What words come to mind when you think about spinning cotton? Cotton Clouds recently posed this question to fans on Facebook, and you can see the words and phrases that were shared. At CottonClouds.com, we make cotton spinning easy with quality tools and instruction. But you don’t have to take it from us! We asked Rebecca, to whom we recently sent our All About Cotton Spinning kit, to put in her own words, her experience spinning cotton for the first time! Take it away, Rebecca!
A New Spinner’s Experience
Thanks to Cotton Clouds for the opportunity to share my experience here! I have been a knitter for 13 years and have been practicing my crochet skills for 5 years, you can see many of my projects on Ravelry. I have often admired the spinning I have seen at fiber festivals and workshops, and by my friends at our knit night. I have a drop spindle and have spun wool with limited success over the last few years. I love to try new things and the All About Cotton Spinning kit seemed right up my alley – everything you need to get started is in the kit!
I’m a very touchy-feely knitter – I like to give my yarn a good squish. When I opened up the kit, I was really impressed by how soft each of the different cotton fibers felt! There was some lovely “squoosh” factor there. The variety of cotton was impressive: Pima, Acala, Brown and Green cottons, punis, and a cotton bolls are included in the kit. My daughter, who is 6, thought it was wool at first! This was a fun little learning moment for her to see what cotton looks like before it is yarn!
Cotton Spinning is Easy with Quality Tools
Cotton has a short staple length and I had heard the more prepared it is, the easier it is to spin. I have practiced with the punis and cotton in sliver form. A Tahkli spindle is included in the kit. It is a small supported spindle from India, with a heavy brass whorl to help build up a lot of spin which will give the yarn the much needed twist to hold together. I spent a while just practicing giving the Tahkli a little flick and letting it spin in the space created by my thumb and index finger.Since it is not a drop spindle, I let it rest on a flat surface. Boy, that spindle can spin! It is mesmerizing to watch, it is like a toy top!
As I said before, I’m a very green spindle spinner, so getting started with the actual fiber was the hardest part for me. I asked Irene about this, what I should use for a leader yarn, and she gave me the tip to use one of the punis – to pull a bit out, get it on the Tahkli hook, draft a bit and start spinning from there. That worked like a charm!
Cotton Spinning is Easy with Quality Instruction
This video from Cotton Clouds was very helpful! I encountered slubs, but if there is enough spin, you can see the twist travel up the fiber! It is pretty neat to see that in action. I still need to practice making sure there is enough twist in the yarn before winding it on to the shaft and drafting the next section out. Interestingly, this practice did not frustrate me as I had experienced with the wool!
So what words come to my mind when I think about spinning cotton? Magic, fun and practice! I will be peeking in on CottonClouds’ I Spin Cotton Ravelry group. Maybe at some future point I’ll be able to post again and show you a finished object from my own cotton handspun! There are some great ideas on the CottonClouds Pinterest boards, don’t you agree? Thank you to Irene and CottonClouds.com – they do make spinning cotton easy! For all of you out there who also enjoy spinning cotton, stay tuned for more details as the 2014 Cotton Clouds Spinzilla team, Cotton Clouds Cottontails, will be ready for team spinner signups starting August 4, 2014! Keep your eye on the Facebook page and Ravelry group for Spinzilla updates as well!