This and That

Random bits of my life

Finished Cotton Skein

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 12, 2010

Almost forgot about this project! Here’s the finished cotton skein. It’s 17 grams (about half an ounce) of naturally coloured cotton that I grew from seed, ginned, carded, and spun myself. If you want to see the earlier stages, here’s the link.

Finished Cotton Skein

After spinning the singles with a tahkli and plying with a small drop spindle, I wound off all the plied cotton onto a cardboard cup.

Home-grown, handspun cotton

At home I wound it off the cup onto a small niddy noddy and tied the skein.

Cotton yarn on niddy noddy

I forgot to photograph the finishing stage. I simmered the cotton for a few minutes on the stove in a pot of water with a pinch of baking soda. Naturally coloured cotton needs a slightly alkaline bath for the colour to develop, especially green cotton, which fades more with exposure to sun than the brown does. The baking soda bath brings back the colour and the boiling water sets the twist. I hung it up to dry overnight and then wound it into a small skein.

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5 Responses to “Finished Cotton Skein”

  1. pam said

    You make this all sound so easy! I know it is not! So now, what special treasure will you make from this gorgeous hand spun skein?

  2. Must be great to make something from seed! Incredible! Can’t wait to see what you make with it! (Love the color)

    • Avital said

      I was looking at it last night and trying to decide what to do with it. It’s only about half an ounce, so I think I will make a small bag with it. The colour is really nice, after simmering in boiling water with baking soda. It turned from mousy brown to squirrel brown.

  3. Sounds like a lot of effort, but I’m sure the pleasure of being able to use something you’ve created / grown sure outweighs the effort involved..

    • Avital said

      Sure, it was a lot of effort but it was a one-off thing. I’m not planning on making all my sheets and tablecloths this way. I just wanted to try it once.

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