Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Too Precious to waste on dyeing

Life is nothing but a bowl of cherries:

and more cherries:

And even more cherries:

Now I am all in favor of natural dyeing, and I must confess, the bright red juice running from my fingers as I pitted seemed promising. But I refuse to waste something I so seldom get from my land, just to dye yarn.
No I much rather make them up into something that has as many calories as possible.
We have two cherries trees. They are the sour pie cherries, not really the kind of fruit that you eat more of than pick. But they along with strawberries are the first real fruit of summer, and are much loved by gardners and birds alike.
In my area we have to have a perfect spring to get a cherry crop. The weather needs to bring on the blooms, and then not freeze them or the fruit. The weather has to be balmy enough to bring the bees to the trees to form the fruit. If all of this happens, the tree starts showing along the first week of June big plump cherries turning from green to yellow to red. I swear the birds sit there and wait for them.
Except this year. Surprised to find that the cherries were not disappearing as rapidly as they ripened, I did a bit of investigating. It was easy to find out why, and amazing. At the same time the cherries were ripening, the 17 year locust hatched. First we heard them in the surrounding hills, then the trees on our land, and finally, walking in the orchard, I could see and hear them. They mostly preferred the apple and pear trees. But standing and watching the swooping antics of the birds proved to me, that they were eating the locust instead of the cherries.
So last weekend, we picked about 25 pounds of cherries. I preserved them in various ways, one being cherry wine. Unfortunately this is a wonderful but unstable wine, that only lasts a year. Too bad, because it may be another 16 years before I get a crop like this again. If-and only if, the weather is fine.

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