Monday, March 30, 2015

Namaste, Dirty Rotten Bastard

I was listening to my favorite podcast, Yarnspinner's Tale, and they did an episode about a new "wool shampoo" called Dirty Rotten Bastard. They interviewed the creator of this product. She claimed it could clean even the nastiest of fleece. After I listened to this podcast:Yarnspinner's Tale Podcast about wool shampoo 
I watched this: youtube video about wool shampoo.

I was sold! I ordered a bottle of wool shampoo "Scour the Scoundrel" and a bottle of "Wash it Dye" from Namaste Farms.  This woman is from a family of shampoo makers so she hired the scientist to help her with a wool wash. It cleans the wool without using so much water. I've always been bothered by the amount of water it takes to clean a fleece so I was intrigued by the prospect of using less.  I also like the way she said that you can handle fleece---something I already knew---how to handle, yet not agitate the fiber. When I'm washing I get my hands in there yet I never felt my fleece.  With wool shampoo you need to squish it into the fiber the way you get shampoo in your hair.  It's all very different than the traditional way of scouring a fleece. You have to be open-minded.

I had the perfect fleece to put it to the test! In October of 2011 I wrote a blog post called Stinky Finian. Why on earth did I keep the nastiest smelling Shetland fleece in the world? I guess I kept it for this experiment---okay wool shampoo, work your magic!

The white wool in the photo above is Stinky Finian.  The other 2 are Shetlands that don't smell so bad. I used the Wash It Dye on Stinky Finian and then I dyed with some Acid Dyes I had laying around.  Then I washed it one more time with the wool shampoo and now it's drying on a towel.
It worked! The nasty smell is gone. The first time I tried to scour this fleece I used very hot water and Dawn. I did soak after soak and couldn't get the smell out. I even simmered it in a dye bath---heat was not helping. This time I used very little water---a little to wet the wool and squish the shampoo in, the water for the dye pot, then a bucket of water for the rinse. The water was not particularly hot, just as hot as my hands could handle.  Can you tell that I'm completely amazed?

Just as the Yarnspinner's Tale podcast recommends, I too recommend watching the youtube video since this is so very different from the traditional way to scour wool.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Settling In

Hallelujah! I'm finally settling in. I hate moving. I never want to move again. I want to live the rest of my life in this house. This whole moving and remodeling thing has really got in the way of my fiber art.  However, there should be a big pay-off in the end---my very own craft room. First we have to construct the basement apartment for my daughter, then she has to move out of my "craft room".  In the mean time I have a nice area in the living room to put my spinning wheel.  I just finished the alpaca I bought last summer on Whidbey Island.