Monday, November 14, 2016

Cotton Harvest

I have been harvesting cotton for a couple of months now, but with the shorter days the bolls have been ripening more slowly.  This tells me that day length is more important to cotton formation than temperature, since here in San Diego we are still having daytime highs into the 80s.  I have not picked anything for about a month, but there are plenty of bolls still on my plants.

This is my harvest so far, with the standard sized coffee mug for scale.  The cotton is Acala with smooth black seeds.  It will be white after I scour and wash it.  I have not ginned any yet, but I have fluffed it up a little to make sure there is no moisture.  I have about 12 - 14 of these plants.  I cut them back in the winter to encourage branching and new growth.  They are in a raised bed. 

Brown Cotton Boll

I only have one brown cotton plant, but it produces well.  The fiber is relatively short, and it has fuzzy seeds.  This plant is in a large pot set apart from the white cotton.

People ask what I do with the cotton.  I spin it, then weave and knit with it.  Sometimes I dye the yarn with indigo.

This is a small shawl that I knit in a lace pattern with some of my cotton.  The nice thing about a piece dyed with indigo is that when it starts to fade a bit from wearing outside you can just re-dip it in the next indigo vat.  

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