a lot of practice. I've been watching the series Firefly on Netflix while spinning. Good Series, and it keeps me sitting still for just long enough to practice without getting cramped up and sore from spinning too long.
About 5 years ago, I managed to spin, ply and knit this from cotton:

It is the feather and fan comfort shawl, knitted in a mixture of brown and white naturally colored cottons. It is uber-soft and pretty warm for cotton!

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