Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Spinning Away the Troublesome Bits

While my vision was messed up last month by a string of migraines, I had a chance to do a little spinning. This is the "troublesome local fleece" I've been working on for the last year. The end of it is now in sight; I'm currently spinning the last dye batch. I'm trying something different with the unspinnable bits (burdock tangles, short cuts, neps) this time--I'm throwing them in the compost. Some people use bad fleeces as garden mulch, and my own experience shows me it rots away pretty quickly outdoors. Now, my compost has surprising bits of heliotrope and teal, and will soon have some deep rose. The acid dyes are chemically similar to food colorings, and I used food-grade vinegar as a fixative, so this shouldn't poison us when it goes on the garden.

The yarn-display case is this winter's growing wood pile. It's that time of year.


Reya Mellicker said...

So sorry about to hear about your migraines. Yikes! Glad you're feeling better.

The Tile Lady said...

Interesting about putting the bad fleece in the compost. I wouldn't have thought it would be OK, but sounds like it works well. How long can you store raw wool after it is shorn off the sheep, incidently?

Rebecca Clayton said...

Thanks, Reya!

Raw wool can last for several years before it's cleaned and used, if it's stored properly. Most sheep growers push the picked-over fleeces into a wool sack, a long, cotton bag that can be hung up in a reasonably dry shed or barn until someone wants it.

The Tile Lady said...

Thanks, Rebecca--someone with sheep gave me a sack of wool many years ago and it has been in a storage bin waiting for me to pick it up, ever since. I want to clean the wool and use it for spinning and weaving once I get settled, but I started getting scared it was going to stink like a dead body in that storage bin by now, and maybe be totally unuseable. I hope not. I really want to use it.