that turning coffee filters into yarn
is interesting and satisfying
but not necessarily
my absolute favorite thing in the world...
sends the exquisite
naturally pigmented coffee filters
she has used to make
(many of which I get to test--how lucky is that)?
the point, after all, was the pigment they contained--
but then fished them from the garbage
because they were just so pretty.
that I was diverted from
the thrilling project I intended to write about today--
with these colors
as snow falls from the sky--
Happily, it turns out
that not only are the filters lovely
but they are also easier to spin
than the heavier brown ones I've used so far
they are also lighter in weight
so I get a finer yarn for a given width of cut.
They are also strong,
which made them easy to handle
when I dunked a few into an indigo pot
to get greens and purples.
(Jodi has done a LOT of cochineal experiments!)
I'm a newbie at this business of spinning paper,
but nonetheless I thought it'd be fun to share
a technique for transforming
a round piece of filter paper
into a continuous strip
that can be twisted into yarn--
in case you want to try too.
2. Cut from one folded edge to 1/2 inch (1cm) from the other
following the curve.
DO NOT CUT THROUGH at the end of the cut.
and approximately 1/4 inch away
4. Continue cutting parallel strips as shown,
always stopping about 1/2 inch from the other folded edge,
until the entire filter is in strips joined at one edge.
6. Cut from top slit at an angle through to the edge
making a free end as shown two photos down.
to the one diagonally across from it
(offset by one as shown).
until the entire circle is one continuous strip.
--It's probably a good idea to make sure it doesn't tangle as you go
but I'm a little casual about this,
so have to be gentle when handling it.
so at this point I've found it best to wrap it in a damp cloth
and let it sit for half an hour or so.
(hankie soaked in water and squeezed out really thoroughly).
Before I read about the Hankie Method
I misted it lightly all over with a squirt bottle,
tossing gently to make sure the paper was evenly damp,
but the hankie method seems to work better.
The amount of moisture is apparently unique
for every kind of paper
and every atmospheric condition
so I've had to practice and adjust...
Too much water and the paper falls apart in my hands.
Too little and it doesn't want to accept the twist.
than, say, the variable annuity semi-annual report pages I've used
but it still won't take a lot of pressure
(too much 'suck' on a spinning wheel would snap it instantly),
with my Ashford Charkha,
which has a very low drive ratio.
Other twisting ideas:
Charlotte, a weaver, has used her bobbin winder to great effect
twisting old sewing pattern pieces into yarn
My lightest high whorl Hepty Spindle (20 grams) works well,
and imagine a supported or Medieval spindle would also be great.
I make a kind of purn
by wrapping the spindle shaft with a piece of scrap paper,
taping it at the overlap so it won't unroll while I'm starting to spin.
This allows me to remove the fiber from the spindle
without unrolling it while it is still damp and fragile.
It's also a handy way to store the yarn.
instead of winding the yarn onto a bobbin
I even weave with these purns.
It's not particularly effective,
(no tapping the yarn into place and sometimes they come unwound),
but alas, I do it anyway.
is the nicest that I've made so far--
almost as fine and and pleasant to use
as the samples that Velma sent me.
Nor, indeed, is it as blissful to weave with
as hand spun linen (though a damn site easier to spin).
But I like it.
It has possibilities.
I might eventually try to use it
for something other than tapestry.
Just what I do not know.
But most yarnish experiments are worth a try--
even when the precious materials
have been rescued from the trash.
And oh golly, these colors feel like spring.
I hope you will give it a try.
And if you do,
please keep us posted about your experiments, K?