Friday, July 18, 2008

Spinny spinny spin...

This is 24 of my 30 cotton punis, all spun up. Two punis worth of thread (THREAD! I'm spinning thread!) fit comfortably on the spindle, so I only have three spindlefuls left, then they're all gone. Boo. I must say, this is really fun. I tried spinning one puni on my wheel just to compare - it was not nearly as enjoyable, and surprisingly, slower.

I've tried spinning cotton before, several times, with both my Ashford Traditional and Schacht Matchless, and it was miserable. Years ago I bought a bundle of cotton top, and I just couldn't get the hang of drafting such a short fiber. The singles I produced were either thick and overtwisted to the point of being wire, or were so thick-and-thin that they just kept snapping. It was horribly frustrating, I was disappointed in myself, and I finally sold the remains of the cotton top on eBay. I resigned myself to the thought that I wasn't able to spin cotton, and gave up.

It wasn't me, though, it was my equipment. A flyer wheel is just not the ideal machine to spin cotton. This Tiger spindle, though, is fast and light, perfect for cotton. Not as perfect as a charkha or supported spindle, perhaps, but way better than a flyer wheel. The punis are super easy to draft; point of twist longdraw with occasional double drafting when a slub escapes my fingers.

All the spinning I've been doing in the past year or so has paid off and my fingers have the experience, sensitivity to the feel of the fibers slipping past each other, and intuitive muscle memory to simply draw out a fine, even thread from the puni.

It's like surfing - you find that sweet spot, the balance point, where you can just ride the twist to the end of the draw.


Caroline M said...

I've never tried cotton, in part because I haven't a clue what I'd do with the resulting yarn. I did order a charkha once, it was supposed to be a Christmas present but there was a back order issue and I cancelled. I think it would have been good for me but it was not to be.

bspinner said...

Thanks for the advise about spinning cotton. I to have only tried on a flyer wheel and been very disappointed. Guess I'll try again on one of my drop spindles.

cyndy said...

"It's like surfing - you find that sweet spot, the balance point, where you can just ride the twist to the end of the draw"

Great analogy! Sounds like F-U-N!!

jackie said...

Thread!!! I bow to your superiour spinning skills!