Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spinning Class #3

Recap of spinning class this week:

I learned all about the Bradford system - the system that classifies each breed of sheep by type of wool.  For example, the softest known wool is merino and it ranks high on the Bradford system.  Courser wools, like rug wools, are lower on the list.  The system is based on how many hanks you can get from 1lb of washed and combed wool.  Theoretically, if you had 1lb of course wool that was in the 40's on the Bradford system then you should be able to get 40 hanks out of it.  One hank is 560 yards or 7 skeins.  It's a little confusing but once you start knowing breeds of sheep and their Bradford system ranking you can begin to figure out how course or fine that sheep's wool will be and how much wool you'll get from a fleece without even seeing it.  Interesting stuff.  I also got to play with cotton at my class.  I've started to really love cotton.  I was able to card some cotton lint today, which is the process of 'brushing' it to blend the fibers so you can spin it.  To take of the cotton lint from the card when you are done you have to use a small dowel and roll it - doing this makes a hollow tube of cotton called a puni.  I really love puni's!  After you have a puni you can start to spin.  You can spin cotton straight from the seed but puni's are really fun to make.  I even made one that was part orange part white which will make a neat looking yarn and it's all natural.  Cotton grows in neat colors - see picture above.   For my homework this week I have to de-seed a bunch of cotton that my teacher plucked from a cotton field.  There are a lot of seeds in cotton!

I also have to get all the vegetal material out of some purple churro wool she gave me.  Hopefully we'll be carding this next week to spin.  I may get to start using a spinning wheel next week too!

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