Sunday, July 15, 2012

Blooming Cotton, Finally

Yesterday one of the Pima cotton plants I am growing from seed opened a blossom.  Much larger and more beautiful than I had expected.

The flower has a dark red center and very ruffled petals.  This morning the flower was pink and drooping a bit.

I also planted some brown cotton separately, but it is a bit behind the Pima because I did not have it in a location that was sunny enough.  In fact, it has really only turned hot and sunny enough here in San Diego over the past two weeks to get these plants going.  I had pretty good germination for the Pima cotton; of the four seeds I planted, three sprouted.  The brown cotton, however, had to be replanted.  None of the first four seeds came up.  I replanted two more seeds and one came up.  That plant is now very vigorous and has some buds.

I had insect trouble when the plants were very small.  A dollop of soapy water administered every week cured that problem.  Now, they seem strong enough to take on anything.

Yesterday I finished this month's Blue Moon Sock Club shawl.  This was a lot of fun to knit.  I like the wave pattern and the lace really sets off the breaking waves theme.  I had some yarn left over and I could have made the shawl a little longer. However, I did not want to mess with the design, so there it is.  A bit short, but it works.  I really like the thicker texture over the shoulders.  My shoulders and back tend to get cold, so I am looking forward to wearing this in the cool office at work.

Today I am going to dye some pin drafted Merino.  I dyed some last week and I really like the colors - but it felted a little.  I started earlier today and will be more patient.  I cleaned out the garage a couple of weeks ago and made myself a work space for this hot weather.  It is really too hot to dye on the patio.  There is a nice breeze through the garage.

I am going to try some different colors than what I usually end up using (that's right, no Turkey Red).  Wish me luck.

Just for fun, here's a photo of the two buddies, Frida and Sally, relaxing on the bed.  Frida is the large white cat.  The quilt is my own design, made from Guatemalan fabrics - some of which I purchased in Guatemala while I was doing field work years ago.  I pieced the top, and it was machine quilted by the talented Nancy Zelenka.  She also added the binding.  It has cotton batting.  

Onward to the dye pot.