Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Hands, Heart and Home

My handspun Easy To Spin Pima cotton 2 ply

My collection of handspun cotton skeins continues to grow. I'm halfway through spinning a pound of Easy ToSpin Pima cotton top from Cotton Clouds. My knowledge grows and my technique improves thanks to hours of handspinning. I learn best through direct experience – and even then the learning happens slowly. I think it's muscle-learning, not brain-learning. Now that I'm more confident spinning cotton, I like to listen to an audio book while I spin. I'm producing a pretty even cotton yarn now and that's what I want.

Cotton 2 ply yarn wound on wooden skeiner.
Singles were spun and plied on Ashford Traditional wheel. 
For the first time I used the charming wooden skeiner that formerly belonged to Australian artist Mary Dau. The skeiner worked perfectly with the cotton yarn. It's thanks to the generosity of Mary Dau and her son that I began spinning cotton.

My weaving likewise continues slowly. I plan to weave a sample with my handspun cotton. In times past, each weaver needed a bunch of spinners. I'll weave through the pile of cotton skeins in no time at all... well, I would if I did anything quickly. The crackle weave I'm currently working on engages my mind to the extent that I cannot listen to an audio book while weaving. Yet my sessions at the loom and the experience of using handwoven tea towels and table runners every day give me a feeling of lasting satisfaction.

“One must take the bitter with the better,” said someone. And so we received news of another death in the extended family. Heartbreaking to lose good people. 

“God needs them more than we do,” said an elder Auntie. I wanted to argue but thought better of it. Best for me to marshall my energies toward joining in the resistance to the proposed resumption and expansion of mining behind our home. More on that issue in my next post.

Post by M in JaM
Photos by JaM

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