Abby By: Abby

semi-precious vegan handspun

one ply organic cotton, one ply bamboo + sparkle. i love the bobbly coils!

  • Dyed in the Wool 7y

    I love the soft colours. This is gorgeous!
  • jazzturtle2 7y

    Abby this is just beautiful!! I LOVE the squooshy cotton beehives!! I spun my first cotton roving this weekend.. wow.. it was a bit tougher than I thought it was going to be.. it took me more than an hour to predraft 2 oz!!! I had to keep my hands so close together.. and then when I was spinning, I couldn't get anything other than thick and thin.. which is great.. but I'm trying for a bit more consistancy..
    What are your tips for cotton?
  • Laurs PRO 7y

    this is so amazing, I love the coils!
  • Abby PRO 7y


    It take practice to get used to spinning cotton, since it's so different...plying helps a lot to even out & strengthen the yarn. It does take a looong time to prep cotton. It helps it hold together better if you spin in the opposite direction than you'd normally spin wool (S-twist for singles, Z twist for plying). It's also a bit more intensive to set the twist on cotton yarns, since they have to be boiled. I set the twist right away on my wool/bamboo yarns, but I usually save up a pile of cotton yarns and set the twist all at once.
  • jazzturtle2 7y

    oh cotton yarns have to be boiled to set the twist? I'm so glad you told me that.. I would have done it like I normally do for wool with the skien I just finished. Does that affect the dye at all? Do you rinse with cool, or just soak in boiling water, then hang to dry?
  • Abby PRO 7y

    It shouldn't affect the dye if it was set well. I dye my cotton with fiber reactive dyes and haven't ever had a problem, but I have had issues with handdyed stuff I bought from other people. Although if you see the water changing color, don't worry right away because there's usually at least a little excess dye left in cellulose fibers, and the excess stuff can come out without changing the color of the dyed fibers. I usually add the yarns to a pot of boiling water, let boil for 5-20 minutes with the lid off, and then either turn the heat off and let the yarn sit until it's cool or rinse in cool water and hang to dry.
  • jazzturtle2 7y

    Oh THANKS abby!! I'm off to set the twist of the skein i finished this week.. Good to know that the predrafting process doesn't just take long for me.. I'm also going to try the spinning oppisite direction.. but if you are going to ply it with something, that's not cotton.. say bamboo or silk.. then I imagine those plys also need to be spun in the same direction as the cotton.. so the plys stay together.. I wonder how bamboo and silk do being spun "backwards" You've done a bamboo/cotton 2ply.. how did you spin your plys?
    You're such a wealth of info :)
  • Abby PRO 7y

    Yep, just spin whatever you want to ply it with in the same direction. Bamboo, silk, and wool are all long-stapled enough that it doesn't matter too much which direction you spin them in. And you can spin cotton in either direction as well, but I've read several times that due to the shape/composition of the cellulose fibers in the cotton, it holds together better when spun that way.
  • Ruth S 7y

    ummm... folktalefibers and jazzturtle2, please *don't* boil yarn that's been dyed with fiber reactives!! I learned this the hard way. You'll lose most of the color.

    Boiling cotton is only for removing the wax from raw cotton. You can set the twist with just a good soak in hot-for-your-hand water.

    OK, there's another reason to boil cotton, but that's with mordanting and natural dyeing.
  • Abby PRO 7y

    I spin a lot of cotton, all dyed by me with fiber reactive dyes, and I've never lost the color when boiling.

    I've tested out setting the twist on cotton with warm water instead, and it definitely doesn't work as well as boiling.

    If you lose color when you boil, the dyes might not be set right or rinsed enough...or you might be using a different dyeing process. Has it happened to you more than once?
  • Julie 7y

    Really cool!
  • The Solitary Thread 7y

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Taken on April 16, 2008
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