Today, I decided I really needed to knuckle down and make some progress on my level 3 homework. It’s not like I have done nothing, I have quite a few nice little check marks next to assignments finished, but after taking a month off and traveling with my kids I need to get my head back in the game. Most importantly I had several Cotton assignments to finish…. Oh cotton…..
The first thing I accomplished after I got back from vacation last week was to ply the cotton I had spun on my support spindle. Technically, I did not have to use cotton for that specific assignment. I just needed to spin and PLY a 10 yard skein on a support spindle. A support spindle for those who do not know is one that sits in a container or on the ground. It is used to spin very fine yarn, think thread. I finally got the hang of spinning my singles before I had left on vacation. Then had to figure out how to ply…. After doing quite a bit of google-foo on the subject and having my single break during the plying process, I finally figured out that one must wind the singles off onto a small ball (I used my kids super bouncy balls) and then the best method was to the wind the singles together onto another ball so that they were already together and all I had to do was add twist. I even ended up with my 10 yard skein…. Thank goodness because if I had broken a single and not gotten to 10 yards yards yet again, I may have lost my mind!
The final two cotton assignments were to spin one 10 yard skein and set it by boiling… that skein went great, I have decided that Pima cotton sliver is my friend and is really fine. The next one was for a skein to be used as a warp that needs to get sized meaning starched. I spun that one with my new friend Pima sliver and while plying, I broke a thread and ended up with less than a 10 yard skein…. (see me banging my head against something hard in frustration). Well, I was now out of Pima sliver… what to do, what to do?
After raiding the cotton stash I found these beautiful punis (cotton rolags) that I had carded on my friend Ric’s cotton cards one evening during our class. Did I mention that the Punis were made out of his personal cotton, that he grew!!!! This stuff is amazing!!! I was able to spin that 10 yeard skein and then some with the white Pima. Now all I have to do is to starch the darn thing.
Seeing those beautiful punis inspired me… there is one final assignment with what should be 100% cotton. I have to spin yarn appropriate to make an inside summer top. Of all the fibers we have learned cotton is the most obvious one here. Ok, you could probably use silk… however there is a whole other assignment on making a yarn for a knit sweater out of silk… I digress, to me I feel like they are really looking for a cotton or a cotton blend. Anyway, I am a knitter, I really feel like cotton yarn is really only good for knit dishrags. (Oh, I probably have opened a can of worms there… but it’s my opinion)
Now crochet…. that is a whole other matter entirely. I kind of feel like cotton and crochet are made for each other…. I even went back and checked… Ha no where does it say that the summer top be knit, so crochet it is. Ravelry led me to this fabulous pattern which is a tutorial for how to knit yourself a tank top. How perfect is that??? The only difficulty is that it wants a worsted weight yarn…. HA HA HA, HA Ha Ha.. the yarn in the pattern is actually a silk/cotton blend.. I considered that for a few minutes and even took a few more minutes to try blending such a thing, needless to say, 100% cotton it is. I originally wanted to make use of some more of those beautiful punis… however, I don’t have enough. Not for a 10 yard skein and a 3×3 crochet swatch!!! Back to the cotton stash where I find this little baggie marked Sea Island Cotton. To date I had not spun this kind of cotton. Sea Island cotton is the longest staple cotton on the market today. As of an hour ago it is my new best cotton friend!!! I am hoping to have enough of this fabulous fiber for my skein and my swatch. It may not end up being a worsted weight yarn, but I can adapt, and really all I need is a swatch proving efficacy.
The last part of the cotton project is to blend cotton with wool to make a cotton wool blend. I’ll keep you posted on that one.