Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Way down yonder, in the land of cotton...


I would like to report that the cotton jag has not lifted, even though it was interrupted for a few days with the retreat.  I'm finally feeling like I'm getting the hang of the spinning of the cotton although I'm still having trouble with the regularity of that spinning, i.e. the unevenness of it all.

However, I got impatient last night.  I had one prety full bobbin (ok, it was half full but with another half full bobbin, it would have been a full bobbin when it was plied) and had started on the second one.  I kept thinking, "I wonder what this is going to look like.  I wonder if this is going to work. Hummmmm...." until I could stand it no more.  I whipped off the partially filled bobbin and whipped on a new bobbin for plying (I really did whip them off and on - I was curious) and got to gettin'.

Here's what I got.  About 248 yards of cotton.  Real. Cotton.  I mean, can you believe it?  There were a couple of places where it came apart so I had to knot it but for my first real go at a skein of spun cotton, I don't think that's too bad.  It came out fairly fine but you can see that it's not very even but it'll do until something better comes along!

I'm now trying to plot what sort of summer top I'm going to make.  This should get me some distance down the line in making something before the end of the summer.

I should mention that it's only 1 1/4 ounces or 36 grams.  Raw cotton is much, much lighter than the commercially spun yarn one finds.  I suspect that's to do with making something that will take a lot of wear (commercial) as opposed to what I've done.  But it's like air.  Most unexpected.

Once I got the hank spun and onto the niddy noddy, I tied 4 ties around it to prepare it for the boiling.  With this kind of cotton, boiling helps set the twist and helps clean off the naturally forming substances that you don't want in your finished yarn.  Some gunk came off but not a whole heck of a lot and the color did deepen a little but not as much as I'd expected.  Not to worry.  I've got me 248 yards of my very own handspun cotton yarn!

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