General Ginger Knits

random thoughts on knitting and the universe

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Jarrell Plantation part 3

I'm glad to hear that ya'll are enjoying this yarn I'm spinning. (Get it? Yarn. I'm spinning. hahaha) Thanks Lisa for telling me about rolag.

Continuing my Sheep to Shawl saga at Jarrell Plantation I went to check out what was happening inside the 1895 house.

Hard at work at a wood stove was a woman dyeing the wool. She took out a great hunk of it and carried it in a pan outside to the clothes line. She laid it out on the line allowing it to drip dry.

Apparently you can use just about anything to dye wool. There was a really groovy handmade sample book on display that had various types of wool with a notation about what it had been dyed with. The pages are actually made out of envelopes with holes punched around the edges. I was amazed at the many different types of plant materials that could be used to dye wool.

Dyeing wool is, again, a labor intensive process that, back in the old days, took quite a significant amount of time. I loved the sample card that showed wool that had been dyed with black walnut hulls. There is a sample of wool from each stage of the dyeing process so that its easy to see how the wool is affected. Amazing!

One of the funniest things that happened on this adventure was Toby, the plantation mule. He was carrying on up a storm the whole time I was there. I wasn't sure if he was in distress or if he was just greeting all the visitors. I don't think a visit to a historic farm is complete until you see a cantankerous ol' mule peeing a river in the restroom portion of his padock.

I sure admire these Jarrell folks. Their family worked that farm for over a hundred years. When farming got to be too much they donated their land to the state of Georgia who promtly turned it into a historic site thus preserving the Jarrell's family history. One of the decents still owns the big house on the property, the 1920 house, and today it is a bed and breakfast. The tenactiy of these folks and their ability to reinvent themselves throughout the last hundred years and even into these modern times is amazing.

Thanks for joining me on the saga ya'll. I'm off to see if I can get this drop spindle thingy to work. We now return to our regularly scheduled southern accent without as much twang!


Blogger ErLeCa said...

How awesome! That trip sounded like it was such an excellent time! And you walked away with a drop spindle and roving! You're gonna love it!

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that sounds like a good trip you had.I love going with the kids on school trip to places like that.what a awesome way to live
earth mother

11:27 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

fun! have you been trying out the spindle yet? the guild i'm in here just hosted a big fiber forum in mississippi. this coming weekend we'll be spinning at magnolia mound (a creole plantation) and the the first 2 wkends in april we'll head out to farm for sheering and dyeing. i love being able to participate in the entire process from shearing to FO!

9:34 AM  

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