Monday, 29 September 2008

A lovely and inspiring piece of writing. I do seem to have a predeliction for reducing things to'nothing'. Devore = devour. giving away things. paper shredding. Hmmm..

A wee bit of an experiment

OK. So I followed instructions to clean fleece with lots of tubs of water.It was OK, but still had to do a final rinse in washing machine.

So I am now trying a different approach.

"At Convergence 2000 in Cincinatti (The giant Handweavers Guild of America conference) I took a seminar from a lady whose name I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember. However, her talk was on Pee, Piddle and Whiz. It was about using urine in your spinning and dyeing processes.
She told us to "get over the yuck factor." Urine is not some acid that will eat through your hand. It is pH neutral and sterile, which is more than you can say for your water supply.
Urine was used in ancient times to wash wool. Yes, wash wool. She did an experiment. She put some grease wool in a ziploc baggy and poured urine over it. She sealed the bag and waited a few days for the wool to completely absorb the urine. She opened the bag and let it air out and dry out a bit. Then she touched the wool. Soft and very easy to spin. Maybe the ancient folk were on to something. Of course, she washed her finished yarn, so no urine actually was in the finished product.
Dye recipes also used urine. However, old recipes don't mention it. It was like water. They took it for granted that you were using it. Also, stale urine has different properties than fresh urine. "Stale" being urine that's been sitting around in a vat waiting to be used. I read somewhere that men on their way home from a pub on the Shetland Isles would stop by the dyers house to donate to the vat. Don't know if that one's true or not. I do know that old indigo recipes used urine. It's got to be safer than alot of chemicals you can buy

So now I pee into a pot in the garden. Then zip lock it. This is the 1st one after 4 days. Looking good. I am going to dry out a bit today, then rinse in machine on wool setting.

I have also tried adding some plant stuff to see if it will dye whilst cleaning.

Waste of 1 beetroot

5 fennel heads

10 blackberries

Wednesday, 24 September 2008


Cleaning: two bags ready to go - 1 soaking in my fresh wee, the other to be washed in granny's soap flakes


Am about to embark on the fleece project! The poor thing has been sat in a bin bag for 2 months. I am now about to clean it with advice from Lime and Violet's blog!. It is an amazing shape, and sooo thick. Waiting to hear back from Danae's mum who it was from and what breed she is.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Click here! for Quebec piccies

Back home again - missing the Montreal art lifestyle. Be back soon....

Wednesday, 3 September 2008


Off to Montreal in the morning. Very excited, nervous, and as yet, unpacked.!