In addition to experimenting with vats of fermenting fleece I’ve spent the past couple of weeks gearing up for the next Fibre Workshop outing to the Folk in a Field Festival at Narborough, Norfolk on the 4th and 5th of July.
Much battiness happening beforehand. Dyeing and carding and developing some new autumn blends. More on this later once I’ve finished.
We had a beautiful woodland spot. Which looked lovely. But…OMG! mosquitoes and biting flies galore. Savaged to a wizened husk. We decided not to sleep in the tent and slept in the van instead.
Lots of folk really interested in what I do and the whole process. So many people wanted to have a go. Harry,who had just had his first celidh and was very sweaty and high on twirling around and cider methinks, who turned out to be a good spinner. The lovely lady who told me terrible stories about her daughters in law whilst I taught her the basics of long draw spinning and how to use hand carders. Also the many children just fascinated by the whole process of of transforming a rubbishy skanky fleece to their own spun bit of yarn.
The weekend was a success and I will definitely be doing it again next year if I’m allowed to.
I left the fleece in for 8 days, until Wednesday, as it wasn’t smelling as much as I was expecting. It looked vile, brown with a kind of white scum on top:
and yes it smells. But then again they have just finished spraying manure on the field out the back and we have a turkey unit down the road that stinks to high heaven on days when the wind is in the right direction, so if it comes to playing top trumps on stinkiness FSM tank is a good third place but not a hands down winner. I wouldn’t recommend it if you have a lot of neighbours though or limited outdoor space …
I gave the feece a couple of rinses in rain water (which gave me water full of yummy goodness for my vegetable patch). Then I put some of it into a hand hot detergent soak for about half an hour and some of it I didn’t. Then I rinsed both until the water ran clean. And this is what I got:
Pretty clean eh. The detergent soak was definitely cleaner and less greasy. But I can say that I now fully understand what “in the grease” means. Its clean but still has some lanolin, and has slightly sticky feel. Nothing like as much as before. I might try a slightly hotter detergent soak on smaller bits when I want to use it. I’ve got one half of the second Massam in the tank. Will see it it gets stronger as we go. I also don’t think it really saves that much on rinsing water but definitely saves on washing and heating water.