One of the greatest joys in teaching is the students and friends I meet all over the world. I feel truly blessed to be able to connect with so many wonderful individuals through the love of cotton spinning. Thanks to technology, I can also have students I have never met in person, but who generously share their thoughts and work with me via email after watching my videos. This gallery showcases some of the work of all these different people. Thank you to all who have contributed work to inspire others in their fiber journey!

Ruth Litterick

Ruth, who hails from Roseville, MN, was in Joan's class at Ply Away in March, 2018. She created these 3 ply cotton socks and had this to say about her method and process:

"The yarn was spun from old fashioned mill roving - highly compressed and very short. (I call it my mystery cotton because I know nothing of the source, just bought it from someone before Easy To Spin came on the scene.) Anyway, it is three ply that was spun on my Schadt Matchless double treadle at 21:1 and bleached in the yarn. No problems to speak of once I got used to the roving. The socks were knit up on a size US size zero needles. I’ve knit a few pair of socks from my cotton handspun and they have worn very well - into the washer and dryer too."

These socks feel wonderful on my feet! Thank you, Ruth for such a luxurious gift!

Ruth's 3-ply cotton socks


Karen Birbeck

Karen took a class with Joan in May, 2018 and wrote to give an update:

"As promised, attached is a picture of my first finished cotton project - a table runner. Although it will probably never be on the table - I'll always be carrying it around showing it off!

I took the plunge and got a little loom (Beka 20") and wove for the first time. My weaving skill has a long way to go, but it was fun and I love the finished product. I didn't know how to measure the length as I wound it on, so it is shorter than I had planned - it is 35" x 9 1/2". The white was spun before class (May 19-20); the green and brown, plyed with white, is all from class.

I'm taking a weaving lesson tomorrow and can't wait to spin enough to make a top for myself. Thank you again for the wonderful class!"

Karen Birbeck's Table Runner

It is continually inspiring to me as a teacher to see what students create and how their new skills add confidence to turn inner vision into beautiful and meaningful cloth creations. Thank you, Karen!


Kay Toombs

Kay is one of Joan's students and used a Bosworth Charka wheel to spin her cotton. She writes "I wanted to send a photo of the vest made from my homespun cotton. We used the pattern that you have and I am very pleased with it!!". What an absolutely beautiful accomplishment - thank you for sharing, Kay!

Kay Toomb's hand spun vest


Susan Werrin

Susan writes "I painstaking carded and blended my colors into punis but made the mistake of boiling the skeins which practically erased all of my colors into mush. Still I’m happy that I get to wear my “mistakes” and not hide them away!" I'm sure many of us wish our "mistakes" looked so nice!

Susan Merrit's hand spun cotton tee


Kristen Merritt of Tucson, Arizona

These stunning garments were all done on either a charkha or takli - they demonstrate how sophisticated hand-spun cotton can be! Kristen did a superb job in the creation of these pieces!

Kristen's Tunic

Kristen's garments were featured in the Tucson Guild's Spring Fashion Show held in April, 2013.


Kristen's Blouse



Kristen's Sweater


Looking at these pictures, you can almost FEEL the movement and drape in these garments - inspiring!