Life after Work

First steps on the charkha

My first attempts on the charkha

I haven’t been able to get much practice done on the charkha because I’ve been so busy doing stuff with my mom, but I wanted to post these photos anyway. They were taken beginning of March and show the progress I made within a day using punis. The top is my very first attempt at spinning cotton puni – I tore it off the spindle in frustration. Below that is what I managed next – a somewhat recognizable yarn and the spindle in the bottom shows my practicing work in progress. I added a few yards to that yesterday after taking off over a month.

Puni before and after pre-draftingThe key for me was that the punis I have are so compacted that drafting was very difficult – the single would either be extremely lumpy or get thinner and thinner until it would fall apart. I examined one and found out that fluffing it up (I guess the proper term is “pre-drafting”) helped me with drafting. The thumbnail on the left shows two punis, the top one is the “original size” out of the pack and almost solid. The bottom puni is pre-drafted and fluffy (click on the thumbnail for a bigger version). Without that extra step I would not have been able to get to a somewhat regular yarn. I’m not sure if that is what everybody does with punis or if I’m just too much of a novice, but it sure helped me. I’m curious if spinning sliver will be easier than punis, but I don’t want to give up too soon on the punis either.

Next step: Fill another spindle and try to ply. I think I’ll try that on my wheel because that allows me to treadle and have my hands free for holding the spindles as opposed to using a lazy kate because I don’t have one for these kind of spindles. If that doesn’t work I have some plans for a home-made kate using a small cardboard box and rubber bands.

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