Posted by: Leslie | December 9, 2010

Pima cotton, spun up

Having experimented with cotton solely on a Takhli spindle, I decided to try it out on a wheel. I chose the SuPima sliver from my All About Cotton Kit because it has a relatively long staple length and is therefore less likely to fly apart into tangly bits when the wheel gets going fast. Irene at Cotton Clouds had recommended sitting far back from the wheel and using a long draw, which I tried, as well as a short worsted draw. Ultimately a kind of point-of-contact drafting style seemed to work best, even sitting rather close. I’ve carded a few punis and will try them next; I imagine they will work better long draw.

Edited to add, based on a comment: I spun this on my Lendrum folding wheel, using the fast flyer at a 12:1 ratio. I tried at 17:1 but it was too fast–the spinning went much easier at a slightly slower ratio.

The finished yarn reminds me of kite string. It would make nice weaving yarn (or perhaps I say that because I don’t care for knitting with cotton).

With a quarter for size comparison:



  1. What ratio were you working with? I suspect that even with my high-speed bobbin I can’t get my Louet up to where it needs to be without sitting there all day to get a foot of single. Mine snapped all the time, too, leading me to suspect the Louet draw-in as part of the problem, even though I laced the flyer.

    • I should have mentioned that I was using the fast flyer on my Lendrum, at a ratio of 12:1. That particular flyer can go up to 17:1, but I found that was too much twist, too fast for me. Is your Louet bobbin-lead? I find those wheels drawn in way too fast before I can get enough twist in. Definitely would be easier on a Scotch tension or double drive set up.

  2. I don’t care for knitting with cotton either. I like a nice bouncy yarn with lots of give when I knit.

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