Sunday, March 18, 2018

Spinning cotton and flax

This week I have been working on recalling my cotton spinning skills.  I have a new support spindle and bowl from Hipstrings, which I love! This came with a sample of variegated green Upland cotton.

I also have a video purchased from Taproot Video, Joan Ruane's "Cotton Spinning with the Takli."  I've been watching that a little bit at a time for the last couple of days, trying to work on cotton spinning skills I know I possessed at one time!

Then I went on the website and purchased the downloadable versions of two more videos - Stephenie Gaustad's "Spinning Cotton", and Norman Kennedy's "Spin Flax and Cotton: Traditional Techniques".

Ah, yes, cotton is not the sole focus of this current obsession!  I signed up for an all-day workshop on June 30 at Aker Fiber Farm in Enfield, NH on growing, processing, and spinning flax.

I was down in the basement this morning looking for a stash of handspinning cotton that I know I have, and came across proof of prior cotton spinning efforts.  These were done probably 10 years ago, most likely on a charkha (I do still have a charkha as well).

Besides these quills holding handspun cotton, I located two Akha spindles, one with cotton still on it.

And I managed to round up my Takli spindle collection.

I still have a few things to fill in.  The purple Takli is from John Galen.  He has another spindle or two I'd like to add.  I also plan to order a cotton sampler pack, and I have some cotton handcards on order to learn to make my own punis (cotton rolags, ready for spinning).  

In the meantime, it is only a few days until I leave for Stitches United, for my band weaving classes with John Mullarkey!  So excited!  After that, I'll be counting down to NH Sheep and Wool in May!  I am also planning at this point to attend the Fiber Revival in Newbury, MA in August, NY Sheep & Wool Festival in October, and the Northeast Handspinners Gathering, in November, in Nashua NH!  Joan Ruane is one of the teachers being featured there.  Class lists and registration are not available until June 1st, but I'll register as quickly as I can, and hope to get her class.  Abby Franquemont, another favorite instructor, is also listed.  I'm going to take advantage of a bit of flexibility while I'm not milking any goats, as long as hubby continues to be agreeable.  Looks like a fun year ahead!

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