There was a cotton crop growing on the side of my home in Northern Indiana this summer. I planted some seeds in my kitchen this past February and 17 plants survived. I transplanted them outside in June and Eureka! I’ve got 1.75oz brown and 2.75oz white. Never mind the small yield, I grew some cotton ya’ll!! Now I have to get it carded up and ready to spin. I’m not sure what I’m going to make yet. We’ll just have to see.
So how did this all begin?
I bought some cotton roving about 2 years ago and found it rather finicky to spin. I kept at it. I would spin mostly sliver in the colored cotton because I thought it was cool. I started to crochet the cotton handspun in the round and by the time I felt like I’d gotten the hang of it I had made an eclectic looking throw. The throw shows my progression from the overspun recycled blue jean cotton to the thick, lumpy frustration skein to finally my consistent, I’m sooo In Love with you Cotton, lace weight yarn.
…And I’m growing cotton because
Once upon a time, I visited Island Weaver shop in Winona Indiana and was thrilled to pieces when I discovered they had 2 cotton plants with cotton bolls attached growing outside. The owner gave me a boll. The hand picked and processed fiber was much easier to spin than sliver. It is much like cashmere or camel down. I got 21 seeds from that one boll.
I wanted more so I searched out a supplier for handpicked white cotton and ordered a (very expensive) pound to spin up. More seeds. So I decided to plant some seeds and see what happens. They grew.
What I learned: Aphids attack cotton plants in June. They thrive even with neglect and aphid attacks. You can harvest the bolls before they open if you live some place where the snow shows up before they open in November. Just open them up manually and let them dry out.
Overall thoughts: Happy, will plant again.