Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spinning Cotton; consistency vs. creativity (or, the focus of my focus)

I was noticing in some spinning workshop listing (SOAR perhaps, I can’t find it now) that one of the classes offered was titled something like “spinning for consistency”. At the time, the little “oh!” “finger on lip, isn’t that a coincidence!” reaction was instant.

Of late, I have been watching myself spinning very carefully, pondering why some of my spinning is consistent from start to finish and some of it starts out one diameter, and ends up something else.

At first take, one would think that inconsistency resulted from not paying attention.

In my case, I discovered that it comes from paying too much attention. Let me try and explain how you can pay too much attention.

Right now, I am spinning brown cotton on the mezzo spindolyn. As a singles, it is running a consistent 49 wraps per inch.


Here is what I have discovered is happening with me. I am fascinated with how cotton drafts.
It is so lovely, how those soft little fibers spread out as you draft, like little clouds blown by winds. I get sucked into how cotton drafts. I like to play with it, like you might play with your finger’s effect in the current of a little stream. I noticed that you can draft with your hands close to the cotton in a pinching/pulling motion and make the cotton so thin, or you can just draft using one hand, letting the the cotton tumble into the energy of the twist all on its own, keeping up your draft speed is the key to the consistency and thickness (or desired thinness)

Playing with your drafting styles because you are fascinated with the cotton’s ability to accept twist, even though the fibers are so thin and tiny compared to wool, is not a recipe for consistency…..but play is good, right?

So, to improve my consistency with cotton, I need to focus on my focus, not on my play. I need to decide on a drafting style and stick with it…this will be hard, but I think I have played enough, and will be able to do this in order to achieve my goal of a consistent cotton two ply for a lace item.

Enough rambling about my mental propensity for is an actual tip for spinning cotton on the spindolyn. Draft out your spun cotton to your desired length. Then, before you wind on, give your spindolyn one more twirl, and let this extra amount of twist run up into your spun length, then wind on that length of yarn.

1 comment:

  1. Exactly!

    I was reading this post and the entire time I am thinking is exactly what happens to me...except with silk.

    sigh. i love to play!

    Can't wait to see what you make with the cotton!


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