2008-03-02: Grow Your Clothes

Sprouting cotton, natural dyeing photos, and progress on the urgently needed Baby Pea Pod.

So back at the beginning of February when I went to the information session on getting my spinning certificate, one of the people there had brought a big bag of cotton bolls she had grown in her garden. There were two varieties: pima and upland cotton. I took a little of each not so much to have the fibre samples, but to have the seeds!

Last weekend I took a bit of time to set up an ad hoc seed sprouter in the kitchen and I took care to add a little water to it once or twice a day. Look at the result in just one week!

The cotton is high

Only four of the seeds were from the pima boll, the rest were the upland cotton.

Sprouting

This weekend I decided that the seeds had outgrown their little sprouting tray so I went to the local Mitre 10 and got a few terra cotta pots and some potting mix (when we moved to this apartment, we left all our plants, pots, etc at our friends' where we were house sitting). Within a short amount of time, a select number of sprouts were safely tucked in to their new earthy homes. I haven't decided what to do with the rest, although I'm attempting to continue to nurse them until they either get adopted or I pick up more pots.

There's a bit of wiltiness post-transplant but I'm not too worried yet. Most of the plants seem to have handled the move and I'll give them a few more nights of adjustment time with plent of water before I give them up for lost.

While I was at it I also planted a house plant we'd been keeping in water for at least six months until we got a place to plant it. I'm sure that poor thing is having a field day in real soil!

"The Plantation"

While I was taking photos I also took advantage of the sunshine to get a shot of my recent dyeing in some good lighting, so the subtle colour differences would be especially visible.

Wool dyed with gum leaves/bark

Clockwise from left:

  • Original cream coloured wool from first dyeing session, using alum mordant and gum leaves
  • Cream coloured wool, overdyed with exhausted bark dye liquor
  • Ugly brown wool from failed dye experiment #2 (I over-boiled the dye liquor)
  • Not too bad orange brown wool with no mordant and gum tree bark

As if that wasn't enough, I also in a mad rush of knitting finished off the cardigan part of the Baby Pea Pod set for young little Radley Gage & cast on the hat. I just need to get some buttons and it will be ready to send off to Alaska (hopefully before he's outgrown it— this guy has probaly inherited some very tall genes).

Baby Pea Pod

Good luck with the new babies :)

Lara rhubarbandcustard@mac.com 03 Mar 2008

Going well thus far :-)

ARJ roceal@jngm.net 24 Mar 2008