Tour de Fleece progress

cotton sliverThis is about 8-10 oz of cotton sliver.  It is from a college in Texas, prepped as an experiment that the cotton owner didn’t like.  My friend dug it out of the dumpster.  I’m glad she did, this is a dream to spin!

I spun up about 2 oz before the Tour began, but I wound that onto a storage bobbin so I could start fresh for the Tour and have my daily progress be actual progress begun on 6/29.  So far I have spun up all of it, other than 2 oz gifted to someone else.  It’s maybe a pound total, I’ll weigh it when I ply it to see my actual total yardage and poundage.


the herdHere’s the herd.  You can see the sliver hanging from the orifice on Antonio, and I proceeded to spin all of this remaining cotton today, to make up for not spinning at all yesterday.  I had a 14 hour day at work and I was too mentally burned out to spin when I got home.


all spun upAll spun up.  Antonio began protesting at right about the 4.5-5 oz mark on the bobbin, rebounded backwards and forced me to peel about 2 yards from around the flyer shaft.  It was pretty yucky with grease and oil so I didn’t save it.  I wound off and finished the rest on the end bobbin.

flax into linenAnd here is how the flax spinning is going.  If you look carefully at the first picture you will see the bag of flax roving on the ground.  I have decided flax is not meant to be spun as roving at ALL.  I have had much better luck with dressing the distaff (you can see the ribbon hanging off the distaff in the first picture) and spinning it the traditional way.  There’s a reason our ancestors did things the way they did.  What seems overly fussy and for appearance’ sake often is not, as in the case of the ribbon for the flax.  It’s wide, and slippery, and both holds the flax to the distaff and allows it to slip easily out as it’s drawn down for the spinning.

I do need to work on the tension on my wheel though; I keep forgetting that flax is a really.  long.  fiber.  and doesn’t need light tension to be spun finely.  Hence the messy looking bobbin.  Hopefully it will feed off OK when I wind it onto a storage bobbin.  I haven’t yet decided if I will ply this or just use it as a single in weaving.

I next want to try making a waist distaff (to tuck into a belt) and using a spindle for the linen.  I am finding that linen requires a much more meditative, slow approach to spinning than fine wool or silk does.  It seems to me that spindle spinning would be a more optimal approach to flax for that reason.

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