It took me 3 days but I finally got most of that frightening pile of fluff rounded up and shoved back in the attic. I can even move around in there (on my knees!) but we’ll see if I can locate anything without having to shift a bunch of stuff around first. The plastic bins worked well for most of it but the roof in there slants from 1.4 metres down to nothing so you can’t stack things up very high. My Excel inventory is almost finished updating and I just have to wash or re-wash some still dirty or sticky fleece. I already washed 4 different lots of fine fleece today and hope that I’ve solved the problem with it going sticky again a few weeks down the road. This time I used part Dawn dish detergent and a dash of Tide-Free laundry detergent, heated the mess even hotter on the dye stove, rinsed adding a half-cup of my previously-used acid water (as a vinegar substitute) from the bucket to neutralize the detergent, and re-rinsed a couple more times in as hot a water as I could stand. Looks good now but it’s hard to tell right away if I got it clean enough. There’s a dark rich brown baby Corriedale, some white Corriedale, some Columbia left over from a Sheep-to-Shawl in 1993 (!), and some short but very white and soft baby Corrie that was obviously wearing a coat when it grew this fleece. So lovely and fluffy. There’s quite a bit more white baby Corrie which has been sorted into neat locks for wool combing but I need to wash them in such a way as to preserve the formation. And get out all the stickiness! It’s certainly considerably harder to clean when it’s been sitting around for oh, say, 10 or 15 years or so. Amazing how long you can put something off, hey?
I really didn’t manage to purge much, but I’m sure you aren’t surprised to hear that. I did get rid of some matted and coarse fleece that had been gifted to me. But that still leaves an awful lot of fibre in that there attic! Enough to keep me spinning for at least as long as it took to amass this collection in the first place. It’s obvious that I haven’t been spinning much in the last few years but that didn’t stop me from continuing to add to the stash anyway. It’s also interesting that my tastes and objectives have changed somewhat over the decades. I’m into more of the finer fibres, more blends, more colours, more exotics like cashmere, possum and bamboo. And less into coarse hairy poor-quality wool. Of course I could always weave another rug with it! Ah, the infinite possibilities. Meanwhile my house smells like sheep which I find rather pleasant but my hands smell like the inside of rubber gloves. Yuck. It makes my throat itch.
Just a short post today — pardon me while I go wash my hands again. Go check out the new online spinning magazine Spindle and Wheel. First issue is up.