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Topic: Comprehensive Handspinning with Celia Quinn  (Read 1436 times)
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knkurz
« on: May 13, 2009 09:16:39 AM »

I just spent a fantastic three days in a Celia Quinn workshop.  I don't know how many of you have heard of her, but she is fantastic.  She lives in Homer, Alaska, so she didn't have to come too far to teach us, but she does classes all around the world.  She's been spinning since 1975 I think, and so she's seen a ton.  She has all sorts of samples and techniques  and advice.  It was very wonderful. 

There were a few important things I learned in this class:
1. How to spin long draw. 
2. Long draw should always be used with short fibers, as worsted-style spinning makes it next to impossible.
3. Worsted spinning has greater sheen/luster, while long draw spinning is fluffier and lighter, usually with some sort of halo.
4. Cotton is not the enemy!
5. Short-staple fibers should be spun thinly (i.e. spin cotton in the thickness of a paper clip wire or thinner)

I'll take pictures of my first cotton yarn (which I spun worsted, the only way I was familiar with) and the cotton samples I spun (which were my second cottons).  There's a huge difference in them.

Including a few practice fibers, we spun 97 different samples of fibers.  We spun wools, mohairs, llama, alpaca, yak, cashmere, silks (both silk tops and right from the cocoon [with a pupa still inside!!]), cottons, downs, guard hairs, qiviut, horse hair [something I've wanted to do for a LOOONG time], flax, ramie, ingeo, rayon, polyester, and many many many more.

Celia offers several classes, including a dyeing workshop.  If you get the chance to take one of her classes, DO IT.  I had a fantastic time, and I learned a ton.
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SensiblyTacky
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2009 11:40:18 AM »

Ahhhhhhhhhh!!! How awesome!!!

What a wonderful experience! I'm sitting in my cubicle at work being very very jealous!

Pictures!!!

xoxo
Talia
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mullerslanefarm
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2009 12:08:08 PM »

ENVY
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Cyndi

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freefolk
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009 04:01:34 PM »

That sounds absolutely wonderful. I'm really looking forward to seeing your handspun cotton yarn; I've only ever managed to spin a few yards at a time.  Smiley
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Belladune
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2009 08:43:52 PM »

Quote
(both silk tops and right from the cocoon [with a pupa still inside!!])

gasp I so need to know how to do that , I went crazy and bought cocoons with the worms still in, and have no idea what to do with them LOL

I'm so jealous, so so jealous!!  I need a real class LOL   Sounds like you had a lot of fun, and I can't wait to see your cotton!
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WMA
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2009 07:04:18 AM »

How fun!! That sounds like it was an amazing class!! All those different fibers...I hope you took notes, lol. Can't wait to see some pics!
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knkurz
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2009 08:03:29 AM »

Belladune: It's easy--start with the thin tail end and work your way in.  The pupae look brown and wrinkly, like some sort of nut (at least, the ones in our cocoons did!).  Remember that silk has a VERY long staple length and that you'll have a very hard time drafting if the twist gets back too far.

WMA: I haven't taken pictures yet because it's been horribly cloudy and gross outside, so I haven't had good light.  However, I see the sun already this morning, so I'm hoping that it is still out when I get home from work.  If not, I'll catch it tomorrow on my day off, assuming it's sunny still, of course!
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Belladune
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2009 08:45:33 AM »

thank you!!   I'm going to have to dive in a try it out! LOL
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knkurz
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2009 01:10:02 PM »

I promised pictures!  I took them but never got around to uploading them.  So, here they are!!


This is my set of samples.  Most people used a notebook and index cards to display theirs...I  personally like this better.  I don't have any samples of the raw fibers now, though, and most everyone else does.  FYI, there are 97 samples here! Cheesy:D


Just a closer-up.


My combed cotton top samples!  For reference, here's my other cotton attempt:

As you can see, my cottons improved immeasurably!


The pokey dark brown is horse hair  Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin  I've wanted to spin horse hair for AGES, so I'm pleased she had a sample.  I work with long, coarse fibers more than most, so I think I got better results than others did.  The same goes for my churro sample. 

I had superb fun, but I haven't spun since I went.  I think it's just because I haven't gotten around to it, what with summer starting and a new job and new schedule and general life stuff.  Sad, but I'll get back to it soon (I hope).  The other part of my problem is no fiber budget...Just because I have at least 12 pounds of fiber stashed doesn't mean that there's anything to spin Wink
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Belladune
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2009 06:24:15 PM »

mmmmmm!  those look fabulous!  I would have gone notebook too,  Looks like that could get tangled!    and who'da thunk you could spin horse hair!!  I might have to ask some of the people around here for their horses hair, I suppose it would make a good sturdy rug yarn?
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