Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Meet my Fritillary

This year is an F-year in our naming progression, and so we have Finesse and Freely and Fancy and Filigree and First and so on. The Arkansas State Butterfly is the Diana Fritillary. We had a huge flock of them in Meadow Creek. They are black with brilliantly colored fringes - females are blue and the males are yellow. Not only are they a beautiful Ozark native, I love saying the word "Fritillary."

When Fritillary was born, she was a soft, fluffy little fluttery angora goat kid. Her mum is Bramble and Cappucino is her sire. I've often said you have to be careful when naming things. Frits has grown up to be as hard to catch as your average butterfly. She flitters and flutters around the edge of the flock, never quite alighting for feeding when humans are near. She also has these funny, sticky-outy ears that make her look like she is trying to fly. On the rare times I do manage to catch her, I call her my fat, furry little flutterby.

Fritillary's first shearing was a few weeks ago and I couldn't wait to spin her kid fleece. It was locky and fine and soft and strong. I'm about halfway through it and Shawn is tired of hearing me ooh and ahh over how wonderful it is to spin. The yarn I just finished last night is spun lace weight, plied with space-dyed mauve/maroon wool. It would crochet up into a divinely soft scarf or two. And, if the skeins don't sell at the Dec. 11 studio tour, then that's what I'll do with it.

Female Diana Fritillary, Arkansas official state butterfly, photo courtesy of the Paris Chamber of Commerce from the Mount Magazine Butterfly Festival.

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