Tag Archive: cotton

What The Cotton Didn’t Do

So before my aunt left we ran an indigo vat and dyed some cotton yarn. The yarn was a pale creamy yellow when we started, and now it’s sort of a silver gray. We dipped it twice. You can see it in the middle, there. What on earth happened? IndigoStuff

The only thing I can think of is that the yarn didn’t have long enough to presoak (but we gave it a couple days of soaking!) or perhaps it had some sort of chemical in it, which would be odd because it was supposed to be organic cotton. Queer.

And to make things queerer, take a look at the picture. All these yarns were dunked twice. The one on the right was actually dunked three times. Notice anything odd about the color intensity? The brightest yarn (on the left) is a) superwash and b) soaked longer than the one on the far right. They’re both merino wool. Apparently the length of soak time does effect yarns… but the cotton soaked every bit as long as the superwash!

Drum Carding Madness

During the first week of August I was granted the privilege of having a very good spinning friend come to visit, and she brought her drum carder.

Behold the fruits of our labor.


And, not only did she bring the drum carder, but she brought some more Aussie fur, some llama, and some cotton for me! I was in fiber heaven with a marvelous friend to play with. (Thanks, Legossi!) Here are the cotton batts (the white) and some batts of from the Iowa fleece. They’re nice and fluffy!
The cotton batts were rather fun. Legossi brought lots of cotton from the inside of pill bottles. Some of it carded up really well, and some of it did a really weird sort of disintegrating lump thing. All in all I wound up with five or six of them. I’m eager to see how they spin up.

We did attempt a test to see if running the fibers in tip first, cut end first, or sideways made any difference. (In other words, after hearing that there were so many opinions I was dying of curiosity.) We found that, with this particular drumcarder, cut end first worked best. There didn’t seem to be much difference between tip or cut end first on the carding level. I don’t know how it would look on the spinning level. And we tried sideways and got a big mess.

Aussie Fur

Yes, you read that right. A very good friend (and fellow spinner!) sent me some fur from her dog for my birthday present. AussieFurclose

That stuff is so soft! It’s unwashed at the moment, which is driving my dog nuts. I can hardly wait to get started with it. I think I’ll spin it first, then wash it. That will help keep the fibers from felting or getting tangled. Which is pretty much the same thing, now that I think about it. (Unless you want to get into the molecular structure of felted fibers.)

I’m going to spin it on the Great Wheel as soon as I finish up the fall colored fleece. Talk about motivation! Let’s get that fleece done! She also sent some rescued cotton bits from pill bottles. I’m very curious to see how they will behave on the wheel.


I decided to go back to the yarn store so I could buy a magazine that had the tam pattern in it. (I could have copied it out of my Aunt’s magazine, but I figured I might as well buy it. That way I can have the other nice patterns, too.)

I was standing at the checkout, minding my own business, when they sucker-punched me. Well, I guess I just shouldn’t have looked down. My mistake. lincolnbatt
An entire shelf of fluffy gray batts. Natural grays in lights and darks. Lustrous grays. Lincoln grays. Yes, one came home with me. The fiber’s a little . . . not necessarily coarser, but more durable than most of the ones I’ve worked with before.

It’s my first Lincoln wool; I’m not quite sure what to do with it other than pet it. (And hope the little furry thing doesn’t turn out to be a Tribble.) It’s too coarse for spinning laceweight, but there’s only an ounce there, so whatever I make it’ll have to be for a small project. Maybe trim or a contrasting color for something.

Fiber, Sweet Fiber

Home again among all the beautiful piles of fluffy stuff. Ahhhhh. It’s good to be back.

I took two projects along on the trip in the hope of being semi-productive. One was the drop spindle New Zealand wool that I’ve been hiding in my closet, reluctant to do. And the other was the merino/silk scarf. Only one project got done.
And it was . . .


The scarf. Now I just have to block it. I got rather good at carefully “un-knitting” after I had to bother my sister five or six times. But eventually I mastered the pattern or didn’t notice my mistakes anymore. Oh, I also had the thrilling experience of having the scarf half pulled off the needles a couple of times. And once completely. (That last time I ran to my sister. Positively ran. Well, it was more of a shame-faced shuffle. Next time I’ll be more careful when I pull a project out of its bag.)

And, on the drive home, I made a cotton washrag to scrub out my dye pots.

Not That Sick

I did it. I asked my sister for a pair of knitting needles and a refresher course. Another sister claimed I must be really sick. But I wasn’t! It was starting to clear up. (And is practically gone now.) I just wanted something to do while waiting for the merino yarn to dry. So, here is my little practice knitting swatch, knit from the “Thistles” yarn.

A Lengthy Swatch

A Lengthy Swatch

I’m now keeping one eye open for any easy looking, but not too easy, knitting patterns. There’s a scarf pattern I’m thinking about doing, but I’ve got to get or spin some yarn for it first. My main trouble is that I love lace knit stuff. Anything thin and lacy and delicate. Not good for beginners. There has to be a middle-road somewhere, and I’m trying to find it.

New For 2009

While it’s not exactly a “New Year’s Resolution,” I sat down awhile back and tried to come up with a list of ten fibers I’d like to try this year. They are . . .

  • Cotton
  • Flax
  • Corn (Yes, they have corn roving. They have bamboo too—what did you expect?)
  • Bamboo (see reverse of above)
  • Ramie (Read about it here)
  • Soysilk
  • Mohair (the fuzzyness)
  • Angora Rabbit
  • And two “Wild Cards.” You never know. I might discover something very interesting!

Discount Bonus

SAFF purchase details: Post #4

During the initial walk through of the first building I had spotted a place that I recognized from online. Little Barn. It had a sign up saying 10% off if you paid with a check. Am I going to argue with 10% off? There wasn’t a lot of gorgeous fiber, but there was a good variety and some really nice stuff.

Wool Silk Blend

Wool Silk Blend

Like this blend. I’m working on spinning this right now, along with some black Angelina that I got there. Angelina is little bits of sparkly stuff that you can spin or card into your fiber. The wool/silk drafts like a dream.