Hot Enough to Knit!

Well, here’s the deal. The thermometer on the deck has read 96+ for the past two weeks during the day. We feed the critters, turn on the ol’ irrigation, and run for the house. Summer’s the best time for this ol’ bird to make art. Yeah, yeah, I know it isn’t officially summer yet. Tell that to my pole beans.

Here’s a little bit of fiber:

This is a 2-ply yarn of merino, alpaca, and rabbit. All fiber was dyed in the lock. Soft and lush. Mmm.

And this?

These are Gulf Coast Native blend rolags. I’ve decided to list ready-to-spin fiber on Dove’s Roost (etsy store). The darkest chocolate CVM/Romney, creamy Gulf Coast Native, some of that lavender bunny, some blue alpaca…well…this stuff is fun to spin.

On a farmy note…the lambs are as big as their parents now…Curly is still getting a bottle, because Tom lurvs to feed him…and Bing is still nursing a little, so Sally is a skinny bonz.

OH! Wait a minute…there’s something else you need to see!

Black Betty”s settin’ on 4 eggs…and we’ve been counting down…and we’re down to…5 more days! Should start hatching on June 11th.

On the music front…we played at the 59th Florida Folk Festival on Memorial Day Weekend, and had a totally wonderful reception…and a blast and a half, to boot. Played in Lake City, Florida on Saturday…and last night at the Gainesville Old-Time Dance Society (GODS) contra dance with a 2nd fiddler under the name Hot Potatoes. Flying Turtles String Band is having some fun this summer!

Kind of a crackpot update…but, it’s time, isn’t it?

Pick a bale of cotton

Does this look soft? I said, does this look SOFT? Well, it is really really soft. This is the first cotton of the season, picked from a big fat wide open Peruvian Brown cotton boll. There are 8 seeds per “finger” – and there are, as you can see, 4 “fingers.” I expect that the rest of the bolls will be following suit soon.

The green cotton in the lower field is still blooming, but the bolls are bigger and there are more per plant than on the brown. Pretty exciting stuff, I must say. Cotton is a beautiful plant, and this fiber is just awesome!

At the dog fennel store on this rainy morning



They won’t let me touch ’em, but they come runnin’ for a treat. And dog fennel…oooh baby, that’s one of their favorite weeds. Look at those lips go!





Here you can see Holly’s new bump. When she knocked off that little horn, we freaked! But Margrett pulled us out of the panic mode in about 1 minute. On the bright side, it’s really easy to tell the girls apart, now.

a different kind of wooly

peruvian brown

peruvian brown

Sustainable agriculture implies a long term integrated system that will satisfy food and fiber needs while being kind to the environment. We try. Our freezers are full. The canner has had a big fat workout. We rotate our crops and pastures. And we try to do no harm.

This year, we started to grow colored cotton. Brown and green. Phreadde gave me some long staple white pima, but I heard so much talk about cotton being the slut of the garden that I decided that we really only had room for 2 varieties. Now, I read somewhere that you need to grow a 20′ x 20′ patch of cotton if you want enough fiber to weave, say, enough cloth to make a shirt. Let’s just say, we have a way to go on that score. But, it’s a start.

On the other hand, wool. Ah. Easy to grow. Ahem. Easy to spin, dye, weave, knit…you name it. Feels good. Keeps you warm. Keeps you dry. I got hooked on Gulf Coast Native Sheep a few years ago, and have been buying fleece from Running Moon Farm in Dry Creek, Louisiana ever since. And now, well, synchronicity strikes again. Twins were born half an hour away, we were contacted, asked if we would like to buy them. And now we have our own fleece machines.

We’d never given cotton much thought. But…my husband is a historic restoration guy. And his research said…this was the land of cotton and indigo. So…why not. That seems appropriate, then, to grow cotton. It’s a beautiful plant. I can’t wait to see some actual cotton!