Posts filed under ‘On vacation’

Spinzilla is Here! Are You Ready?

Irene is spinning without limis at the airport en route to Florida, her base for Spinning and Weaving Week.

Irene is spinning without limits at the airport en route to Florida, her base for Spinning and Weaving Week.

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:

  1. Cotton is short stapled–ranging from 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches.
  2. Cotton wants to be a fine lacy yarn so spin it thin and ply as needed.
  3. Cotton does not have the rebound of wool. It compresses easily which means the less handling the better. Hold cotton with a light touch.
  4. Cotton adheres to itself very easily so drafting a fine yarn is effortless.
  5. Cotton needs a lot of twist to hold together as a usable yarn.
  6. Cotton is almost impossible to over twist–good news for beginners that tend to over twist their handspun.
  7. Sit back and relax while spinning cotton. It loves you to flow with it!
Team Cotton Clouds members suspinz02 is already spinning without limits. She's warmingup with some spinning on the farm and has a stash of cotton ready to go!

Team Cotton Clouds member suspinz02 is already spinning without limits. She’s warming up for this stash of cotton with some spinning on the farm!

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.

Our Spinzilla team member Knitgal53 has a bag of punis ready for this lovely charka and spindle. Go Clouds!

Our Spinzilla team member Knitgal53 has a bag of punis ready for this lovely charka and spindle. Go Clouds!

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!

10/05/2013 at 6:03 pm 1 comment

Colors I See


Color fascinates me. Color excites me. Color talks to me. Color heals me. Color is my world.


I’ve been trying to open my eyes to see color in all it’s shapes and guises here in Florida while on vacation.


Next month Cotton Clouds will focus on how to make color your friend in all your fiber arts project and open your eyes (that’s how we perceive it anyway) to a whole new way at seeing color and have it work for you!

So here’re are some impressions of the world of color around me. Enjoy! ;20111003-102107.jpg
I love the Subtle patterns of color in these seed pods fallen onto a cement surface after a tropical fall wind.


Excuse my indulgence but I just love images of freshly caught fish. These Red Grouper (my favorite fish here in Florida) just in from the Gulf on ice at the local seafood market. Note the subtle reds and oranges and even browns.


And of course, can’t leave you without a magical sunset, my favorite colors of all! Now it’s your turn to look around you for the color in your world. I’m sure you’ll find great inspiration . Check back for updates.

10/04/2011 at 2:09 am 2 comments

Florida Vacation


Every gal needs a vacation, don’t ya think?


So I headed to my favorite Florida retreat on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico….


…where I met up with my dear friend Jamie Leigh White.

We basked in the warm Florida sun, got our toes in the crystal white sand, ate our fill of ripe tropical fruits (papaya, mangos, pineapple, coconut) and local veggies (avocados the size of footballs– I kid you not–and fresh local tomatoes plus my favorite right-out-of-the sea shrimp and fish that I had filleted right before my eyes. What could be bad with all that?


We left a part of ourselves there on the sand in my favorite kind of self portrait, our shadows in the sand. My wish to all you beach lovers past and future is that “you always keep a shell in your pocket and sand in your shoes”.


Beauty surrounds me here from the swaying palms to the soaring ospreys fishing above the gulf. But what inspires me most is sitting on Sarasota bay at sunset with the thousands of birds going to roost and the glow of a fun filled day setting on the horizon.


But it’s not all play here. I’m working on an exciting new blog that will provide you with all those useful hints and tips that will surely make your fiber arts experience more fun and more rewarding. So be sure to check back in the next few weeks to see what I’ve got up my sleeve. Florida has a way of inspiring a gal, don’t ya think? It’s been great fun!

09/30/2011 at 1:12 am Leave a comment

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