Ok so I decided that instead of knitting socks I would warp up my Rigid Heddle Loom, (made for drapeable fabric, not for tapestry/boardy fabric) and make myself a shawl or wrap or some sort. Now to choose colors and fiber content. Since I am in the south I thought cotton, of course.
You have already seen pictures of the spinning wheel and the periwinkle cotton roving I have been spinning. Well, roving is commercially prepared. I have an entire trunk of white GINNED local cotton. What this means is that while it has been processed to some degree, it is still lumpy and has some debri in it. Now I can indeed spin it like this, and it makes for great textural effects in tapestry weaving's. Not so good if you want to wear it against the skin. This means that it needs to be 'carded'.
Carding is a process whereby you must sort of 'brush' the cotton/fiber/wool/alpaca etc...to line up the fibers more or less (hopefully more) in the same direction. This makes for easier spinning and smoother yarn with less debris.
Now carding is something I have never seen done in person. Only on a DVD by a lady named Joan Ruane called "Cotton Spinning made Easy", that I ordered when I first bought my spinning wheel years ago. I re-watched it when I decided to offer a spinning workshop at the Art Center. I had decided to supply the spindles and cotton (since I had so much of it and we are in cotton country), and I wanted to refresh my memory.
Anyway, I would HIGHLY suggest this DVD to anyone who wants to spin yarn...of any kind. Most of the information is basic and simply applies to any kind of spinning. So much so that after many attempts failed at carding in the past, this time it worked!
Again I am the proud mama. I have punis to spin.
Now I won't say that they are perfect. I don't have $250.00 carders, I am using dog slicker brushes. This means that the teeth are not quite as close together and they are smaller in size also, so I probably have to work at it a little harder. But they LOOK like punis and even though they are a bit smaller than the commercially prepared ones I have, they are indeed punis. And they spin much easier than they did before I carded them. Mission accomplished.
I have no students for tonight's yarn spinning workshop, but I go in to the art center anyway. Just in case someone comes in or has questions. So tonight I will be sitting there with my dog brushes, making miniature punis. Thank you so much Ms. Joan Ruane, because you did indeed make spinning cotton easy!
Pictures of course.
Puni's and tools!