I’m changing up my format a little bit. We’ll see what happens. Even on a Thursday. Today it’s about fiber. Above is a little bit of my hand spun that I happened to stumble on-yes, I forgot it was there-at Gallery On Gazebo, the new home of Hooded Wonder Coffee and Records which is opening in the next few weeks. We’re pretty excited, as are the artists! Here’s a sneak peek from yesterday.
They had their health inspection and passed with flying colors, of course. Madison has been in the coffee business for years in addition to making music and going to school. She’s ready to bring something new to Johnstown and I think it will be a wonderful addition to compliment the fantastic restaurant and upcoming community that is transforming our little town into something really special. With her one employee, Jack, the main healthy smoothie maker, they will offer lots of choices. And fiber. I heard them talking about homemade granola bars with oatmeal and jam centers. I think we’ll be seeing a few southern treats in our town, along with records (yup that scratch and skip and feel organic to your ear), and things they have curated over time. You’ll have to check it out for yourself. It is really a unique concept. Opening the first weekend in June. Be on the lookout! A happy business owner after having passed the health inspection. She’s worked in some of the best coffee shops in Savannah and NYC and knows her stuff. Quality is tops on the list. I think one person who we would be remiss not to mention is Rosemary Pawlowsky from Gallery on Gazebo. You may be familiar with her tirelessly promoting the arts and culture of our region. She found Madison and Jack and knew that the two of them were a force to be reckoned with and with her guidance and knowledge of where our town is going, I think she’s right! Thanks dear Rosemary for taking a chance on these two. I hope she doesn’t mind me grabbing this photo from her FB page.
Now back to animal fiber. That’s what I promised, right? Yesterday I spent the day working on washing the fiber I had blown the grit out of the day before. Since we use well water, I’m always trying to reduce my water use snd blowing out the grit is one significant step. I showed you that a few posts ago. If I can get everything washed and dried while the weather is this perfect, the fiber will be less likely to attract bad insects, mildew and other things that love dirty fiber. Best of all, it will be ready to work with and dye.
Here’s what it looks like. I have these buckets with liners and I fill with hot water. I add a little bit of Shaklee Basic H-2 to the pink ones (they are wash buckets) the blue are for rinse.
I add a pound of fiber to each bucket and let it soak for about an hour. Some blankets take all of the buckets, some take only 2 or 3. After that hour is up, I LIFT the fiber out of the bucket using the strainer. When you lift the fiber out, the grit falls to the bottom of the bucket and not all over the fiber.
Here’s the grit at the bottom of the bucket. I’ll dig up some pictures later to show you how much grit I got before I figured out this technique.
Then I spin out the water in this spin dryer (another water saving tip!) because then almost all of the dirt water is removed and the fiber is damp to go into the rinse bucket.
I take this damp fiber and put it in the rinse bucket filled with plain warm water and let it relax there for an hour. In the meantime, I add another blanket in pound increments to the already used wash water in the wash buckets. I add a little more Shaklee Basic H2 to the new batch and let it soak for an hour.
After spinning out the rinse water I dry the now clean fiber out on these sweater drying racks which I could at Ollie’s years ago. They are perfect because they have a built on fan.
After I use the wash water several more times, remember that I’m lifting the fiber out and spinning the water from it, I’ll dump it and start fresh. Our grass loves the nutrients it must be adding over the years. Then the rinse water will become the wash water and so on. It really uses much less water and once I found the Shaklee Basic H 2 for cleaning, things went much faster. It gets the fiber really clean, gently and with one wash and one rinse. It’s all I use now for washing.
Today will be a repeat of yesterday except that since we’ve been away, I have to go to the grocery store. Maybe! I might just wait and go to the Farmer’s Market downtown tomorrow.
For Prince Harry:
No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
In the meantime, remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, get outside for some fresh air and keep the length of an alpaca cria (which is a baby alpaca and about 3 feet long) between you and the next person.