Fiber Forum was fantastic. It was the first time I'd ever been to an actual fiber conference, and as you can imagine I enjoyed every minute of it. Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos, so you'll have to put up with a pretty much pictureless description of my weekend.
Mostly I want to share about the class I took; "Cotton & the Charkha" with Eileen Hallman. If you've ever taken a class with her, then you know what a great teacher she is. We had time for about four class sessions, so we covered a lot of territory and I learned a lot. For example:
Did you know that:
- There are approximately 35 species of cotton in the world
- Only four of these are cultivated commercially
- Most non-cultivated cottons are not white
- Many of these produce very little lint
- All cottons do not spin the same
- The only difference between cotton and hibiscus is gossypol
- The natural colors of cotton are pH sensitive
- A single cotton fiber is made up of only one cell
- Set up the charkha for spinning
- Spin singles
- How to use the charkha's skein winder
- How to Navajo ply and
- Make a center pull ball directly off of the charkha spindle
That's my cute little mini-center-pull ball on the bottom. We also got to spin a variety of cottons, from the 31 samples in the notebook we received in class. Below are the ones I chose to try.
You can click on this one to biggify a bit. Of course, these are freshly spun and the twist is not set, but it did give me an opportunity to feel how differently they spun.
Eileen does a lot of weaving with her handspun cotton, mostly as weft from singles. Working with Bluster Bay, she has developed a clever boat shuttle that holds charkha spindles for weaving without winding! Very nifty.
As you can well imagine, a book charkha has been added to the top of my wish list, especially considering my cotton stash enhancement last year. And if I forget what I learned by then, I can get Eileen's DVD. Fortunately, she's a member of my guild, so anything I might need will be handy to get indeed!
Posted 20 April 2009 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com
Fiber Forum 2009
Southeast Fiber Forum
Fiber Forum Weekend