Why does everything seem to take so much longer lately?

Why does everything seem to take so much longer lately?

Why does everything seem to take so much longer lately? part 1

This morning I asked my hubby to please bring up the wool drying racks from the laundry so I could start washing a few fleeces. But first there was the little problem with the hose…. I went out to fix the Non-Kink hose which had sprung a leak followed quickly by a second leek.  With the help of a lot of teal duct tape the hose no longer aggressively throws water at me when I turned it on.  A fine mist is much better.

   Hose patch leaking less. 1-3

While fixing the hose I found that the pots and portable forest all needed watering. Yes my forest is portable. So a round of water for everyone! Oh no, the front garden looks thirsty and the grass seed on the little bit of grass also needs a drink.  While watering I washed out the big bin that I am eventually going to use to wash the fleece. Finally all the plants looked happy and my back insisted it was time to go sit down NOW!

Portable forest, planters and front garden 4-14

Sit, sit, sit, sit…. Ok I think I can get the kettle now and bring out the first fleeces. My smallest unwashed fiber is 6 oz. of Icelandic.  I also have half a lustrous fleece from the wool growers co-op (from Twist festival a couple weeks ago) there is also a full large possibly Icelandic fleece and 2 smaller full Shetland fleeces. I am not sure if the Shetlands are skirted hence having Glenn bring up the skirting table too.

15 Skirting table (yes it also looks like a close drying rack but less so with a sheet over it and fleece on top) 15

The Icelandic I am starting with is from Erin at Rocks End Farm. Her sheep have really nice fiber. As you know Icelandic sheep are an old breed and have a double coat. The tog is the long outer guard hair and the thule is the soft under coat. So in one sheep you can make your medieval outer wear from the tog and inner layers from the thule. You can even blend them together. We have heard that the Icelandic sheep in Iceland tend towards a coarser tog than many of the Canadian fleeces.  The Icelandic roving I bought from the World of Wool is very noticeably much courser than Erin’s fleeces.

16 Erin’s Icelandic Fleece 16

My end goal for this and the large Icelandic are to wash, then separate tog from thule. Most would crave the soft luxury of the thule but I’m after the tog. In fact most of the wonderful guild I belong to knows I’m on a quest for Tog. Some have been contributing to my growing tog collection. Once I have enough tog I can wind my wool warp (possibly from the thule or a thule/tog combination) for an Icelandic tufted blanket. It looks like a Raya rug or for those that don’t weave think of a deep shag carpet that you throw on your bed shag side down. The shag part traps air and body warmth. They were used for cloaks and blankets. There have been a few reports online about modern weavers trying this. I want to be one of them!

But back to step one. Wash the fleece, and I might as well wash the other fleeces I had been meaning to wash for a while. I have the drying rack set up. I have the skirting rack ready to check the other fleeces. I learned my lesson with the last Redo Arcott fleece, which was horribly dirty and full of chaff. It was worth every penny since it was free but it was a horrible amount of work to get it to a point I could use it for core wool. (Ann and her amazing picker and carder helped and did all the hard work after the washing!)

I ran the extension cord from the garage to one of my upside down planters that had become my water boiling station. Kettle on, I waited for the water to boil. And waited, and waited, and waited. Oh yah if you’re watching it water doesn’t boil. So while waiting for the first kettle I found my pruners and cut back more of the trumpet vine, then moved some of the thorn-less blackberry canes away from the blacksmithing and back into the bed along the house. Check the kettle, nope but there is a bit of steam. Hummm. Drag the vines to the composter, Yep first kettle done only a few more to go.

17 Kettle station with Sunlight dish soap 17

As the second kettle refused to boil I took pictures of this year’s set up. I am constantly amazed by what other non-felting, non-fiber people think things are used for.  The drying rack is from Ikea (they think it’s for cloths!!?!! Who could not see the amazing fleece drying potential?) The giant gray bucket with rope handles had been for sail last year at Walmart but I found it this spring second hand for a lot less and a smaller thinner one was at Dollerama. The gray bucket was labeled for storing kids toys. Who would keep kids toys in an unlidded container? (My kids had toys Mr. B had a box with a lid for most of his. Evil and Miaka’s were in small chest of Ikea drawers.)  The white plastic container with holes in the sides was from Dollerama. There was a bigger one earlier in the year luckily I hadn’t realized I wanted it since the medium sized one actually fits the gray bucket!

      The set up, buckets, drying rack fleece 18-23

Over the next 3 kettles worth of water (I will look for a bigger kettle while I’m out in stores now), I thot you might like a peek at the patio and the disaster which is my back garden. You may have noticed the somewhat rusty collection of implements partly hidden by tarps. I have not yet figured out how to use them in felting or garden decorations. That Glenn’s blacksmithing set up. He has a light duty farm forge (the second larger forge is under the trellis covered by a barbeque cover) hum I wonder If I could use one of them to heat the water next time? There is a leg vice it’s for pounding mettle and having the force transfer to the floor. There are 2 anvils back there somewhere and a cutting tool I’m not too sure what it is. It might cut really thick felt?

The west half of the back patio – Blacksmithing 24-28

My side of the patio is more comfortable with honeysuckle vine, trumpet vine and dwarf Japanese lilac standard giving shade. The sheet provides the remaining shade under the trellis. We have a few chickadees, one humming bird, a wood pecker and the evil Chipmunks (eaters of strawberries!).  Miaka’s garden swing is in the back yard. She seemed vary sure it was hers and would meow with grate annoyance until you relinquished the spot she wanted. (Evil just sat by the rock edge of the garden and ate chives when he didn’t think we were watching)

29 The east side of the patio – trellis 29

  backyard 30-31

Ah the water has boiled and I had layered loosely the 6 oz.’s of Icelandic fleece.  I checked and the water was finally close to hot. (Not cold and not warm but a little less than uncomfortably hot.) I had run out of distractions and had enough water so in went the fleece. Using the back of my hand I gently submerged the fleece so no dry bits were visible. Then went in to update my note to you while I waited the first about 20 minits-30 minutes soak.

   Layered fleece and putting it into the slightly soapy water to soak 32-35

Now that you have had a tour of the back patio and the fleece is starting its soak, Glenn is back from work.  He is about to be volunteered into helping with the rinsing.  Its probubly best not to tell him yet and let the fleece finish soaking.  i will show you what happens next, next week!


11 thoughts on “Why does everything seem to take so much longer lately?

  1. What a lovely window into one of your days Jan! Yes, everything does take so long but maybe that’s because we all want to achieve more than is humanly possible in one day?
    Your side of the patio is definitely more comfy, and as you’ve demonstrated, if you keep an open mind there are many cheap items that can be re-purposed for felting.
    How did the evening go after Glenn found out what you had planned for him? Perhaps you can tell us in the next post.

  2. Thank you! next week you will see what the excitement was and what happened to the fleece. Not to worry we are still married! i am also amazed by what has obviously been created as a felting tool and clearly labeled and sold as something entirely different!
    today will be a much quieter day. its vary dark and gray out this morning and intermittently drizzling. (it is going to rain heavily later today) so i will be recovering form yesterday! or i could clean the kitchen so we can enjoy the corn on the cob for tonights dinner.

    1. there in at the dolller stores now but going fast for student organizing there dorm rooms! i picked up more white ones a light gray and a light beige one so i should be able to sort a fleece and then wash it.

      i use to use a set of self sifting litter boxes! they worked well but needed to be small batches. there were 2 solid litter pans and then one sifting pan. Miaka would never have approved they didn’t have the privacy cover. (which also prevented Evil from throwing litter when he dug.)

  3. Good for you in getting those washed. I know what hard work it can be. I love the idea of the basket in the big bucket. I will have to remember that the next time I decide to wash a fleece. Last time I washed one though I said “Never again!”.

    You have a lovely garden/backyard.

    1. Thankyou! the sheep sifting bucket idea grew out of the cat litter self sifting pans i use to use. this is just a bigger size! i hoped my garden would amuse or inspire while the water took its time to boil!

  4. Thanks for the patio tour. I didn’t know about tog and thule, wool is so interesting!
    I have the same kettle and it takes about 10 minutes to heat up fully. I learned the hard way not to use an extension cord with an appliance like that, it needs too much power and the extension cord could get too hot. An electrician or google can explain it better. Today I’m going to try the propane camp stove to boil my large pot of water for dyeing outside, hopefully it will go quicker.

    1. it the camp stove is not fast enuff, i know where there is a spire forge which will defiantly heat things up. (the big one has an accelerated blower!!!) but it mite melt the pot as well as heat the water…. maybe the barbecue would work slower but save the pot.
      i was using the short outdoor extension cord (not the light duty one) and if i try the kettle again i will check it carefully. thanks for the warning!!

  5. Oh Jan, you had me smiling….I am not alone! We set out to do one task and whilst waiting (so as to utilise time fully) end up doing a dozen more. I also know that ‘sit, sit, sit’ requirement too!
    Washing fleeces is hard work, but when they have been given free, it needs to be done. Your post is timely as you’ve given me a reminder that I need to do some washing before the summer (such as it is) ends. That will then give me more work – the carding, during winter….it never stops! Perhaps I should choose a different hobby!
    Like you, and I’m sure many others, I’ve found shops sell items that are ‘wrongly’ labelled! – I don’t use them the way the manufacturer intended. It is fun being inventive though!
    A lovely post.

  6. NO NO don’t change hobbys!! this is too much fun! the Sit sit sit alows us to plan what we will do when we can get back up. i have the half fleece from twist ready to go into the wash buckets. there more room temporarily since we moved water barrels and razbarys in pots away from the garage door. the door dosent close all the way because the garage is sinking… but for now we are going to shorten the door to keep out the nabours Raccoons who have been house hunting (there too many living in the nabour behind ours garage and yard so they are looking for other logging.)

    let us know if you find anything particularly felt worthy in your finds of wrongly labelled items!!

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