Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Saturday, December 04, 2021

YST Episode 189 Spinning cotton and picking wool

In this podcast, I talk about what I learned about cotton and spinning cotton in a class at SAFF this year.  I also had the chance to do some fiber and fleece shopping, and talk about that experience.

I mentioned that I would list the four currently grown species of cotton plants and their details.

Gossypium hirsutum  Known as upland cotton and native to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Southern Florida.  This species accounts for 90% of commercial cotton grown.

Gossypium barbadense  Known as extra-long staple cotton, and is native to South America.  This species accounts for 8% of all cotton grown.

Gossypium arboreum  Known as tree cotton, it is native to India and Pakistan.  This species accounts for 2% of all commercial cotton grown.

Gossypium herbacaum  Known as Levant cotton this species is native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and is the last percentage of the cotton grown world wide.

Extra long staple cotton requires special ginning, known as roller gins. This type cotton can only be grown in a few places in the world, because it requires a long season and will not tolerate rain before harvest.  Currently California and Arizona are the two US areas growing this cotton.

Here's the latest episode

Sunday, September 26, 2021

YST Episode 188 How old is that fiber

A short podcast talking about the last five skeins in the yarn wash up, and my recent spinning.

I mention fiber from a Phatt fiber box, they can be found here.

The other fiber I have been spinning awhile is from Hobby Lobby.  I finally looked it up online and can provide a link.  I am spinning Yarn Bee Showstopper in the Winter Solstice colorway.


Here's the latest episode

Saturday, September 18, 2021

YST Episode 187 The big wash up

After I spin a skein of yarn, it needs to be washed.  I put this off until I have enough to take several days of washing.  

I also talk about doing a burn test on fiber to determine the fiber content.  One was a very big surprise!  The flow chart I was using for this burn test can be found here.

My pack of luxury fibers contained white angora and it is shown on the Nano spinning wheel in the photo with this podcast.  The pack of fibers came from Sericin Silk Etsy store.

Here's the latest episode

Saturday, September 11, 2021

YST Episode 186

This podcast is for the week of Sept 5th, and talks about prepping cormo fiber for the dyepot, and spinning a merino silk bamboo blend.

I also refer to two past podcasts so here are the links:

Episode 38 talks about buying a fleece.  Episode 39 talks about buying non wool fibers and how to store all fibers.  Also the ghost story that I wrote is at the end of this episode.

The fiber I was spinning was from Wooliebullie.  Right now the Etsy store is only selling art batts, and hand knitted items.

Here's the latest episode

Saturday, September 04, 2021

YST Episode 185 A Yin Yang fleece

A catch up podcast talking about Stashdash, the state fair and a black and white Shetland fleece.

Stashdash is a challenge created by the podcast TheKnitGirlls.

The young spinner I mention in the state fair has grown up and now has her own fiber business at Cedar Ridge Fiber Farm.

If you would like to see the daily streams I did during Tour de Fleece, they are archived here.  I am still uploading those, but all will be there soon.  My current streams can be found at Yarnspinnerstales on Twitch.TV

Here's the latest episode

Friday, September 03, 2021

Creativity in the midst of a Pandemic

Back in January 2021, I was doing the New Year thing, thinking about podcasting again, and putting a discussion about the New Year in that podcast.  Somehow, the podcast never happened, and this bit of writing I did, was never published.  Is it still relevant?  I think so, but in a softer way, in that we are really not totally motionless anymore by the Pandemic.  

I started the musing with the question 'why during 2020 and especially forced to stay at home, did I not burst into a shower of creative work?'  I had to look at what I have needed in the past to be creative, for some answers.

1.  Life in 2020 was an effort, no matter how little you did.  I had to avoid the news, live with constant companionship, and all the noise that came with that.  So the extra effort to be creative was asking too much, and I know from experience I am most creative, when there are no distractions.

2.  Creativity needs questions.  For years, the questions came first, the answer found usually with creative energy, and the results of all that, shared in the podcast.  Somehow, in the noise of the pandemic, I could hear no questions.

3.  There were no chances for in person sharing with my other creative buddies.  As much as I love hubby, his skill is repairing things.  Takes a certain creativity for sure, but never applies to spinning or knitting.

So I had my answers, and also a year of rote spinning.  I was working breed by breed through a 52 weeks of sheep program.  I had a great time shopping for those fibers online, and usually enjoyed spinning them.  Sometimes it did take great creativity to figure out just what to do with that super scratchy fiber (I made scrubbies).

This rote spinning also took me to my fiber stash as much as I could, a goal I have every year and probably accomplished more in 2020 than in the past.  This however made me realize what I was doing was productive, and not often creative.

What is the difference between productive and creative?  Productive feels less satisfying.  That's because in my case, once the yarn is made, there is no further step.  No financial goal (sell the yarn) no altruistic goal (donate or knit and donate item) The bottom line is that creativity needs goals that have nothing to do with money or charity.  My creativity needs to learn something new (ask the question and find the answer), and teach what I learned.  It also needs to be enjoyable, so I feel that the time is well spent.

Unfortunately, working creatively and not production means the process stops here.  Often the yarn I make is not good enough to sell.  It may not be soft enough to wear.  And for both cases, there may not be enough of the yarn.  If I turn to production, I will find the whole creative process stops, and I am working, instead of creating.

Here again, as I end this musing, will I stand by my life words, 'It really is all about balance'.  Maybe my time scale is off, and several years from now it really will be all about production, after these years of creating.   And I will be sharing that with you too, dear listener, probably in this podcast.

Here's the latest episode

Monday, July 26, 2021

July 26 2021 An Open ended Absence

Just a brief note to fill those of you that haven't heard of my Mom's illness.  I have to stop the podcast for awhile, as I spend time with her.

Here's the latest episode