And the goat has it.

That was a complete bust. I don’t know what happened to yesterday, but clearly the fumes got to me or something.

I spent the better part of the day alternately spinning, plying and attempting to disperse the olfactory nightmare I was generating at the same time. I decided, in my infinite wisdom (I hate myself) that the smart thing to do would be to do all of the spinning and plying and then wash it all at once. (This conclusion was reached after mightily polluting my home for a second time with the second skein. I swear that it’s the fumes. Who does that? ) The smell off of the unwashed skeins and roving last night was enough that we could not eat in the same room with it. (“Mummy? Why does this dinner taste like jet fuel?”) and when I finally came to my senses around 10pm, this is what I had.


Two skeins, washed but still fetid. I thought yesterday that they were ok, but it turns out that they are only ok by comparison. They smell way, way better than the unwashed skeins, but still appalling compared to, say ….the great dancing monkey king rutting with his armpits full of cheese.


Two bobbins full of plyed yarn that I cannot bear to touch since it took me about nineteen handwashes to get the smell of me yesterday enough that I could sleep with myself. (Joe, for the record, said nothing. This is because he is smart and perhaps, a little bit afraid.)


This much roving, unspun. I don’t know what to do.

I think the goat just ripped me off for a day of Christmas knitting. (I cannot believe it. It makes me short of breath to think of it.) Clearly, this roving/yarn/odour from the gates of everlasting fire needs a longer term plan. While I remain confident that one of the de-stinkers from the comments yesterday will work, (the goat will not win) the question remains (and I am really proud of the maturity I am showing here) can it be de-stunk before Christmas, and should I be wasting precious knitting time melting down about it now? I think not. I shall leave it for last, deal with it if there is time and buy the recipient a book if their gift still smells like the six day old crap of wild tree elves a few days before C-day. Let us speak of this no longer. I have already lost an entire day to my own stupidity and I choose to blame the redolent asian goat sent to vex me.

Tonight is the launch, and I have not yet written the speech (Don’t look at me like that. I tried, but there was this goat… ) I’m very, very afraid. Very. Luckily, it’s two weeks until Christmas (sorry, sorry…didn’t mean to freak anybody out. More like three weeks. Definitely.) and that aught to keep the numbers down. There can’t be that many knitters who are willing to take time off knitting to put on pants to come to this thing. This means I’m going to be pretty impressed (and grateful) with anyone who comes, understanding of those who don’t, and that when I melt down, speechless and smelling ever so slightly of mature goat, I shouldn’t be embarrassed in front of very many knitters. (This close to Christmas you have to have to keep your priorities straight. ) I will, by the way…bring some of the pins with me. A donation of $2 or better gets ya one. (Now that the book is done, I’ll be getting back on making the pins out to the rest of you.)

Finally, to make you feel like crap inspire you,


Elizabeth in Callifornia knit my snowdrop shawl pattern. She is sixteen years old.


Clearly, we are all slackers she is destined for great things. Way to go Elizabeth! We’re all really wondering why our own teenagers aren’t knitting shawls proud of you.

I’m going to go try to wash the lingering bouquet of goat off me before the launch, write a speech and if I see you tonight, pardon the twitch. There was this goat…

114 thoughts on “And the goat has it.

  1. Poor goat. All that disdain will probably make it harder to clean (giggle).
    Best of luck tonight. I wish I could be there, but it’s a long teleport from Oregon, especially when I’m still working (sigh) Have a lovely, lovely time all of you.
    Oh, by the way, 18 days til Christmas. For those of us who are counting (I don’t see IT anywhere, do you?)

  2. Whoo ho ho… look at Elizabeth’s shawl! I’m getting ready to cast on for my Snowdrop shawl….. LOVE your pattern – Thanks, thanks, thanks!!! If Elizabeth can do it, I can, right, right? Thanks for sharing the picture. What a beautiful pattern, gush, gush, thanks again… gotta to knit!

  3. Those lines about the monkey king and the elves definitely made my day. Good luck to you! I’m sure your speech will be simply mah-velous.

  4. Best of luck at your Launch tonight. I cannot be there as I don’t think I could get off work, get a plane ticket and make it there in time! 🙂
    Elizabeth that is a fab shawl, you did a fantastic job!

  5. Good choice on the goat. Eeew.
    Good luck tonight! I’m sure plenty of knitters have their priorities straight and will be there with bells on and needles in hand. I know I would had I the ability to transport from NYC to there after work.

  6. I am LMFAO about the goat. Save it for the spring when it’s warm enough to spin it and wash it outside.
    Elizabeth shames me. I vacillate between burning my needles, knowing I will never be that good, and quitting my job to knit full time so someday I CAN be that good. Da-amn.

  7. Goat smell? Christmas knitting stress? Pah. It could be worse – you could be me. I am here downtown at work, miles away from my home out in the wilds of Richmond Hill (to which I will not be returning until *after* tonight’s launch), and…my unautographed copy of bookbookbook2 is sitting uselessly in my bathroom. I suck so bad. Hopefully you’ll take pity on me and sign it at a future SnB.

  8. Thanks for the heads up on the dealer – I mean mail order shop…
    I will be there tonight with Kelly and if you need – I will bring my dr’s prescription of nicotine withdrawal mellower…aka Guiness.

  9. “I cannot believe it. It makes me short of breath to think of it.”
    Stephanie, I hate to tell you, but the shortness of breath is not calendar-inspired. It’s the goat. :X (Good decision to back away for a while. /nodnod)
    Elizabeth, you GO girl!! That’s beautiful!! In the name of eager knitting mothers everywhere, I have to ask … what inspired you to do it? 😀

  10. Here’s hoping the locals show up in whacks (was it ever decided what to call a grouping of knitters?) I was really looking forward to flying in for tonight’s Gala, but a goat ate my e-ticket…
    You’ll be great, Ms. Stephanie – Knit their socks off!

  11. As you have discovered, a male goat broadcasts his odor a very long way. Hard to imagine any creature would be attracted; to each his/ her own. Put it outside. It’s cold enough to keep the smell down to a dull roar and when you are good and ready…and you can keep all the windows and doors open or STAY outside, reacquaint yourself with this rude beast. er… you might want to remove it from your bobbins before they umm.. melt??

  12. “…knitters who are willing to take time off knitting TO PUT ON PANTS to come to this thing…”
    snicker, snicker, guffaw.

  13. Argh! I was all set to be there tonight – had the hubby all set to take the child to swimming, made all the arrangements for dinner… and hubby gets called to an emergency meeting. In Houston. Texas. Leaving this afternoon.
    Sorry Steph, I was really looking forward to it… Maybe for bookbookbookIII?

  14. I learned in therapy lo’ those many years ago that someone else’s breathtaking success does not mean, automatically, that I am not successful. Therefore I am trying very hard not to feel like crap by looking at Elizabeth’s shawl.
    See? Who’s grown up now?
    Elizabeth, you take my breath away. Stunning!

  15. unlike norma, i’m not as evolved.
    i feel like crap.
    but hey, at 16 i bet you i was better at chemistry than she is … yeah! and math too!
    i’m so small….

  16. Well, the lass is an inspiration to us all, indeed.
    You save that goat until you have nothing left, darling. You don’t need to putrify the house when you have better things to do. 🙂

  17. Well, the lass is an inspiration to us all, indeed.
    You save that goat until you have nothing left, darling. You don’t need to putrify the house when you have better things to do. 🙂

  18. “…the great dancing monkey king rutting with his armpits full of cheese”
    I shrieked with laughter and received odd looks from co-workers.
    I second the idea of putting Mr FoulGoat outside until the Christmas knitting is complete. We only have 2.5 weeks left, after all. (sorry!)

  19. Stephanie — maybe, just maybe, if you put the unspun goat outside [where it most definitely belongs], the fleece-stealing squirrel will come for it and you’ll never see that saucy-tailed bastard again!

  20. I have some recycled sari silk yarn that I’m certain was worn by the handler of your goat. The dogs love it. I’m afraid to touch it.

  21. Feeling like crap here. And really in awe. Wow Elizabeth. Really. As for the goat, I just don’t know what to say. Get busy on the speeech and the Christmas knitting. That goat isn’t going anywhere (which may be a bad thing).

  22. Step away from the goat.
    Put it outside until the spring thaw.
    And then save it for a very very special “consequence” when one of your girls has done something, um, displeasing to you. (“And if you aren’t home by 11 then you’ll be spending some quality time with the goat tomorrow!)
    Good luck tonight–you’ll be fab, as usual. 😉
    And oh, Elizabeth–that is one amazing shawl!

  23. Stephanie – have you seen the show Mythbusters? They did a segment on how to get the skunk spray odor off of a dog. The recipe that worked was…
    1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
    1/4 cup baking soda
    2 tbsp dishwashing liquid
    …and it worked better than any commercial skunk odor remover. I’m not guaranteeing that this will work on goat funk, but it’s worth a try. Good luck!

  24. Um, do you have a compost pile? May I suggest that if you don’t have one, the goat fiber might be good starter material.
    Or just use it as mulch–wool makes good mulch, so I imagine goat fiber would too.
    I think it’s time to cut your losses.

  25. Whoa, I can’t wait until that 16 year old gets her blog, publishes her books, etc., etc. When I was 16 I make a lace shell for my mother, on size 2 needles and fingering yarn, and I never knit lace again until I was…oh, way to old to put on a public blog!!
    Just tell your goat story at the launch, and tell people it will be in book 4!!!

  26. Wow, Elizabeth. I’m speechless.
    As to you, Stephanie, I applaud your perseverance. I would probably have just flung the whole pile of goat fiber into the dustbin.

  27. Your sixteen-year-old? What about me? I’m almost double that age and most likely incapable of knitting such a beautiful shawl. My guess is the name Elizabeth gave her some sort of edge given the clearly great vibes EZ would be sending from the other side.

  28. Well. Crap. A 16 yr old where the only thing more lovely in the photo is the shawl *she* knit.
    I’m going back to my corner and concentrate on my lowly cables now.

  29. I am agreeing with the above person, walk away from the goat… Goats bite, you know….
    And Elizabeth rocks. I am amazed at the beautiful Snowdrop…

  30. Try using TKO or Citrusolve (sp) to get the goat stench out — both are concentrated orange essential oil based household cleaners with another amazing use. They are often used by farmers when they want an orphaned animal to be accepted by a different mother. The farmer just washes the baby animal in TKO (or Citrusolve) which completely removes its wee animal smell, replacing it with a happy orange aroma instead. The new mama just falls in love with her adopted child.
    I’d soak your yarn and fleece for an hour or so (really!)in a bucket filled with a strong warm water solution of either product — you may need to do it a couple of times, but I’m sure this will be successful.
    HOWEVER, all this could be done after Christmas — but you could also do it WHILE KNITTING other Christmas gifts. 🙂

  31. 16??? I HIGHLY doubt that – she is really 125 and has had A LOT of plastic surgery.
    If I lived anywhere remotely near The Launch I would not only put pants on but also a top to come and see you begin a speach with the words “There was this goat…”

  32. I’m starting to suspect that Ben might have a secret mischievous streak under that innocent-looking, goat-funk-gifting smile. But the goat will not win!
    Elizabeth’s shawl is totally and inspiring. Beautiful job.

  33. I know this is the “official” launch of bookbookbook2 and all, but I seem to remember a little gathering in Massachusetts back in October where you were splendid about the book.
    Good luck tonight. Wish I could be there and I wouldn’t even care if you smelled like an old goat.

  34. Stephanie, for the sake of your family, and whatever remnants of your sanity survived yesterday’s gassing, put the goat outside while you’re figuring out what to do with it. As far away from the house as your property line allows. Might not be a bad idea to pile some snow on it as well.
    I was seriously about to start a lace scarf this weekend. Then I saw Elizabeth’s Snowdrop. Now I feel like crap. Old crap. Aged unworthy of attempting lace crap. sigh.

  35. Hmm, there is a reason it was sold outdoors…
    Good idea putting it aside for the moment. I don’t think I would have the perseverance to spin any up after the foul stench knocked me out. Your fortitude is amazing!

  36. I am standing and clicking my needles together( the knitting equivalant to a standing ovation) for Elizabeth the 16 (!!!!) yr old amazing knitter. WELL DONE keep up the amazing work.

  37. You made me laugh so hard I almost snorted coffee out my nose. I think I’d ditch the goat too, anything that smells that rotten for that long can’t be good to have around. As for Elizabeth’s shawl – I’m old enough to be her mother and I can only dream of knitting something that beautiful. I’m going to go back to my couch and work on my pitiful little stockinette-stitch shrug now whilst whimpering and consuming vast quantities of coffee and chocolate. Anyone care to join me?

  38. Sweetheart, dinner tastes like jet fuel because mummy spent the day filling the house with the radioactive byproduct of the wool of goats fed in pastures polluted by the nearby refinery that hasn’t updated safety procedures since Nixon was President of the United States.
    More peas?

  39. Wow – awesome teenage knitter there! And a beautiful shawl she did knit. How inspiring. And the pattern is free – I see a link nearby! I need to quit stressing over what yarn to use and just cast on for some of these things I want to knit! I won’t, however, employ an Asian goat to help with my yarn choice. 🙂

  40. Good luck at the Launch!! Wish I could be there, but since we’re all too busy knitting to come up with Star Trek-style teleporters…. sigh.
    Congratulations, though, on rejecting the path of madness and self-sabotage! You can do all your Christmas knitting before the big day! Really you can! (Because if you can, then maybe I can too….)
    I think you’re lying about Elizabeth. She’s probably 26, not 16. Did you check her ID? Okay okay, I believe you. Wow. Talented girl indeed. Wow.

  41. The book is about the obsession with knitting and all that entails, right? What better way to start a talk than with sharing a brand new story that’s not in the book, a bonus if you will. Yes, the GOAT roving story. No, it’s not a knitting story exactly, but it ties into Christmas knitting. Everyone will enjoy it, you’ll be able to preemptively explain any lingering smell in an entertaining way, and all the effort with the goat stink will be worth a little something right away if it helps you get into your talk, kwim?
    I’m sure you’ll do a great job at the launch. Good luck!

  42. Okay, Elizabeth’s proud mom here. Had to jump in and comment on her extraordinary everything — this is merely one of her wonderful creations. Her little brother is the only 6-year old at school with an uber-cool handknit skull and crossbones pullover. Her inspiration comes from her crafty midwestern grandmother (certainly skipped me!)
    And Eliz excells at science, math AND writes amazing poetry, thank you very much!

  43. All you have to do is read them something in your book, then cleverly segue (e.g. “maybe Sinead is not allergic to goat wool, but we may never know because…”) to this post, read it, and they will all collapse in giggles. At least it worked for me.
    I heard today rumors of a guy less than an hour’s drive from here who has about 8 large trash bags of raw fleece he will *give away* to the first comer. Granted, it is rumored to be sheep fleece, but your goat saga has me wondering if I should curb my impulse to rush right out there. I’m still not telling where “there” is.

  44. Stephanie, there was a phone # you posted some time ago. Is it still active? Surely you know the one I mean. The 800 # for those of us crazy enough to be knitting for Christmas.
    And BTW congratulations to Elizabeth and her proud mom! She’s not a threat, she’s a treasure, and obviously “one of us”!

  45. It has now become clear that you knit while not wearing anything on your lower half. Clearly you knit without pants…for example >>> WARNING: there may even be some so frenzied by the nearness of “C” day that they may forget to put on their pants..Afterall we are all about the knitting….
    Stick that putrid, fetid leftover goat in a plastic bag, with a chunk of charcoal, seal it with the biggest, tightest chip clip you can find and throw it outside for a couple of weeks. If you can still see it on Boxing Day, then figure it out then. If you can’t see it, (for snow) then wait until the “spring thaw” and figure it out at that point.

  46. Hey, you could always put it out and see if the squirrel will take it.
    Elizabeth’s shawl is AWESOME. I was trying to knit legwarmers at 16. Note I said “trying.”

  47. I suggest you make Ben a lovely gift out of that goat… but then, I have a preternatural sense of vengeance… and I have to agree with everybody else– hearing you utter the “Great dancing monkey king rutting with his armpits stuffed with cheese” with a straight face alone, would be worth the price of putting on my pants to come hear you speak… (Of course, I live in California…Putting on my pants, yes…buying a plane ticket on a Christmas depleted budged? Sorry, I’ll just read about it tomorrow… Good luck, Steph! We’re all wishing we were there:-)
    And as for Elizabeth? I teach Advanced Placement English students–I fully expect my kids to be smarter than me, and I’m always delighted when they prove me right–Elizabeth, darlin’, I’m truly delighted with your creation, Knit On!!!

  48. Perhaps this was suggested already…
    My favorite yarn de-stinking substance is cheap vodka. Really. It works. Dilute it with a bit of water, but not too much. Flavored vodkas (pepper, lemon, etc) should be avoided.
    And if it doesn’t work, hopefully you have enough left to drown your sorrows.

  49. From one Elizabeth to another: Fabulous, and Marvelous. I wonder if I will ever get to that point? If I could get to the bookbookbook thingy, I would definately be fully clothed and shoed. Anyway, I bring my knitting everywhere and what better occasion to do some KIPing?

  50. Naturally my boss comes in with a question right as I’ve finished reading “Great dancing monkey king rutting with his armpits stuffed with cheese.”
    You did that on purpose. Have fun tonight.

  51. Steph,
    When I read today’s entry I thought to myself: why doesnt she save the smelly goat stuff and give it to the Grey Squirrel? And here two other people have the same idea.
    I think you should go for it. Maybe it will choke the squirrel, or at least, put it off its fleece stealing ways for life?

  52. No, No, don’t put it outside! You never know what other animals it might attract! You might wake up one morning to a back room (Have we seen your back room lately? Huh? Huh?) full of wild goats, elves and monkeys! And skunks. And the blessed cheesemakers. Triple bag it and put it behind the chimney stack in the attic.

  53. On a quick google search, it ssems you goat odor problem may be due to the nasty scent glands on a boy goat that he uses to attract girls, goats not obviously people. As usual it’s a problem due to the male species. I’d try putting it in large ziploc bags with boxes of baking soda(the ones that have screens for your freezer) and the put it in your freezer until after Christmas. Maye double bag it so your freezer doesn’t reek of “seeking a single grey female to mate with” male goat.

  54. Kripes! that’s some smelly goat! I am snickering imagining how may people are going to try to sniff you tonight. Sorry, I know that is evil…

  55. I’m torn between giving it to the squirrel and giving it to Ben. I know: Bag it outside until _after_ Christmas, then if it’s still there, do some test destinking – my DH just suggested acetone, but if turpentine doesn’t work, why would acetone? I think it’s billy goats that urinate on themselves to strengthen the stench, so the pet destinker suggestions are a good place to start. Start with the heaviest duty stuff you can get, because you already know the wimpy stuff doesn’t work. If nothing helps, cover yourself in plastic wrap (especially the hair), use metal needles, and knit Ben a pair of wristers. Two spools full ought to be enough. Give the rest to the squirrel. You may have to buy new spools. Send the bill to Ben.
    The shawl really is lovely.

  56. Didn’t you have a squirrel that loved stealing fibre? Especially grey fibre? Seal it all in a bag until spring and then lay some stinky bait for the fibre thief. It should put him off grey fibre for good.
    (And just before I hit “post” I see that I’m not alone with this cunning plan. Do I care, no, and I’m posting it anyway)

  57. Maybe you need to do with the smelly goat yarn what my parents used to do with my sisters stinky shoes when we were kids – a hefty does of lysol and then put them out on the porch for a few months…

  58. Awww, no one’ll notice the smell – all knitters and spinners smell musty – it’s a side effect of all the wool (and mothballs, blech). Have you tried anything like Febreeze (did I spell that right?)?? I used it in my house when cleaning this gawd-awful fleece last year…
    Hey, can I somehow get one of those pins? If I send you some money and a SASE? They’re cool! One’d rock on my knitting tote.

  59. You simply aren’t thinking straight. (I know, the fumes.)
    Listen up and listen tight.
    You take the unwashed fleece with you tonight, open the bag before the reading and no one will remember whether your speech was a success or not. (Did I mention that the bookseller is stationed behind the audience and that no one leaves until they’ve bought multiple copies of the book? They’ll be grateful later, even if they don’t exactly remember how it happened.

  60. Um, if it makes you feel any better, the male goat actually accumulates that smell within his coat by urinating on himself. It’s not just nasty scent glands, it’s real pee.

  61. Oh Stephanie . . . how you make me laugh. I would have loved to have been there. Good luck tonight!
    As for the 16 year old and her shawl … does she not have any Christmas Knitting to do! Way too beautiful. (sigh)

  62. For the very first time, I am delighted to know I am not on your Christmas knitting list! Although I do not doubt that you will have that goat smelling like a rose in time. Good luck!

  63. There is a product called Nature’s Miricle that is used for pet messes. It’s enzymes eat away the odor of pet whatever. I use it in the kitty toity and it works like a miricle! Hmm, thereby the name.
    Soak roving and yarn in the product and then wash with clear water. It works on carpet, so it will work on wool.

  64. One of these days I am going to get to meet you in real life. I’m going to hug you near to death, step back and ask “Do you smell goat?” Then I am going to run as fast as my short little legs will carry me before you pound me around the room.
    She’s 16. She knit an entire shawl. Please tell me it took her a couple of years to complete. Hmmm….Yeah, but can she crochet?? Heh

  65. I love the internal voice (scored out).
    Break a leg tonight; a glass of wine will aid selectivememory loss of the experience, if not inspiration.
    Go the knitters!

  66. “They smell way, way better than the unwashed skeins, but still appalling compared to, say ….the great dancing monkey king rutting with his armpits full of cheese.”
    I just snorted coffee all over my keyboard. Nice comparison. Definitely put the stuff aside (perhaps in the yard, to be buried in snow til spring?) until after christmas.

  67. Double bag goat stuff and put in the bottom of stash/trash pile. Put corset (remember corset?) on top so you will be dissuaded from digging further. Place a half-dozen single or unfinished socks on top of that. Top with something so yummy you cannot pass it by. Thank the goddess you have enough stash to hide goat stuff forever and ever, amen! Move on.
    Elizabeth is a wonder girl-woman. Maybe you should show b1 (the boyfriend) those pics and offer to help him read the pattern. That will keep him busy for quite some time :~}
    Have a glass of wine for me at the launch – no, really, do!

  68. Best of luck at the Launch. Of course you’ll be great…if not just a tad bit smelly.
    And way to go Elizabeth. Nice work!
    ~ Christina

  69. Just freeze the stuff, high up in a tree (or maybe on the ground so it will disappear and surprise some foraging animal) to keep it safe from monkeys in heat. Freezing takes care of all of those rotting chickens from our refrigerator just fine. (someday we will learn to just buy the damn chickens and take them straight to the dump.)
    What is the story with the pins? I must have missed the outcome of the decision of how to disperse them. I am knitting like mad, socks all over the place, a shawl here or there and a scarf and hat set so I’ve missed a number of outcomes.
    Re:your speech. Just open your mouth and it will just fall out naturally. Trust me. But if you do botch it up, it was a definite monkey reaction. These things happen.

  70. Perhaps the goat should be stashed away till it gets warm again so you can spin and wash outdoors.
    Way to go Elizabeth!

  71. Elizabeth, you’re a wonder! The shawl is lovely, and your little brother is one lucky guy, especially since there was probably no goat involved in his sweater! ;o)

  72. Someone mentioned Eucalan. Did you know you can wash your sheepskin coat and your unwashable suede with it? Saves a ton of money.

  73. Whoah. That Elizabeth just made me feel really old, and really putzy! When I was 16, I was thinking about boys, not creating heirloom pieces of lace!
    Too bad about the goat-funk. My cats would go nuts about it, and probably try to eat the stuff. If I were you, I would let it fester in a plastic bag for a while- at least until after christmas!

  74. I’m sorry, that was a semi-lame comment. Your blog is exciting to the max, a service to the knitting community and by extension a service to people-who like-to-be-warm-and-fuzzy everywhere (me). Good luck with that goat stench. Would it be possible to do your spinning and plying like… outside? Or maybe you should just adopt a skunk. I hear that they can hide even the pungentest of odors. You know, there’s an old story about the epic battle between skunk and rutting monkey king…
    And that Elizabeth character is REEEALLY cool! I wish I could meet her in person, and give her a great big hug! Actually!
    Did you know we had TWO knitting clubs at our school?

  75. Ah, Steph … if the goat smells like that to attract other female goats I don’t think it is such a great idea to put it outside as many of your friends have suggested. But for God’s sake woman step away from goat and get knitting. You like knitting, remember?

  76. I actually got to see Elizabeth’s shawl in person today at my LYS. The shawl is truly amazingly more beautiful in person. Thumbs up!

  77. If you put the goat yarn in a couple of plastic bags and put it in the freezer where it won’t make your eyes water, you can get back to your knitting for Christmas.

  78. You were so hilarious last night. I’m so glad I went and totally regret not dragging my lazy butt out to see you at previous events around the city.
    Good luck with “IT”!

  79. What if after spinning (and gagging)all this goat grime………you DON’T get the stench out of the already spun yarn??????????????????
    Shouldn’t you clean the roving first???
    I’m not a spinner, but it seems like that would be the way to go?
    Good Luck!!!!!!!

  80. Ew! Talk about smelling like a billy goat! My dad used to use that expression. Oh well. Should make a good story for tonight’s opening, don’t you think?

  81. Truly, truly fantastic, Elizabeth! As for goat stench, my favorite intense cleaning agent is the laundry pre-soak called Biz. It has enzymes that eat organic schmutz, and is available where you buy laundry detergent, so you don’t have to make a special trip to get it. I always pictured miniture Pac Man guys eating the yuk.

  82. Steph you crack me up.. i especially love the goat references and i think that will be a perfect story to go over tonite 🙂 there is your speech 🙂 karola

  83. I am so sorry about the goat stench, but what a story for tonight! On a lighter note, I LOVE THAT SHAWL!!! How does a teen that much time, patience and dedication? When I was sixteen I had a hard time just getting my algebra homework done. GO ELIZABETH! YOU ROCK!

  84. Just to wish you all the luck possible in your war against this “odeur de ch�vre” (and also to tell you that I found this very neat kitchen gizmo not long ago : – it a stainless steal “soap”… It removes tenacious odours like onions and garlic off your hands in a few seconds. You just use it as you would use a soap. And it works. Really. No, no! Really, really! And is costs something like $10.)

  85. Forget about the roving until next summer, when you can haul your wheel outside and then wash the yarn in big barrels outside next to a swimming pool, so you can go in and out of the chlorinated water when the stench gets to be too much for you.

  86. Have you ever smelled the bedroom of a teenage boy…after a sleepover…where 4 or 5 other goats (I mean boys) have also stayed overnight…after marching band practice…in August? It must smell something like that.

  87. I’m currently hanging out in Russia. It is possible that you do actually have Orenburg goat–Orenburg is right near Kazakhstan. Anyway, it looks like the same stuff. However, the knitters in Orenburg (bless their souls) spend a lot of time with combs removing every last stinking guard hair from their roving before spinning the roving into gossamer weight yarn. I’ve never asked anyone about the smell-removal process, though none of the Orenburg-style shawls I have smell like monkey cheese… Good luck with it!

  88. Steph, have you tried shutting the skeins up in a box alongside a fresh opened box of baking soda? Supposedly it will absorb funky odors. just pack the stuff up that way and forget about it over the holidays. Maybe the yarn will end up odor-free by the time Christmas has passed.
    This is my first post here, and I must tell you how much I’ve been enjoying your books! You really crack me up, and Lord only knows I need a good laugh as much as anyone.
    Here’s hoping that if you MUST fall prey to IT this year, that you only have a mild case and manage to get everything you need to done, and keep your sanity intact as well!
    Paula Warner (aka Mad Angel)

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