Getting ready to spin! by guest blogger, Connie Peterson

Are you ready for Spinzilla?

Spinzilla is a global event where teams and individuals compete in a friendly challenge to see who can spin the most yarn in a week!  To learn more about how the event works, visit SPINZILLA Our Cotton Clouds team is full, but there are still some openings on other teams you can join.  

Spinzilla header

Twenty-Five Team Members

Team Cotton Clouds’ Cotton Tails is ready to meet the challenge of spinning for an entire week!  I am Connie (The Great) Peterson, Team Cotton Clouds’ Cotton Tails team captain .

Connie Peterson at her wheel

As team captain, it is my responsibility to cheer all team members on, to set an example of spinning as much as I can for the entire week (husband farmed out, laundry will be done, animals informed  and dinners pre-made in the freezer) and to finally calculate all member’s yardage.

Join us on Ravelry

avatarWhether you are part of the Cotton Clouds Cotton Tails Spinzilla team or not, you can join us on Ravelry to read posts by team members, get some cotton spinning tips by team member spinning experts, Joan Ruane and Jill Holbrook and just LOL at some of our antics.  We’d love to have you cheer us on!

Lots of fiber choices to spin!

FibersWhile you can spin whatever fiber you choose, Cotton Clouds’ owner, Irene Schmoller has asked me to spin some cotton during Spinzilla.  She says that the more you spin cotton, the more familiar you get with spinning it, the better cotton spinner you will be.

Now, I am admittedly a wool snob. I have been spinning for 41+ years. I learned on wool and no matter what I spin, I always go back to wool. As I tell my students, and anyone watching me demonstrate, you can spin almost anything; I’m sure you know this, so I’m preaching to the choir.

However, if you have forgotten, you can spin:

I can insert pics of these animals for you.

  • camel,
  • yak,
  • buffalo,
  • musk ox (did you know that “qiviet” is the most expensive fiber and yarn in the world?),
  • goat,
  • rabbit,
  • dog, and cat (very difficult to spin cat, though).

And these are just a few of the animals that can have a yarn made from their coats.

For plants, you can spin:

  • flax,
  • thistle,
  • bamboo
  • COTTON of course!

I have a friend who has spun the cotton from a Cottonwood tree – but only as an addition to the wool that she is already spinning. My granddaughters, one time, brought half a grocery bag full of the Cottonwood fiber and were very disappointed that it was nearly impossible for me to spin.

If it’s cotton: All About Cotton Spinning kit

All About Cotton Spinning Kit
All About Cotton Spinning Kit

But to get to cotton. I have spun it before and had problems with it. But Irene sent me the All About Cotton Kit  with a lovely supported spindle and some beautiful fiber.

Handspinning Cotton: Everything you need to know!

Handspinning Cotton
Handspinning Cotton

The Bible of spinning cotton has just been updated and reprinted. It’s Handspinning Cotton by Harry & Olive Linder.  which is invaluable in learnig all the little tricks and tips in successfully spinning cotton. It’s clear, concise and small enough to fit in your spinning bag.

Take it everywhere: The Tahkli!

Sue Cutter spinning on Tahkli with cat helping

I have found that spinning on the Tahkli spindle that comes with the All About Cotton Spinning Kit is a lot easier but rather slow. But hey, if you are away from your wheel (we all have those times when we need to do other human chores) take your tahkli spindle with you.  It spins and spins and keeps on spinning!

Spinning cotton on your wheel is fast!

wheel spinning cottonSpinning cotton on my wheel is faster.  It will take some practice to get adept enough to spin a sufficient amount for Spinzilla, but I am practicing and I hope to persevere.

Watch a pro spin cotton sliver!

Here is a quick video of Vickie Starbuck spinning Sea Island Cotton Sliver on her wheel.  See, with practice it can be this easy and this fast!


What are you going to spin for SPINZILLA?

Remember, it’s not so much the amount we spin (well, not SO much) but the effort that we put in and the success of skills that we obtain. That is the main part of Spinzilla ….to increase our skills and to devote a major amount of time to something that we all love.

Happy Spinning!

Connie (The Great) Peterson, Cotton Tails Team Captain.

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