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Spinzilla Makes My Heart Sing

Posted By TNNA HQ, Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Spinzilla Makes My Heart Sing

By: Irene Schmoller

I never thought I could create a cyber-spinning circle of devoted cotton spinners, but I did!

Since Spinzilla’s inception in 2013 Cotton Clouds has been bringing like-minded spinners together on our Team Cotton Clouds’ Cotton Tails. 

We weren’t all cotton spinners at first and spinning cotton wasn’t a requirement to join our team.  Yet, I had an ulterior motive to get spinners—new and experienced—to give it a little try.  I knew that once they took the time (and Spinzilla certainly gave them that time) to practice cotton spinning over and over again, they would see just how easy cotton spinning really is. [Hint: Successful cotton spinning comes by using quality, prepared fibers and applying just a little twist to hold the fibers together as a yarn and once the yarn is attenuated to the desired diameter a lot more twist for strength and durability; long-draw is best!]

Our motto here at Cotton Clouds Fiber Division is : “We make cotton spinning easy!” We offer a variety of prepared cotton fibers for all applications, experience and desires. Our Easy-to-Spin® Pima, Acala, Sea Island, Brown, and Green sliver cottons are specially processed for hand spinning by leaving much of the all-important crimp in the fiber. Team members have enjoyed spinning our 8 ounce Easy-to-Spin® Sampler Pack for the variety of fibers. During Spinzilla we offer a special on our Monster Mile Package of Easy-to-Spin® Pima, that will spin 5,200 feet (one mile) of a 5/2-like yarn and includes a free pattern to knit a Victorian-style mini-purse. It is also available for spinning two miles of yarn for the adventuresome cotton spinner. For those who’ve never spun cotton before we offer our All About Cotton Spinning kit with a variety of cotton lint, sliver, punis and even a cotton boll along with a supported brass-whorl spindle and illustrated, step-by-step spinning instructions.Our many YouTube videos show them how.

These and many more cotton spinning products are favorite items ordered by our team members. I always smile when I see a team member’s excitement on Ravelry after their order arrives and a photo of the product is posted. Our team members are quite active in the weeks before and after Spinzilla posting their equipment, supplies, and thoughts about getting back into a week of spinning. Some comments just crack me up, like the one from a spinner who said that she had cooked seven dinners that were now in the freezer, did all the laundry, cleaned the house and then told her family that they were on their own for a week. She was doing nothing but spinning. No housework, no chauffeuring, no cooking. Just spinning!  And she wasn’t the only one who said something like that!

These are dedicated spinners. Although some could not spin everyday or meet their goals (and there were many distractions including family members who had taken ill) everyone spun. And that makes my heart sing!

To keep the party going, we offer several prizes in addition to the ones Spinzilla awards. We’ve sponsored prizes for “Most Chatty” , “Community Cheerleader”, “Most Colorful Handspun”,  “Most Yarn Spun” and a “Lotto Winner”. In addition, Cotton Clouds is a proud sponsor of the Cotton Boll division, donating ten $25 Gift Certificates to Spinzilla to award.

None of this would have continued year after year if it wasn’t for our. team leader, Connie Peterson. Not only does she encourage team members, through direct email, to join the team during the month of September, but she has us each introduce ourselves on Ravelry with questions like “how long spinning, favorite equipment, favorite fiber for fast spinning, special treats to eat, favorite all-time movie (Gone with the Wind was a favorite)  and personal goals for Spinzilla”. The chatter quiets down for all of us during Spinzilla as typing and spinning at the same time are not a skill most have achieved. Yet, once the week is over, we start seeing lots of great photos of full bobbins, and that’s what we love most! Our team leader is so persistent in getting team members to tally and report their yardage that we’ve only had one we couldn’t catch!

For the past two years, Rebecca Huben of Stitchcraft Marketing has helped boost interest with clever graphics to encourage us to eat healthy and stay hydrated, spinning ergonomics (the bunny yoga poses so spoke to our Cotton Tail spinners and clever maps tracking our geographic locations and how far we could travel with the combined length of yarn we all spun.  Rebecca’s map shows that once again we crossed the US! Roughly placed on the map, the yardage our team spun would let us travel this route 8.5 times!

In 2016 Cotton Clouds’ Team Cotton Tails spun a whopping 63,378 yards!, placing 28th out of 74 teams! Our score has been percolating to the top every year. We started in 2013 with 23 spinners from the states of Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Pennsylvania Quite a spread for a darn good cyber spinning group.  We look forward to Spinzilla 2017 to be bigger and better and even more fun this year!


About Irene Schmoller

Irene loves to spin cotton! Founder and owner (since 1979) of Cotton Clouds, Inc, she has been advocating the joys of cotton spinning for the past 40 years. She is the past president of The Spinning and Weaving Association (precursor to The Spinning & Weaving Group, now part of TNNA).  

Cotton Clouds is the largest supplier of all things cotton including a wide variety of quality spinning fibers, wheels and spindles, books and kits along with exclusively designed weaving kits, cotton and cotton blend yarns, looms, DVD's, books and more.
If you don’t find her at her Sidekick wheel spinning cotton she is probably at the beach in Florida or hiking the mountains of the Arizona deserts where she lives with her husband in their passive solar home.

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