When I acquired my very first spinning wheel in 2007, the woman I got it from threw in some cotton bolls that she had on hand. that bag of cotton has been sitting in my stash ever since. i feel silly admitting that i've been scared of it all this time. people on the interwebs say that "cotton is hard!" and i haven't been able to work up the courage to try it myself. well, and also i completely forgot that i had it in the stash.
Earlier this week, Spicy was talking about potentially growing cotton someday (thanks, global warming!) and i remembered that i actually have raw cotton in the stash. so i got it out, carded a few rolags and spun it up just to see what it was like. This little yarn cake is the result.
I won't lie, it was kind of hard. the seeds had been removed but there was still a ton of VM that didn't want to come out. i was able to spin it on the wheel longdraw but if i were to do it again i'd add more twist. when i was plying the singles would often drift apart and unlike wool it was not that easy to join. i boiled my skein to finish it but the color didn't really change, so next time i'd just do a regular finish. my mini-cake is about a 3ply sport weight. i didn't measure the yardage because it's so insignificant. i might have enough to make a tribble dishcloth or something.
I have to say it wasn't that hard. not any more difficult than spinning cashmere, angora, or yak. i still have most of the bag left to spin. i really want to try blending it with wool. i think i'll probably have to do a few passes on the handcards with the cotton and then try blending it with wool on the drum carder. it'll probably be another handful of years before i get around to it.