Thursday, February 2, 2012

Try, try again

This post is mostly about not giving up on things when they don't go right the first time.  Or the second time.  Or the... (you get the idea).

When I first started trying to spin with a tahkli spindle, it was a miserable failure.  So I put it away and decided that the tahkli spindle wasn't for me.  Part of the problem was not being able to do the long draw very well and part of it was managing the spinning of the spindle.

The next time I tried it, I at least got some yarn made but it wasn't very good.  In fact, I threw it away because it was so bad.

Then I've tried it several other times when I was trying to show people how it worked (in theory because I did more 'splainin' that spinnin').

In all my classes, I always tell people they have permission to suck at whatever they're learning because they don't know how to do it.  It's like Captain Picard said, "Things are only impossible until they're not."  Once they're not impossible (because we've invested some time in them) then they're possible.  N'est pas?

Recently I've been working with the beautiful support spindles my friend made for me and some angora fiber that I'd had in my stash for a while.  Like this, for example.  Working with this fiber and these spindles has helped me heaps in learning how to prepare my fiber and how to keep the spindle under control.

So the other day I got an email from a local teacher asking me to be involved in an arts day they're planning for local school kids.  I'd taken part in a program they did a couple of years ago at a local school and had a blast.  Now she's got some grant money and wants to "go big" with a Saturday gig at the Hoogeland Center for the Arts for kids from a lot of different schools.

I was thinking how fun it would be to do something with cotton since it's definitely something they can relate to and I have plenty that I can let the kids have a cotton seed and see it in the boll, on the seed, spun into yarn, and made into something.  It's educational and yet fun.  Of course that sparked me to pull out and dust off the old tahkli and give it another try.  I predrafted and opened up the fibers like I'd been doing with the angora and started to spin. 

It was like magic - it suddenly all came together in my brain and my hands and this is what happened:
 Over a couple of evenings (and early mornings), I spun a section about the size of the raw cotton on the right of the photo and got what's on the spindle.  Cotton goes unbelievably far.  I plied just a little strip of the yarn as a sample (which you can see in the middle).  The comparison sample is some size 12 perle cotton (on the far left).  Here's a photo to show the comparison of the two:
It has spun so fine and I swear to you it was all by magic.  Who said I couldn't do this?  I can totally do this!  If I play my cards right, this might be the perfect handspun cotton to knit a doily with.  I love it when a plan comes together....bwahahahahaha.

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