Fear Factor Fibre – Cotton Balls

Over the weekend I was doing some research on how to approach some of the upcoming fibres when I came across these wonderful YouTube spinning tutorials by Spin2weave. I started off watching the cotton prep video, then intro to spinning cotton, then any of the other videos she has of any interest. I really like her presentation. I love when her dogs come a sniffing when she’s working with dog hair in one of the videos and there’s something fabulous about her spinning wheel/chair set up. The big fairytale wheel didn’t appeal to me until I saw hers paired with the beautiful chair she uses with it.

In her second intro to spinning cotton video, she mentions that you can spin cotton balls. Yes. From the drugstore cotton balls. She even has some colourful ones and SPINS THEM RIGHT THERE FROM THE BALL!!! My mind exploded a little bit when I saw this.

So I of course stopped at the drug store yesterday and of course HAD to pick up some cotton balls to try. Extra bonus of learning by playing with cotton balls is that I don’t have to feel bad about “ruining” my nice cotton when it arrives.

They look really fun to spin, like little marshmallows to spin and play with rather than eat.

But man, cotton is HARD. I’ve been practising a supported long draw while working with soy silk and I’ve kind of gotten the hang of it, but clearly cotton is a whole other animal. I had ALL kinds of breaking issues. I was getting into some decent long draw rhythms but then it would break or separate (not sure which) and I’d have to start again. I think I may have to go up a whorl but that’s pretty scary too. I’m already using a higher ratio than I’m used to. I even swapped out the wheel ratio pieces when plying the milk.

This is my initial progress of spinning cotton balls:

As you can see I didn’t get very far into it. I stopped after maybe 3 balls. I was tired and getting pretty frustrated. I’m going to try some more tonight. Or I might give up for now and go back and finish the second half of the soy silk.

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