Monday, May 21

Bigger than a Bread Box

strauch 405 drum carder and bread box
Strauch 405 'Finest' Drum Carder

First, there was knitting and the amassing of one of the larger stash ranches in central Texas. Then came spinning and the resulting fiber hacienda with a special bunkhouse for 10 pounds of pima cotton. Now, this beauty has arrived and I've become fixated on carding blended batts of cotton, tencel and silk. Oh, and I've got a huge crush on Otto Strauch for sending me drum carder #3000. Three is my lucky number, so I'm convinced that this was a message from the carding gods. And did I mention that my maiden name is Batts? I'm on a mission, people, and handpainted lightweight cotton blends is thy name.

drum carder, detailromney batt and bread box
Romney batt

While I'm not mesmerized by the rhythmic cranking of the drum carder and listening to NPR, I've been working in the garden. A very rainy spring has made all of my tropical plants, vines and trees very happy. My tomatoes are setting fruit, the basil has survived the slugfest and the caladiums are popping up all over the place. I'm always surprised that anything survives my children and a 65-pound puppy galumphing all over the yard. I enjoy these days before the 100-degree heat sets in and the Yankees buy some new pitchers. Yep, it's a good time for us Red Sox fans.

banana leaf'tropicana' canna
banana leaf, 'tropicana' canna

confederate jasmineconfederate jasmine

fig leaffiglet
fig leaf and figlet

Table for one, please.

We had a lovely dinner party this weekend and got to dine out on the patio, decorated with hibiscus flowers and tiki torches. Our guests(old friends, soccer parents and school favorites) enjoyed the mojitos and were happily tucking into their lamb bobotie, orange carrot salad and ratatouille when someone at our table casually mentioned my knitting. It was a magic moment until I started waxing on about the marvels of my drum carder, "It's just like a pasta machine for fiber! How cool is that?" I watched their eyes dart around nervously and then glaze over, one by one, especially when I got into micron counts and staple lengths. I was just about to detail the joys and challenges of photographing yarn when I decided a wine refill was in short order for the table. Maybe I should leave the after dinner yarncave tour for another time, perhaps?


Hilde C. said...

Congratulations on your new drum carder! There is only one thing left for you to do now - so, when do the sheep and silkworms arrive?
The photos from your garden are lovely. I wish I could get a tour around your garden :-)

Zonda said...

Yes, congrats on your drum carder!

Ahhhh red batts, Romney Red batts..

Love the flower and leaf photos! Dinner sounded very delicious!

Batty said...

Oooh, drum carder! Congratulations!

Garngamen said...

Fantastic Pic.s Mary! It looks so lush, and Mojitos... you really mean they do not apprechiate your drum carder? Well, you audience does - for sure! Im hand carding and your drum just looks like heaven (as your garden). Red cotton, I wonder how that would spin...being a wool-gal..., Anyhow, it looks like the Dallas trip is postponed for me, and I have no idea if I missed the opportunity to go Texas, but Im sure there will be more occasions. Take care! Cheers!

Erica said...

Tag! You're it! 7 things please...

Marji said...

love the sea silk...I covet the sea silk. Fondled some last year at Stitches Midwest but resisted the siren call.
Meanwhile, I just don't understand folks who glaze over when we fiber-y types wax eloquent..