Ready-to-Spin Hits the etsy Shop!

Hot Fudge Sundae

Handcard blended roving…7 fibers..Corriedale, Columbia, CVM/Romney, Gulf Coast Native, cotton – brown and green, and silk.  Ooooyeah. This would be a great present to treat someone to a smooooooth spin. Yummy. Uploaded to dove’s roost this evening.

 

 

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Chicken Yarn – Tour de Fleece Challenge Day

Chicken Yarn

What do you get when you spin a garbagecan yarn of Merino, Alpaca, Gulf Coast Native, Rhode Island Red, Partridge Rock, cotton and CVM? You get yarn with feathers! This is some soft stuff. I used the downy baby feathers from the Reds (russet) and my Rock (black).

Artemis Wearing Chicken Yarn Stole

This old lady is so patient and good. She enjoys modelling for mama. At 16, she can get away with wearing this!

Dove’s Green Cotton – Day 15 of le Tour

Dove’s Green Cotton, originally uploaded by dovesroost.

This is natural green cotton from our 2009 harvest. After selecting for depth of color in prior years, this lint is a nice sage. Here you see some lint, and a 2-ply, 28wpi yarn spun on the ol’ Fricke.

Here’s the yarn directly after spinning. Thanks, Smitty, for modeling.

After stripping the natural waxes,  the final color is set – a nice medium sage green.

Hello Fall, Goodbye Coreopsis

coreopsis103

My stand of coreopsis was reduced to 3 or 4 spindly, hacked up plants around the terra cotta chicken fountain. The hennys did a pretty good job of dismembering said stand. So, I was reduced to trolling the county roads. My very own personal county road, also called 232, was loaded with the 3rd blooming 2 weeks ago. I had not had time all summer long to even pull over and snip some blossoms. So, this was it. I made sure I had a big ol trash bag with me whenever I went out. And finally, I said to myself, “Today’s the day.”

I set out for the feed store, expecting to see masses of yellow flowers, but when I turned out onto the road, all I saw was new mown grass. A mile later…5 miles later…8 miles later, there was a tractor, mowing ’em down. I turned onto 27. Tractors mowing everywhere. It was one of those early fall days, you felt you could be outside, I guess. I got the feed. Not a flower in sight. Decided to take an alternate route home. And there, by the bottling plant near the springs, OH HA! The Last of the Coreopsis.

So there you go. I mordanted a variety of fiber…some of Holly’s hoggett fleece from last April’s shearing, some fine GCNI from a sheep in Dry Creek, Louisiana, some Border Leicester from Maryland. Then I made a dyepot with half of those coreopsis. The result…not intense oranges, but milder, softer shades. I’m totally delighted with the “overdye” effect on the gray GCNI. I want to wear THAT.

greencotton

Here’s a close up, sans flash, of this season’s green cotton. We had quite a time with cotton this year. Permitted by the state, boll weevil trap planted in the garden by the Division of Plant Industry, and inspected by Wayne every three weeks this summer.

This is our 2nd year of growing cotton. We planted only green. I selected bolls with the darkest fiber, and was pleased with the outcome. Most of the cotton is medium green. Last year’s batch was all over the green spectrum…but mostly very very pale.

beauberryssm

These are beautyberries. An entirely different color.  Pretty intense. I’ve been cutting stems and making wild bouquets with goldenrod. For years. Well, this year, I heard tell of a jelly made from beautyberry. Lenore, daring wench that she is, went first. She found “the mother lode” on her 10 acres. She was so daring she even added wine. Well. I tasted her jelly. I tasted the berries. I knew I had to make some.

Lenore the Enabler showed up at the farmers market with a big fat bag of berries. Almost enough for the “recipe.” On one of Smitty’s morning sojourns, I picked enough to make enough jelly for the Western World. I didn’t add wine. Just berries, pectin, and sugar.

beautyberrysm

Here you go. Five half-pints of jelly. Scarlet jelly. Now, how did that happen? The violet berries produced an amber colored juice. When the pectin hit…instant color change! I’d never used pectin before, so I didn’t know what to expect. The jelly set right up…ka-boom! Heck in a handbasket, it’s just like store-bought. Except it tastes herbal, wild, and like nothing that Publix would ever carry. Yum.

Thanks Lenore!

Oh…and the recipe…should anyone out there care to dare:

1 1/2 qts beautyberries
2 qts water
1 pkt pectin
4 1/2 c sugar

Start a boiling water canner rolling. Prepare 5 1/2 pt jars, lids, and bands.

Rinse and pick over berries. Ditch the stems. Cover the berries with the water. Bring to a boil…let boil for 20 minutes. Mash the berries a bit. Strain.

Use 3 c of the berry juice. (You’ll have another 3 c left to refrigerate to make more at a later date.) Bring the juice to a boil. Whisk in an envelope of pectin. (I used Ball brand.) As it boils, whisk in the sugar (all at once) and bring a 2nd boil. Let it boil hard for a minute.

Remove from heat. Skim off the “stuff” on top. Pour into sterilized 1/2 pt jars with 1/4″ headspace. Process for 10 minutes.

Singles – Cotton – Sally

4-21-bl-cotton-sally

L-R Cotton Seedlings, Newborn BL Singles, Sally Hogan – GC Yearling

Does this photo really need commentary? I took this morning’s singles out in the sun for a portrait, thinking, “Heck, those cottons would be nice as a backdrop,” when along came Sally to see if I happened to have a corncob in my hand. I did not, but she remained interested. Here she is, taking in the photo shoot, probably thinking, “I know there’s a corncob over there, somewhere.”

Oh…these are the last singles I need for my top secret emergency project…which I will have great fun posting later on down the line.

Taking that green cotton for a spin

greencotton1

Here’s a sample skein of green cotton 2-ply, spun on my light Hogie bottom whorl. I love that spindle for cotton. Tom is a genius. It is made of cedar and bamboo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

grncotboiled1

 

This is what the cotton looks like after spending a few minutes in a pot of boiling water. A bit deeper. Lovely soft putty green.

Wicker

Kinda big picture, eh? But, I wanted to show the string. The green and brown blended cotton. Handsome stuff, this singles yarn. I love that the colors are muted versions of those of my grandmothers wicker chair.