Some serious domestic archaelogy has been undertaken over the weekend, and, as a result, I now have even more excuses reasons for procrastination. The archaelogy part involved almost literally digging into a small understairs cupboard and reviewing the contents once they had been dragged out. This particular cupboard is the one I designated to contain all my spinning equipment, washed fleece, unwashed fleece, hanks of handspun yarn etc. The fact that these items were consigned to this cupboard 20years ago meant that there was a fair amount of general grime on the outside of things, but I was delighted to find that the inside of things had fared very well and all the fleece (washed or not) was still very much usable. What I had totally forgotten was just how extensive my spinning stash was – more fleece (and lots of other fibres) than I am ever likely to work my way through in one lifetime (how similar to the fabric stash in this respect!). This picture doesn’t really do it justice – each sack contains at least one fleece and there are more than 12 sacks. I didn’t take a picture of the big apple basket packed to the brim with all sorts of other fibres, linen, cotton, silk, alpaca, camel (Debbie W, this will be for you!) – I can see a lot of spinning in the immediate future!
I also acquired a lovely fresh fleece last week when it was shearing time for the small flock that grazes part of the year on our field …. This re-acquaintance with part of my textile past is because I’ve been asked to teach some younger friends the basics of spinning, and I need to remember lots of the things I used to know. So, having put everything back under the stairs and cleaned myself up, I should spend some serious time with fleece and spinning wheel. One good thing about the rediscovery of the fleece stash is that I may be able to offload some on unsuspecting friends who have embellisher machines or make felt. One bad thing about the rediscovery is that it will be quite hard to let any of it go, because all fleece is very individual and there’s a range of breeds as well -Jacob, Black Welsh, Portland, Dorset Horn, Suffolk, Texel – so it really is like a fabric stash in terms of attachment. Here’s just the smallest of samples showing fabulous crimp and length in the fibre
Who knows, there may even be a demand for spinning classes!