It’s almost time! In just a couple short days, spinners from across the country will jump into a fast and furious week of fiber fun as Spinzilla’s spinning week takes off. Team Cotton Clouds is about 25 members strong and represents spinners from 12 different states!
Our team members range from cotton spinning novices to tried and true expert spinners, and we love how much information is being shared in our official Spinzilla Ravelry thread. We can’t wait to see how people “spin without limits”!
If you’re new to spinning cotton, here are 7 of our favorite things to remember about cotton spinning:
- Cotton is short stapled–ranging from 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches.
- Cotton wants to be a fine lacy yarn so spin it thin and ply as needed.
- Cotton does not have the rebound of wool. It compresses easily which means the less handling the better. Hold cotton with a light touch.
- Cotton adheres to itself very easily so drafting a fine yarn is effortless.
- Cotton needs a lot of twist to hold together as a usable yarn.
- Cotton is almost impossible to over twist–good news for beginners that tend to over twist their handspun.
- Sit back and relax while spinning cotton. It loves you to flow with it!
You can find lots more handy tips, tricks, and insider know-how on our website, where we’ve gathered up our favorite links into one handy page.
Prefer a video? Try the short video below from our YouTube channel for tips on how to spin cotton on a wheel (you’ll also get to meet Irene’s cat!):
With all this frantic spinning about to begin, it’s important to remember to take good care of your body. And kind of repetitive action can lead to stress, so you should make sure to treat yourself right all week! We found a useful post on Liat Gat’s Knit Freedom blog, and though it’s about stretches for knitting, we think it applies to spinning too.
If you have limited time, try a simple forearm stretch:
- Make sure you don’t have on any hand lotion that might make your arm slippery.
- Unlike most massage techniques, you want the skin to “grab,” not slide.
- Grasp your left forearm with your right hand. Squeeze just tight enough to prevent your skin from slipping, and push down towards your wrist.
- Note: If your right hand is too sore or weak to get a good grip, you can stabilize your left forearm between your legs (still hold onto the fascia with your right hand) and pull your left arm towards you.
- Maintaining your hand grip, now push your hand towards your elbow. Your skin (and fascia) will move, about an inch. That’s how much room your fascia have.
- Work down your forearm (just a few places will do), holding each stretch for 90 seconds.
If you have more time, try the full set of 5 fascia stretches from Liat’s blog post and you’ll stay nice and limber.
With that, let the Spinzilla rumpus begin! Be sure to share you photos during Spinning and Weaving Week in our Spinzilla Rav thread so we can stay inspired along the way. I wonder how many miles of yarn we can make!