October 8, 2013

Finishing Notes

The seascape piece is 36" long, and varies between 12"-14".

I keep wondering if there isn't some way I could turn it into clothes after all, cut it into sections and quilt it onto something else, or find a long dress or coat to add it to, or something. It's such an awkward size, though.

I finished up the cotton roving I turned into punis on the charkha, and got a decent amount out of it. I can't afford any more punis right now, but I had a big bag of cotton bolls in the closet that a friend picked on the roadside years ago and eventually handed off to me, having nothing to do with it. I don't have cotton cards (although I know a clever way to gin it using my pasta machine), which makes preparing it very difficult, but someone on Rav mentioned that it was perfectly possible to spin straight from the boll. So I tried it this morning, and, oddly, it's easier than the punis were (probably because I prepared them badly). The cotton is coarser than the prepared stuff I was using, but it just drafts off beautifully. The seeds still give me a little trouble, but the leaf and calyx bits come out easily as I spin, or just fall out of the thread.

The seeds themselves, I'm saving to make more offerings to Athene with. They're twelve or fifteen years old, so there's little to no chance of them germinating, even if this were a climate in which they'd grow, but really, I think I'd give them anyway. It seems appropriate. I'm saving the bits of cotton waste left when I screw up, as well. I like the idea of offering my failures up while asking for the skill to reduce them. As I get better, I'll find other offerings to give, or learn to skills to offer failures from. It's important to acknowledge that skill and knowledge of these arts comes from Athene. It's the first and simplest lesson from the story of Arachne.

I'd forgotten that the cotton on the spindle had some brown under the off-white, but just wound it all into one skein, which leaves the hank looking stripy, even though the thread only changes color once. If I ever get hold of colored cotton again, I might alternate colors, to make self-striping yarn. At any rate, I mean to dye a hank of brown with each hank of white, eventually, to see the way the dye goes on differently.

Stripy hank: