I have too much fleece. I never thought that was a thing. But sure enough, I have too much. My fiber processing and storage room is overwhelmed. And even worse, all of my fleece is dirty. Take a look at my storage room! It is just awful! Today is the day, though. Today, I will clean this up! In two ways:
First, it is time to clean up the room. Tidy it up and settle on a storage system for the fleece.
Second, I have spent too long being intimidated by sorting and cleaning a fleece in order to process it.
First things first. Here is what I did for the storage system:
The system was starting to shape up a little over a week ago. The clear bins are all commercially processed roving. I have one section for undyed roving with various breed of wool. I can hardly wait to do that breed study. And then I have lots of dyed and various colors of roving. On the other side of the room, I have my drum carder, hand cards, blending board, hackle and combs. I like the clear bins so I can pull out what I need when I put together my fun fibers for spinning.
And then there is everything in those awful gray bins! Those gray bins are unfortunately best laid plans. I got those to hide the dirty fleeces I told you about earlier. The tall tower you see between the wooden shelves contains just the alpaca. The giant garbage bag and the two bins under that bag are all wool. And then there there is the bigger problem. I have more wool in giant black bins (on wheels) next to the processing table. And so you have it. My terrible secret: I have too much fiber. And it all sits about waiting for the processing.
So I set about to organize and set the system straight. First, I headed to Hobby Lobby to get my very favorite flexible buckets.
And I had a set of black plastic shelving units from the Storage and Organization section of Lowes Home Improvement. Nothing too expensive. After all, fiber does not weigh all that much.
Then I had to organize the Alpaca firsts in to the buckets and bins on the shelves.
On the other side, I organized the wool. Well, I organized everything outside of the two big black bins on wheels.
The processing table still has some straightening to do once the rest of the studio is put into order, but I am simply much happier with the overall state of the room!
The troublesome part of the whole enterprise here is that I have only just discovered just how much work I have ahead of me. My goal is to get through all of the fleece outside of the assigned bins (all of the fiber between the neat little buckets). That means a ton of work!
In order for me to send the wool off to the mill, I want to first sort and wash the fleece to manage the costs of having the wool processed. And the alpaca also needs to be washed before I process it on my drum card. So after straightening and organizing the room, I also got started on the cleaning process.
My washing tutorial will be saved for tomorrow! I am waiting for some drying to happen before I share the whole process.
So what do you think? What kind of organizational systems have you used? Have you started a project only to find out how much work you have ahead before it can be finished? How did you set about getting everything accomplish?