Monday, February 22, 2010
Jacob Hamblin's Cotton
On our last visit to St George we were able to stay until Monday because of President's Day. We thought that a good Sunday activity would be to visit some of the Church History sights in the area. We started at the Jacob Hamblin Home. We took the little tour from the missionaries there. It is always interesting to be reminded of the sacrifice those early pioneers made so the rest of us might live (and visit) these wonderful areas of our state.
Brigham Young sent some families to the St George area to settle and to grow cotton. At that time, the Civil War was in full swing and it was really hard for anyone to get cotton from the South. St George has an ideal climate for growing cotton and they had much success. As we finished the tour we let the kids play on the big lawn and we wondered through Jacob's little orchard and garden. Being February, everything was brown and not looking very pretty but Jim looked at how the peach trees and grape vines were pruned and my eye went directly to the dormant cotton plants.
There were two or three rows that were about 40-50 feet long. The plants were brown and crunchy but there was a lot of cotton still left on the plants and some on the ground around them. All I could see was lots of fiber that could be cleaned, carded and spun up into something wonderful that I could knit.
I asked the Missionaries if it was OK if I gathered some up to take home with me. They looked at me like I was crazy and then told me it would be fine with them. I got an empty grocery bag that had been floating around the back of the car and went to work.
Most of it is this beautiful, white fluff, but a lot of it is dirty and has leaves in it. I got a couple of the kids to help me. (Thanks, Josh) It seamed like the more we picked the more there was. Kind of like eating pasta, you never get to the bottom of the bowl. We filled up the one bag I had and probably could have filled up another but I felt I had enough.
I really don't know the process I have to go through to get to where I can start knitting it. I am really excited to find out. I will post updates when I have them. As for now, I have a new niece coming in a few weeks so I will now go knit with the wonderfully soft yarn I already have.