argos: White canine cupcake (pupcake)
[personal profile] argos
Time to howl! (Full moon.)

I've been waiting around for [personal profile] altivo to finish with the NaNoWriMo for this year so I could get back to spinning and weaving. Everything was on hold for most of November.

My spinning study group is working on cotton during the holidays. Since I'm pretty much acknowledged as the best cotton spinner in that group, I could just laze around but I feel obligated to crank out some interesting samples while they catch up to me in technique. I'm using the book charkha to do that. It's a remarkably portable tool, because it folds up into itself to the size of a hardback book. The only thing that would be smaller and lighter would be a drop spindle, and yes, I'm spinning some cotton on one of those too (an ultralight one that only weighs 10 grams) just to see if it works. So far it seems to, though it requires some rather odd techniques that differ from wool spinning on a drop spindle in many ways.

There's also a challenge for wool spinning to spin yarn for and knit a lace cap using a particular pattern. That needs to be done by the end of January and I haven't started yet, though it doesn't look as if it will take too long.

For cotton spinning, though, I find the charkha is the way to go. Once you get used to the technique (including sitting on the floor like Gandhi, which puts my feet to sleep after a half hour or so) it becomes extremely productive. I can fill a spindle in about 15 minutes (about 100 yards of cotton spun to the weight of sewing thread.) Then two spindles' worth get plied back together in the opposite direction to make a strong, fine thread suitable for crochet or weaving. You could knit with it too, but I don't much care for knitted cotton.

I'll see about some cotton photos for next time.

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August 2012

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