Wednesday, January 31

Spin from the seed - leftovers

With growing cotton, it is easy to separate out those lovely fluffy good bolls from the lesser, immature bolls. But what do you do with the bad bolls? I am too frugal just to pitch them. And the fiber is especially soft. They can’t be ginned – or, at least, I can’t gin them as the seeds will crush and make a real mess. Also, I don’t know exactly what color they are sometimes. They appear white, but they may be green or brown underneath.

What I did today was spin a bin of them from the seed, or more correctly, off the seed. Saves ginning and carding. Now my yarn on the bobbin is not my number 1 best spun stuff. Oh, but wouldn’t it make great fluffy washcloths? I wouldn’t wear it for socks, as it is probably tender and wouldn’t hold up. It might make a great tank top though.

What would you do with it? Think it isn’t worth spinning at all? Let me hear from you.

Pan of seed cotton, with individual seeds separated, but not particularly fluffed.

Pan of seeds left at the end of spinning.

Spinning directly off the seed.

Spun cotton singles.

Tuesday, January 16

Field to cloth

The colors, at least on my screen, are pretty close to the original dishcloth. This was spun, kinda roughly, washed, knit on a knitting machine in a 1x1 tuck and then boiled for 1 hour. Since then, it has been used maybe 50 times and washing in washer and dryer.

The back looks like ribbing.

The brown and green were the bolls show below. The green changes to a dark blue green and the pale tan becomes this rich dark brown. I have to be careful picking white bolls. They may look white outside, but if I put them in the wrong bin inside, I can easily get colored streaks in my white cotton. The color is in there hiding, even though I might not see it when I spin. I must carefully label the bins. This becomes most important when I am harvesting either immature bolls or unopened bolls.

Immature bolls have seeds that are not fully formed and all the cotton appears white. It is usually tender and sometimes shorter. Actually it can be very soft, but I must spin it from the seed as the immature seeds will fail my ginning process.

Unopened bolls are usually fully formed but late. So I will have pale colored cotton and big seeds. But to open these, I use a dehydrator. It works so well, they just pop open. However, these seeds must not be mixed with my other seeds as they have been heated and are no longer viable. Since we got so much rain this year after the bolls began to open, many more of my bolls went through this drying process. We normally have very little rain in Albuquerque after the monsoon season.

Friday, January 12

Cotton eye candy

I am preparing a tutorial on how I gin with a pasta machine and leather. But for now, I thought I would show you a little more of the '06 crop. The single seed is Pima with quite a halo of fibers.

Thursday, January 11


Originally uploaded by fibergal.

Soon the seed planting will begin for 2007. I just wanted to whet your appetite for some nice colors.