Flying Fox Studio

Just comments about my art, kids, animals and the eccentricity of it all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mr. Benjamin Button is a very fine bird indeed.  We like his chameleon ever-changing head color and the retractable "snood" that hangs over his beak has given us more than one laugh.

 Sometimes he is pale and washed out, then puffs and the color is almost instant, red, blue and violet.  We just adore the silly thing, and to think he is only a few months old, being hatched in May, I think that is when he arrived, and now he is huge and still has poundage to add.

He is the same breed as a "factory" turkey those, mass produced for consumption, the ones raised in large lots don't ever become such beautiful birds.  We think he is quite the looker.

Last month I was in a fiber store, bad idea, and saw a beautiful bit of fluff, a pale lavender mix of merino wool and silk.  Gorgeous stuff, so I bought it. For many years I have desired a spinning wheel but they are quite expensive and there are many other priorities around here, so when I spin, I use a hand spindle. 
It seems whenever I use it, I cannot help but think and imagine about the thousands of years of history connected to hand spindles.  For thousands of years every particle of woven clothing was produced from thread spun with a spindle.  Clothing was expensive, not only monetarily but in the very life hours of the people who produced it.

 For instance a linen shirt would take a year to make from start to finish.  The flax planted, weeded, grown and harvested.  Then bundled and soaked in water to loosen the undesirable plant particles, the bundles were beaten and flailed and then combed through large spiky teeth to align the fibers and clean out debris.  The fibers were spun and dyed if desired.  A favorite dye was indigo, which was set with stale urine. Lovely job. 
The looms were warped and the cloth woven. Then the pattern was cut out and the shirt entirely sewn by hand.  Not exactly a quick trip to Walmart for a T-shirt.
The bit of fluff  ( 4 oz) was spun into nearly a thousand yards of very fine yarn, then plied together and knitted into an Estonian lace scarf.  It is pale and delicate and I love it.
Now this week I need to concentrate on re-doing the chicken house and making it  bigger.  I don't want to, really, really don't but it must be done before cold hits.  Sigh.  Wish I had some muscle and motivation!  Some people would suggest I ask my husbutt and grown sons but I might as well pound my head against cement and get the pain and frustration over with.
One interesting thing about having turkeys, they coo.  As I sit here in my office with the window open I can hear them just under the window making soft cooing sounds.  Who-da thunk it. Sweet, soft dove-like sounds from such large odd birds, always comes as a surprise.

1 comment:

  1. I always love reading your blog! What a handsome fellow he is and the scarf you knit is so delicate and beautiful. You are a multi talented woman!! and I did not know that turkeys could coo.