Ana from knitty asked me in chat how to spin cotton? So I told her that she just needed to do long draw, which she did not seem to care for.
Got me thinking.
Couldn't I do a video of me spinning cotton and put it here?
So here goes.....
First to set up the wheel....new bobbin, on my Kromski Minstrel, I use the bobbin end with the small whorl and the smaller of the whorls on the flyer. I set the tension so low that the drive band does not catch and turn the flyer, then slowly tighten it until the flyer begins to turn evenly....this is my starting tension.
There is a couple of things that I want to draw your attention to in the video.
Notice how fast I am treadling. This is my normal treadling speed, which is unfortunately or not, faster than most. But it is ideal for cotton. Treadling fast helps to increase the twist in the cotton to hold the fibers together.
Note the distance between my hands as well as the pinch and open motion of the forward hand. This hand is both allowing twist to accumulate forward of that hand, and releasing the twist into the fiber. Then it is the hand that pulls the yarn into the orifice.
The hand holding the fiber is totally stationary, as far as moving back or forward. However, not the manipulations of my fingers, which is quite subtle, unless you are looking for it. I am squishing the fibers with my fingers so they fan out, without holding them.
Here you can also see that I am allowing the twist to run right up into the fiber source. This allows you to spin a very short staple fiber and would be the same thing that you would do with cashmere, quiviut, yak or similar down type fibers. Also don't miss the drafting triangle, sitting about a half to full inch in front of the thumb on the rear hand.
In this last video, my husband, who did the videography, zoomed out a bit to allow you to see the whole picture....
I hope this helps!
Video Credit to the Rock....Thanks Honey!