Wool keeps a body warm
I wanna talk about wool. No, strike that… mohair… oops… silk… oh wait, dryer lint!!! Jeeze, does anyone really realize how many types of fiber we have to choose from, to play with? I know one person who does. I don’t usually single anyone out, but for this, I must and it’s the same lady I singled out once before. Must mean something, eh? I’m referring to Natalie Redding. Otherwise known as Natalie from Namaste Farms. Remember, she had that TV show, Shear Madness last year that I was so thrilled about, to bring awareness to the fiber industry. The show was great, unfortunately, the producers thought Natalie’s demeanor was a bit too rough for viewers. Nutso, in my opinion. Lest you think I’m playing favorites, I have never met Natalie. I follow her on Facebook and I answered her call for help in entering the Twitter world to promote that show. Because of that, we are friends. Online friends. It’s not like we chat or do dinner together, ya know? So, why am I once again, talking about this woman?
The short answer is because she is a champion for this industry. The wool industry. Yes, they are not all wool, but the general person doesn’t know the differences and wool covers the whole gamut. Say wool, and they understand. Say mohair and chances are they will ask you what animal it comes from. For two years, Natalie has been presenting the online world with an opportunity to discover and try many kinds of wool. It’s called the Breedbox. She searches the world looking for different wools and rare wools, to offer us the chance to see it, feel it, spin it, felt it – whatever our joy may be. Education. She provides that, along with the love she feels for these animals, you can feel it. Every breedbox is loaded with five different breeds of different character and then once a month, she did her Blogtalk (Namaste Farms) with Martin Dally, wool expert, who would explain what they had in their boxes and if it was characteristic of the breed or not. All around education.
The majority of the breeds she highlights are indeed rare and some are even endangered. I asked Natalie if she thought doing the breedboxes was helping keep any of the rare ones alive and she didn’t really think so, but she said it was the handspinners who were, by buying them. She does not give herself credit. If it weren’t for her, the handspinners wouldn’t know which wools to buy. So she also tells me that wool is a byproduct in England, and meat is the goal. But with the high demand for Teeswater and Wensleydale, for hand spinners (among others I hope) the ranchers are beginning to realize that maybe they shouldn’t eat that particular lamb. Maybe, just maybe, it could make them more money if they kept it alive and let it have babies. Wool. Makes a body warm. So, they are understanding, and more and more longwools are being shipped. This is a big ole yay!
After the tv show was over and no chance of a next season, she then created Scrapbox. Named after one of her dogs, Scrappy, Scrapbox is filled with these same wools and mohairs and such, but already washed, dyed and ready for your spinning pleasure, along with bits of other items that may go into your project, fitting in with the colorway. These are bright, vivid fun fibers, created to compliment each other, for you to create whatever your heart desires. She also does a giveaway in chat at the Blogtalk, and the lucky winner this month donated that Scrapbox winning to ME! I bet it’s in the mailbox today and lil ole me gets to experience the fun of Scrapbox!
And onward. Since Shear Madness ended, she commissioned some wool washes to be made. These are made by the cosmetic industry, not the industrial cleaning factories. Yes! Less chemicals, not harsh, totally safe and designed by hair experts. So once again, Natalie is helping the wool industry, by providing a safe effective product to allow the use of these fine fibers better. The first product is called Dirty Rotten Bastard. It is a prewash, clarifying shampoo and is for the really dirty stuff. Next, is the mainstay wash, Wash and Dye Bastard, which is a conditioning shampoo with no parabens or sulfates. It helps the dye to adhere to the wool all the way to the cuticle. I’ve personally run into this issue with bought dyed locks, where the dye is not in the lock through and through. Problem solved, now. And last, but maybe the best, is Fix It Bastard, which does just that. It fixes ruined fleeces. Partially cotted, felted or fleeces so heavy in grease or lanolin that it just never does come out WILL come out. And the cotted will pull away. Amazing. These products are not yet available, I’ve just whetted your appetite for them for when they arrive. I once had a blue Angora buck, named Moonee Blue, who died before I got to breed him, so all I have is two fleeces… two very unusable fleeces. They are so high in lanolin that they remain in bags for me to look at, but that’s it. She is sending me a sample to try and I’ll let ya know if I finally get to touch and play with… Moonee curls. I once sold some of his baby fleece, not knowing… poor lady.
There you have it. Why I think Natalie Redding is the wool industry standard and steward. I think she should be the Wool Spokeswoman… and maybe we’d save more of the fine wool animals lives… so we can spin another day! I felt it necessary to give recognition where it was and is certainly due. So, if you have sheep or goats… hang on… the washes are coming. And if you have the raunchiest of the raunchy fleeces… stop! Don’t throw it away! Just grab you some Fix it Bastard… as soon as it’s available.
On a personal note….I am still fighting to stay alive from my recent diagnosis and have opened a tiny gallery to raise money and also a website. Please visit www.noahs-arts.com to have a look at my art and buy a piece if you feel so inclined. It is certainly unique and one of a kind, and a good cause… ME! Or, if you’re in the Bastrop, Tx area… I’m at 920 Main St, Wednesday through Saturday 1-6. And remember, the next time you eat goat or sheep… enquire whether it is a fiber breed and maybe, maybe, little by little, we can save some wool!
Also visit my daily blog at www.yeehawranchmamasheri.wordpress.com. And if you’d just plain like to donate, the fundraiser is at http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-mamasheri-heal/224916.
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