Sunday, 17 February 2013

Wool and Cotton

Handspun 2ply wool; light fingering weight;
one single is handpainted "Strelitzia" from Kathy's Fibres
one single is Dreamee Wool in Grey from Bilby's Yarns. 

As a spinner, knitter and weaver, I love feeling that initial surge of creativity... then get oh so cranky when I find myself frustrated because all my spinning wheel bobbins are partway full of various unfinished spinning projects, all the knitting needles of a particular size that I need are holding unfinished knitting projects, or that all the weaving bobbins are partially filled with perfectly good (for something) yarn remnants from my last weaving project.

So it was that I got excited about the arrival of new coloured cotton to spin (a Christmas prezzie). I searched high and low, upstairs, downstairs and in the Shed for empty bobbins for my spinning wheel. I tracked them all down, only to acknowledge, that yes, all bobbins were in use – holding hibernating spinning projects. And I wasn't willing to wind off the yarn. After much fretting, I zeroed in on two bobbins, each containing a single of Strelitzia, a handpainted wool from Kathy's Fibres that I spun during Ravelry's Tour de Fleece 2012. I wanted to ply this yarn, but decided I'd make the handpainted singles go further by plying with a completely different yarn, which I would now have to spin.

I picked Grey Dreamee Wool (from BilbyYarns), a Melanian wool (natural colours) from West Australia. The beautifully prepared wool top is a pleasure to spin. The time slipped by effortlessly as the fibres flowed through my fingers. I let the finished singles rest on the bobbin for a couple of nights, then plyed with ease. As soon as I wash the skeins, I can count this spinning project complete... and a success!

Two kinds of naturally coloured cotton
The empty bobbins began calling for the cotton. Above, on the right, you can see "CafĂ©," a certified organic cotton from South America (available at Virginia Farm Woolworks) that I'm spinning on a support spindle. To the left, on a spinning wheel bobbin, you can see Easy To Spin Pima Brown cotton from Cotton Clouds. I so enjoy spinning these coloured cottons. 

The excitement of each beginning evolves into a soothing practice that includes transforming frustration into perseverance. I continue to learn about the satisfaction of finishing.

Post by M in JaM
Photos by J in JaM 

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