The Clip: March 4, 2015

Life is an embarrassment of riches lately. There is so much happening what with my new shearing equipment (thanks, Ralph!), upcoming spinning classes, lambing season just begun, and funding and permitting the wool mill. Whew and wow and glory be! In the meantime, though, I’ve mustered up some clippings.

De-Cluttering for the Crafty
I think you’ll enjoy this post from Root Simple on the danger of “just in case” and de-cluttering for the crafty. I’m not riding the big Marie Kondo bandwagon, as we conquered clutter years ago and our 860 square foot house is its own enforcer. But Root Simple shares some truths that helped me reach this clutter-free point:

“The truth is, if you don’t know where it is, can’t get to it because it’s buried somewhere, or have forgotten it altogether, it functionally doesn’t exist anymore.” And “if you don’t know what you’ve got, or can’t find it, you may as well not have it.”

And this is something I’m working on in 2015, to finish my myriad projects more quickly: “This is the new law: First you think of a project. Then you commit to it. Then you give yourself a deadline. Then, and only then, can you begin to accumulate materials for that project.”

Video: Weave in ends as you go!
This is pretty darned smart, right here: Weave in ends as you knit and save finishing time later.

One Year, One Outfit
Pledge to make one outfit completely from your Fibershed this year. I like this project because it’s doable and because it’s March, so we have plenty of time. Do you think it has to include shoes?!

Tapestries Woven from Unraveled Sweaters
You really won’t believe the intricate, hand woven cityscapes a Vancouver woman makes from unraveled sweaters. Watch this master fiber artist in action in the video.

Wool in the Ear?
I am reading Pioneer Girl and, during a lengthy recovery from Scarlet Fever, Laura has incredibly painful ears. A neighbor says, “If only there were black sheep’s wool to put in them, we could help you.” I was intrigued.

From searching online, it seems like cotton soaked in oil is a modern replacement. Wool with its natural lanolin would be similar, though wool and cotton are very different. Today, it’s described as a way to keep water out rather than relieve pain. One reference described “Cotton wool wet with… laudanum often relieves ear-ache. I don’t doubt it, with laudanum in the equation. Did “oil” actually mean “laudanum?”

I found several historic references to a black wool folk remedy, but no rationale for it (typical of folk remedies, such as they are): “Put black wool, wet with brandy and pepper in ear.” Black wool is used for earache in County Cork, Ireland; Scotland; and central Sweden. Wearing black wool in the ears was also considered a “preservative against deafness.”

I didn’t know that the color black has cultural connotations of healing and positivity, and black wool is mentioned as an example: “In Ireland, England – even Vermont- black wool to many people provides a cure for earache, just as in Russia it cures jaundice.”

Perhaps it is as simple as wool being available, soft, and able to fit comfortably in the ear.

On the Needles
Husband Sweater 2.0 is on a very brief hiatus for the Pop Spots Shawl, which I may submit as a California State Fair entry this year. Speaking of which, craft entries are due April 29!


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