Odeur De Chèvre

Tuesdays are for spinning are back here chez Harlot, now that the book is finished and the whole world of possibilities leaps in front of me. My time is my own again (well, except for writing a Christmassy speech to give at the Launch tomorrow, the absolutely disgusting condition of the house and the way I have an entire inbox full of email I haven’t answered.) and I’ve plunked myself in front of the wheel to begin the Christmas spinning that is the preamble to Christmas knitting. (Because you know, having 19 days to knit all this stuff somehow feels totally reasonable. Welcome to phase one. We shall be discussing “IT” tomorrow evening at the launch.)

I fetched up today’s roving,


which is the goat from Kazakhstan that Ben brought me back. This goat is what I shall henceforth refer to as “rustic”. You can see the guard hairs and if you were here, I assure you that you could smell the rustic. (I’ll never wonder again what a central asian goat smells like.) Now, despite being a fan of merino and silk and wonderful soft not-at-all-rustic fibres, I like this roving. It’s got character and I like knowing that it was made by a person, not a machine and I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with that. It does mean though, that trying to spin it like it’s a commercial soft fibre is likely a pretty bad idea. I decided that the best thing to do with it was to embrace the rusticness, since goodness knows that the resulting yarn will need to be sort of tough, since it will probably have to be washed 478 times to get the unholy reek of goat off of it.

I chunky singles yarn seemed to be the answer, and I spun me a bobbin full. (If you’ve been spinning laceweight for a while, this just flies.)


Nice eh? I like it too, though the “odeur de chèvre” was amplified by the act of drafting and spinning. While it was darned nice, it isn’t a chunky weight. Maybe a worsted. This messed with my plan a little but I could still make it work. I thought about plying it to make it a chunky, but I thought it would then be too thick. I put it on my niddy noddy,


and went into the kitchen to steam it to set the twist.

I held it over the steaming kettle and the second that the hot moist air hit it…two things happened pretty much simultaneously. First, the fibre relaxed and became inexplicably thinner…and secondly, the smell that came off the goat just about gassed me into merciful unconsciousness.

I reeled and choked, my hair uncurled while my eyes watered. The cat came rushing in to see what herd of livestock was stampeding through the kitchen and stood there screeching hostile meows as I attempted to stay on my feet holding the singles in the steam. The malodorous funk that came off of the fibre was so potent that I swear to you that it just about had a texture and a colour.

I panicked. I turned around, filled the sink with hot water and lemon dishsoap and tossed the skein in at an arms length. The singles sank below the water emitting a cloud of citrus scented goat stink that will probably linger in the house for months. (Can you imagine? All of my visitors sort of coming in, breathing the air and then frowning a little while wondering what the (*&^! Joe and I do with pet goats in our spare time.) I sat on the floor.

Then I opened a window. Then I opened all of the windows and turned on the stove exhaust fan. Then I left.

When I returned, the water in the sink was the exact colour of tea that you left in the pot for 16 days, complete with an iridescent slick of perplexing and noxious oil floating across the surface. I emptied the sink and washed it again.

Four washes later the cat lost interest and I decided to risk breathing through my nose. It smells better, though still a little whiffy. (I dried it outside, after a friend snatched me back from the edge of disaster. She called as I was about to put it on a heating vent. That would have been something to smell. I bet my neighbours would have called.)


The only issue now is that the yarn was apparently so embedded with dirt that having been washed, what was a worsted weight is now not even sport. It’s like it was 50% SMELL by volume. There isn’t enough of the roving (I have no idea how I will get through washing the next lot) to just throw this away, so I need a plan to salvage it.

Can I re-spin, add twist and then ply? Can I rent a gas mask?

(Can I really give this to someone for Christmas?)

Blanket Race:


Days: 7

Balls of yarn knit up: 6.5 (I know. I’m falling behind. I was distracted by the reek of wild goats in my freaking kitchen.)

Balls left to go: 12.5

Babies weights: They have each gained 40g

Mood: Pretty good. You don’t think the goat smell got on the blankets do you?

120 thoughts on “Odeur De Chèvre

  1. Nineteen days to Christmas and you’re SPINNING??? Don’t worry about the reek — you’d gone round the bend before taking the malodorous roving out of the bag. Now:
    1)Wind it, carefully, into a center-pull ball and ply it back on itself. Wash the skein and forget it exists.
    2) Cast on something spun by a lovely machine and get cracking!
    Dear heaven…

  2. I think the goat yarn might be best left for someone you don’t want to knit for again. The stench might put them off handknits forever.

  3. I’d respin it, add more twist, spin the rest of up and ply it together.
    Although believe me, I wouldn’t touch that fiber again after seeing how much ick was in it. Go ahead, call me wussy. I’m tough and can take it.

  4. *wiping the tears of laughter from my face* If the nice people I work with didn’t already know I was a bit off, my insane giggling as I read this would’ve capped it for them. I could pretty much see the odour while I was reading.
    When Joe comes home and wonders what the hell you get up to with goats when he’s not there, please let him know that blogland was rooting for this to be a Joe’s gansey yarn spinning day. Poor man. It’s gonna be a cold winter.

  5. You could create a nice, knitterly objet d’art with it. Find a pretty woven basket of some sort, and arrange the skein within… draped over and masquerading an air freshener.

  6. Call me a wuss, too, but you have demonstrated exactly why I can *never* eat goat cheese. YUCK. I know that will start lots of comments from those who love it. Well, it just means there’s that much more for you!
    Dude. Back away from that goat wool slowly. Remember Christmas knitting.

  7. Oh man … that reminds me of my one and only felting attempt. Yep, forever to be remembered as The $60 Sheep Shit Hat. (cuz woman … I’m pretty sure there is more than just dirt in that there wool ;)).
    Anyway, just so as you know …. my “hat” has been crammed in the corner of my garage for a full year now and I pulled it out a couple of weeks ago to take a picture for my blog readers (pic seen here: http://frapgirl.blogspot.com/2005/11/sheep-shit-hat.html) and the stench is STILL there. A year later!
    That stench is evil, I tell ya … evil!!!! So I feel your pain! 🙂

  8. Questions asked by YarnHarlot: Can I re-spin, add twist and then ply? Can I rent a gas mask?
    (Can I really give this to someone for Christmas?)
    Answers provided by WhirlingDervish: Yes, you can run the yarn through the wheel again and add twist. You can do the same thing with the rest of the roving too, if necessary. Yes you can then ply. If you were in the States, the gas mask rental would be an absolute “Yes!”; residing in the Great North as you do, you can probably find a “respirator mask” to rent or borrow. Such devices are used by people working with toxic substances to prevent breathing of the same. And lastly, with regard to the Christmas giving, sure you can; just choose your recipient wisely – either someone you truly don’t like or someone with no sense of smell or someone with a sense of humor that will appreciate it. Try adding baking soda to one of the final washes next time; it might help neutrolize the reek of goat.

  9. Oh god. Am I an evil person if I can’t stop laughing at your “experience”?
    If smell gets on blanket, air out blanket in backyard.

  10. um…ew…
    there is this stuff called oxy clean and there is something else that is supposed to get pet odors out… you might want to try that.
    oxy clean has gotten out cat pee from clothes and carpet im sure it should work on the goat…
    and…mmmm feta…

  11. I laughed so hard I cried. I know exactly how bad goats smell (although I don’t know about exotic goats, but I’m thinking they’re all pretty much same smellwise) and I’m so sorry that was in your kitchen! I admire you for calmly spinning and not yet freaking out about the Christmas knitting. You’re stronger than I.

  12. Oh my, what a visual. I say scrap the goat until spring when you can wash it in a tub outside. I’m sure you have a plethora of pleasant fiber to knit up for Christmas. Find some lovely laceweight, take a deep breath and be thankful you live in the 21st century.

  13. So I’m figuring that my “I love the smell of wet wool” thing doesn’t apply to goats.
    And here I was thinking you would be talking about my favourite kind of cheese.

  14. thanks again for a laugh.. you seem to know exactly when i need one…second son was laughing madly behind me while i read your entry to him…he of course reminded me of the recycled sari yarn that smelled of old goat and kerosene.. i washed it 12 times with everything from euculan to ammonia to synthrapol and then hung it out in the maple tree from january till march.. it looked lovely in the snow, but you could still smell the horrible stuff in 20 degree weather…finally i believe i can work with it well enough to have the final piece drycleaned… i am grateful to find that there are others crazy enough to have christmas spinning in the “yet to be spun” catagory… thanks for supporting good mental health! kath

  15. Eek. So I can add “possibility of stench worse than a hairy dead person floating in the East River on the 4th of July” to my list of frightening things that may result from my new hobby. Hm. But! Must say that until today, I thought Kazakhastan was a fictional country that Borat of HBO’s Da Ali G show was from. Interesting…

  16. Febreeze, maybe? My sister bought a used car that had been owned by a smoker, and that stuff got out the cigarette reek like she never thought possible.
    Of course, Febreeze might be one of those sneaky things that work by turning off your nose rather than actually getting rid of the odour (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_182.html).
    “Odeur de ch�vre.” Heh.

  17. Citrus scented goat stink! Hoo-wee, caught a whiff o’ that all the way down here… way too funny…
    On the OxiClean suggestion, although I’ve been tempted in the past to try using it, the label specifically says not to use it on “wool, wool-blends, silk, leather or dry clean products.” Then again, it doesn’t say *not* to use it on stinky goat… 😉

  18. Snort! Note to self: Don’t read blog whilst drinking coffee…
    Ok, now that I’ve cleaned the coffee I spit over my keyboard… I wonder if all the roving we saw in the pictures from Ben smelled like that.
    I can just picture you standing over the stove, with steamy goat stink wafting over you – it’s not a pretty thought!

  19. OK So I am NOT the only person out there who has spinning yet to do before Christmas. At least I am working with commerically prepared roving, and spared the reek. I am also planning on giving the handspun as a gift, but don’t have to knit. I still feel like I need to make regular calls to your hotline, however, before Dec. 25 falls.
    That said, I think this yarn of yours is perfect for knitting that special something for the person who knows nothing about fibers and who actually asked you to knit something for you. Guaranteed to not happen again!
    You are a hoot! thanks for brightening my day!

  20. This is kind of an odd suggestion, but every dog I’ve ever owned has managed to get sprayed by a skunk (I do have a point, promise). Tomato juice, perhaps blended with a dash of vinegar (we don’t always have it), neutralizes skunk odor. Perhaps it would do the same for goat funk?
    (Completely unrelated, but “Goat Funk” would be a great band name.)

  21. Or you could try the tried-and-true remove the skunk smell from your dog/de-whiff animal skins potion I learned from someone who used to work at Chicago’s Field Museum:
    I’ve never tried this on wool, but if this stuff is as rank as you claim it’s worth a shot, right?
    1 quart peroxide (normal 3% or whatever the drugstore sells)
    1/4 c. baking soda
    tsp. of dish soap.
    Wet the fiber, mix this stuff up, douse the fiber with it (at least with dogs you use it like a shampoo), see if it helps. (I don’t believe you need to rinse this out because, frankly, the hydrogen peroxide is going to break down to water and you’re not using that much soap).
    Good luck.

  22. Oh god!?! ROFLMAO Goat reek. eeew. I suppose that you could wash the fleece and then card it with some wool to extend it. I know that kinda defeats the purpose.
    I usually wash smelly fleeces out in the back yard in 5 gal buckets. 1 lb of fleece per bucket with Dawn dish soap does a good job. But considering how cold Columbus, OH is right now, it has to be out of the question in Toronto.
    I have successfully respun singles to add or remove twist and then plyed them. So that may help.

  23. I may never complain about fleece from a ram again. *G* It’ll also take a little bit for my sinuses to recover from having Dr. Pepper inhaled into them whilst simultaneously laughing and choking.
    But I bet even that’s better than the smell of warm wet goat. 😀

  24. I haven’t laughed so hard since… …The last time I read my Stephanie dose of the day. Oh goodness woman. You are wonderful. And I’ve got a goat fleece banished in the closet, wrapped in many layers to protect the rest of my fibers from it. Steam? No, no, hon, you want every molecule to go right down the drain–with any luck, the water reclamation plant will never be able to track the source…
    And hey, Martha, I once spun up some dog fur for somebody, and when I got it wet to set the twist, oh man had it been skunked!

  25. Well…. I have to admit. For a moment I seriously thought that maybe I needed to have this experience for myself. Then it occurred to me that if you tried to send it across the US/Canada border, they’d confiscate it.

  26. Put some Epoisses in the same gift bag! The recipient will think that the knitted object has been in some way permanently altered by the stinky cheese.
    This reminds me of a yarn I purchased that was a bit ripe. I didn’t notice it when I made the purchase, but the dog was very happy to see me when I got home. I put the yarn up out of the dog’s reach. When I got home the next day, the dog had obtained the yarn, rolled around in it thus hopelessly entangling the skein, and then eaten part of it. (This is the same dog that once ate a safety razor – both plastic and blade – and was none the worse for the wear.)

  27. “a cloud of citrus scented goat stink” just about did me in. I am sitting at my desk wiping the tears away, after assuring a couple of my colleagues that i’m really ok and the sounds they’re hearing are sounds of mirth, not disaster. thank you, thank you and thank you some more. I’m so sorry that your house reeks. There are non-toxic odor neutralizers (they look like little gel pellets) that Whole Foods carries in the States. I’m sure a natural market in Toronto would have something similar. All i can say is, you’re a really good woman to not throw in the towel (or the skein, as the case may be). I admire your stick-to-itiveness.

  28. You know who loves stinky stuff? Pets. I’d ply it up and make a big felted cat mat out of it. They love earth’s more musky offerings. Or maybe even a felted outdoor mat, so it won’t cause nasal distress inside.
    But it would be kind of fun to make something really pretty out of it and give it to someone. Then you can watch the myriad of emotions run across their face as they search for the right way to say “Thanks, but this smells like hot death.”

  29. My dog, Claudia, respectfully requests that I refrain from any further readings of this blog. She says the maniacal giggling interferes with her naps. Oh, and the lemon-fresh goat stench coming through the screen is upsetting her digestive system.
    I told her to lie farther from the computer and leave me alone.

  30. Steph,
    You are just killing me. I am snickering like a crazy person and I have students all around me trying to study for their finals.
    And I agree with the PP: Goat Funk Pet Toys by the Yarn Harlot. Don’t let your cat/dog be the only one on the block without one!

  31. Weeping, I am weeping over that post…too funny. I think you should finish spinning or plying or whatever (sorry I don’t spin have no advice to give on what to do next) and then knit something up for Ben. Show him the love for bringing you back a woolley gift ya know?

  32. So that’s the secret of laceweight cashmere – they spin it thick and it shrinks. I bet that roving was from a billy goat. Either that or the cashmere producers have a secret formula destinker we need to know.

  33. Goat smell has got to be right up there with yak smell. My family still mocks me for the yak yarn I brought home from Stitches Midwest. (I apparently was on a yarn shopping high and did not notice the smell.)
    If my yak experience is any help…I did a nice gentle wash in Eucalan. No change. I aired it for a week. No change. Then I washed the sucker in Tide in the washing machine. (O.k. I put it in mesh a “delicates” bag first.) Then I washed it again in Tide in the washing machine. Finally the smell is at a stashable level…
    And you know, I still love the yarn and vigorously defend its honor to my husband and kids!

  34. That’s why we only take in nanny goats. They still have a bit of an odor, but it’s the lightest eau de cologne in comparison to the unholy reek of a billy. Baby goats, by the way, smell wonderful, in much the same way that human babies have that yummy perfumed scalp, but a little earthier.
    The next time someone asks me if I’m going to comb the goats and try to make yarn out of it, I’ll direct them to this post.

  35. Ohmigosh, it finally hit me. Speed-read Tom Robinson’s JITTERBUG PERFUME, then lock up your daughters. You’ve got Pan in the house.

  36. You say you like knowing it was made by a person, not a machine. Um, not to be difficult, or point out the obvious here, but… wasn’t it made by a goat?

  37. Here at work we take work seriously, and the Powers That Be frown on employees who laugh uncontrollably into their laptops. Not that I was fitting in that well to begin with.

  38. Hahahahah I laughed so hard I can’t think of anything to say… the baby blankets are lovely.

  39. Steph, i’m sitting at my desk choking cause i don’t want to laugh out loud.. it isn’t a pleasant sound.. haha..l you total make my day.. i’m still dying to get those books of yours.. but hopefully i will treat myself for xmas.. we don’t trade gifts.. just buy stuff for ourselves and are very happy about it 🙂 sort of avoiding the shopping for others demands.. haha.. toodles keep those goats happy in the kitchen.. hee..hee.. karola

  40. Ohmigod – I want to know what Joe and the girls have to say when they get home!! You might want to shower a few times before you go out of the house again…

  41. Dear Steph, So sorry to hear of your stinky mess. I recently inherited smoke filled clothes that were totally immersed in cigarette smoke. After I got over the outrage of second hand smoke on baby clothes, I tried washing and washing… Oxyclean does not work, nor ammonia nor any other household cleaner. I resorted to something called One Shot Odor Eliminator I bought at a Carpet One store. It is for carpets,upholstery and drapes(I am assuming this includes wool)and specializes in animal and smoke odors. I just poured it right into my wash water and voila….no smell. It was much less labor intensive than the 5 wash cycles I previously tried. Good Luck!!

  42. THANK YOU! I needed that belly laugh. I giggled so loud the cat jumped up and walked out of the room. Or perhaps it was the funk from the goat all the way down here?
    PS the socks that rock were the same colourway I bought Amy Boogie: Queen Rock. And yes you are and do.

  43. Rams, Stephanie doesn’t have time to read a book! Even on speed! She’s only got 19 knitting days left, and now (apparently) will be losing time to fumigation activities.
    (three comments today – a sign I’m hiding from a particularly boring spreadsheet? ayup.)

  44. Oh god, my co-workers think I’m crazy…laughing/snorting hysterically and uncontrollably while staring at my computer monitor…

  45. Oh my GOD I almost peed my pants I was laughing so hard. What in god’s name possessed you to stick something already somewhat rank over any kind of heat at ALL? As a fellow spinstress, I would have suggested you stick it in warm soapy Eucalan water *first*. *grin*
    This is my first time posting, but I’ve been reading you for a while. I missed you at Rhinebeck this year, but understand why you couldn’t be there. Just a new fan, from Upstate NY. 🙂

  46. Dude. You have just virtually guaranteed “IT” by deciding not just to spin for one of the gifts but by deciding to spin something that takes a week to respin and fumigate…
    Or you could always just roll with it, make goat cheese pizza, and pretend you’re in France.
    Okay, maybe not…

  47. My youngest son gets a tummyache when he drinks cow’s milk, so we have goat’s milk around for him, and try as I might I cannot get away from the notion that goat’s milk tastes like milk someone has washed their hair with.
    So I’m feeling your pain.

  48. Oh. My. God. That’s so hilarious!
    But it LOOKS like gorgeous yarn. Perhaps you could gift it to someone with a massive head cold?

  49. Oh my, I haven’t laughed like that since your bad airport experience and getting locked out of the hotel room in your panties. hehe Oh, the memories.
    Anyway, good luck with the goat funk. You could totally write books with stuff like that. Hm… write books. Give it a thought. heh 🙂

  50. Just think how lucky you are to have all those powdered goat fragments floating around your house. Mmmmm….Kazakh goat… Too bad it wasn’t Orenburg goat. You could have spun it up and knitted a shawl.

  51. I’ve got just the plan for you: You finish spinning the stuff up & knit up blankie for the dog of someone you’re looking to drive insane. All of the dogs I know would LOVE to roll around in something that rank smelling.
    You’d get to savor sweet revenge & look like a gracious & generous person for going to the trouble of knitting for their pets.
    I’m thinking of somelike like Mr. Airplane Weenie Man…

  52. Stephanie, you wonderful person you, how did you know I’m having a frantic week and desperately needed a laugh. 10 minutes after wandering over here, I am now perked up and sane again, and supremely grateful that I have never learned how to spin. *evil grin goes here*
    I just about split a seam laughing. Thank you SO much. 😀
    I strongly recommend backing carefully away from the goat fleece …

  53. I’m having trouble stopping my giggles. My DH just walked away shaking his head. Your story reminds me of a friend of mine who purchased a rug hand made by ladies in a rural South American town. Her dogs immediately took a liking and kept going aroung the rug, “marking” their territory. It turns out they used urine to stabilize the dyes and the dogs were able to pick that up even though human nose (at least my friend’s) was unable to notice. (lol) She had the rugs cleaned twice before the dogs would leave it alone.
    My DH used peroxide and baking soda combo with baby shampoo to wash our dog after she got doused by a skunk. Her black ears turned medium brown (bleached out) and stayed that way for awhile. The stink went away, but I’d worry about the color of your yarn…unless, of course, the original color of your goat was cream/white?? 🙂 Good luck.

  54. I’d vote for a wash in baking soda, which will also make it softer and the stuff you use to take the smell of cat urine out of the carpet/sofa after a cat accident. You can purchase it at a pet store. But, however well meaning your brother was, I’d abandon the goat hair stinking mess until summer, when you can put it in the sun for a month and then reevaluate the situation. I think you are stuck in the euphoric stage of Christmas Knitting and you need to get a small dose of reality. Stick to sweet baby blankets for a while to re-calibrate your nose!

  55. Oh way too funny! I could smell the goat south of Seattle! Glad that there was no one else home to hear me laughing.
    Love your books and can’t wait for Book III to hit the shelves, devoured the first two as soon as I got them home. Discovered your site awhile ago, tho this is the first I’ve posted. Thanks for all the tears and Laughter!!
    Happy Knitting!

  56. ROFLMAO!!! Just ply it, knit it into socks, and give it to someone with stinky feet! Perfect match…the odors will cancel each other out!

  57. ROFLMAO!!! Just ply it, knit it into socks, and give it to someone with stinky feet! Perfect match…the odors will cancel each other out!

  58. Oh. My. Goodness. >
    Steph, dear Harlot, step away from the goat. Please. We need to you to stave off IT for as long as possible. The Tinks need their blankies. Joe and the girls need to eat (nothing like rotten goat odor to put you off your feed, eh?) Please, the Stinky Goat from Odor Hell can wait. Yur friends are here to help you.

  59. Dear Steph,
    As a salvager of much roving which is borderline spinnable, I’m more worried about the guard hair than about the smell. Although I can’t see for sure how much guard hair is in it, smell washes out (usually- there may be an exception in here for this goat) but guardhair itches, itches, itches– hair shirt anyone?? If there’s a lot of guard hair then AFTER Christmas (you don’t have time for this before then…) I would wash the roving- no spinning yet. Get the hidious smell out (if possible) and then start with handfuls and see if you can separate the short fibers from the guard hair. If such separation is not possible, I might just decide that there’s a reason this stuff was used for stuffing couches and let that be that. I’m not sure that I’d give a guard hair loaded garment to a friend- although it might be good for someone from whom you want to distance yourself…

  60. I say stick it in an airtight container, douse liberally with baking soda, and put it in the coldest corner of your house/garage/shed until the snow starts to thaw. Maybe occasionally change out the baking soda. If you see random wildlife making out with your garden shed (where the yarn is stored) , well, you can hope that they’ll leave some fuzzy bits of fur behind and that you can salvage the amorous fleece.
    Either that or douse it with vinegar. I don’t call Heinz vinegar – “stinky feet vinegar” for nothin’.

  61. Very Very funny post. But let me get this straight – with less than 20 days till the big C, with pink and blue blankies still on the needles, and with 3 daughters plus husband requiring semi-regular feeding and watering – you were planning to spin AND knit what? Are you completely insane? 🙂 (ps – I have no advice on smelly wool – although I did have a slightly similar problem with Recycled Sari Silk that reeks of diesel when I wash it. The smell dissipates when its dry though!)

  62. Thanks for the laugh!
    Note to self: Never use goat if I ever start spinning.
    I’d have to agree with the baking soda idea…

  63. I have no advice about the smell, other than maybe a certain gray squirrel would stay away from it, so using it as “guard fleece” for your other fleeces this summer…..
    I have never laughed so hard at work in my life. My coworkers are very concerned about my mental health. I had to teach several of them to knit recently, so they now understand and I am not the only crazy one here. I will be e-mailing the link to this page soon. Imagine a dozen people in various cubes in a call center that has about 200 people in it reading the entry and trying not to laugh out loud, spill stuff, or snort coffee thru their noses…

  64. And here I was thinking that cinnamon and cloves were the traditional holiday scents! Never thought of scenting my home with goat for the holidays.

  65. I like smelly fibre. Ask Juno. I’m not on, and am not trying to sneak onto, your xmas list, though! So, drop it. Concentrate on the blankets. And for goat’s sake, don’t spin to knit gifts!!!

  66. Oh dear… I just had my Angora goat buck neutered- and he was starting to get pretty stinky. Please don’t hold this against all goats… they really are sweeties w/ wonderful fiber…
    And WHY are you dealing with this NOW??? Knit those blankets!!!

  67. I say you put it on ebay! Emphasize where it came from and that it’s handspun…just don’t mention the smell. Take the cash and buy something machine spun, soft and unscented. Thanks for the laughs!!

  68. I think I just choked to death. Twice.
    My friend, your gift for words is beyond compare. I love that you can capture both putrid scent and beautiful new life with equal eloquence. 🙂

  69. ooh, goat musk is one of my least favorite smells ever. we raised goats when i was a kid [sanaan’s not wooly goats] and we had a buck who you could smell from 1000 yards away when he was in rut. pukey! i feel your pain.

  70. Just to be on the safe side: no need to give me any goat yarn for Christmas. Really, I couldn’t possibly….
    50% stink –lol lol lol. xox Kay

  71. Yes! Jitterbug Perfume…you must read it(after Christmas, of course)
    I have no advice for you-but having read the above, I doubt you need any more!
    Thanks for another great laugh.

  72. Can’t . . . . breathe . . . I’m still giggling uncontrollably.
    Maybe you could give the yarn to someone with allergies so bad, their sense of smell is all messed up?
    You’ve got to fill us in on what Joe and the girls had to say when they got home!

  73. Oh man Steph, I needed that laugh. Thank you! What? Did I say laughing? No no no… I wasn’t laughing. Really. 🙂
    Do you have anyone on your list who lives on a farm? Make them eau de goat mittens and they won’t even notice the, er, aroma…

  74. Bwaahaaahaaa!
    I shouldn’t be laughing. I have about 60 lbs of utterly REEKING fleece still outside the front door, much of which is likely moldy.
    But rilly. Dude. The poor goat. (And if you can’t give it to someone for xmas, send the wool to me, you know you want to.)

  75. I would use it as is, and make a lovely door mat. Felted, maybe. And I’m trying to remember the name of the enzyme based cleaner that I use to clean up dog puke. Seems like that ought to do the job.
    This is reminding me of the ram fleece with mothball scent that is somewhere in my garage… And I’m feeling sympathy for your poor wheel.

  76. Never a dull moment chez Harlot, eh? I do hope there is going to be a bookbookbook4. Your life is far too interesting to limit your thoughts to only three volumes.

  77. I’ve heard of people painting with goat feces, but knitting with it? I have a feeling the roving went through the intestines of some animal…..

  78. Phew! I did apparently get good intel at my LYS on Mission Falls getting a new home and us getting 1824 Wool and Cotton back:
    From Amy:
    Popular �1824 Cotton� Yarn is Back

  79. I will quote a learned knitter/ author
    “drop the goat yarn and slowly back away…”

  80. Harlot, you’re priceless, and you made me laugh so hard, I actually fell off my chair, which caused my sleeping dogs to leap straight up mid-air and run howling from the room!
    I’ve read that Vick’s Vapo-rub applied under the nose works at crime scenes with “eau de decomposing bodies” – maybe it works for goat fumes too?
    Years ago, when a skink sprayed a previous dog, my vet told me to mix eaual parts dish soap, vinegar, and tomato juice, and use as a shampoo. Worked pretty well as I remember.
    Good luck with the “funk”!

  81. You are too funny! My ribs are now sore from holding in the belly-laugh that your saga of the goat has produced. Thank you for brightening all of our days with your blog.
    Now, put the goat in the garage and concentrate on those gorgeous baby blankets.

  82. Dear funny woman,
    Thank you so much for the best laugh of the day.(i.e yesterday).
    The baby blankets look absolutely lovely.

  83. How lucky we are YOU went through this extreme spinning experience… This is one of the funniest post ever read, thank you! My suggestion: just stuff any old pillowcase with that roving – and organise a Buskashi in your backyard 😉

  84. Well Steph, here is the ultimate solution:
    Get a Tortoise!
    Why? I live with four of them and they eat my yarn off the ball – the smellier the more eagerly.
    When I found out once that a fistsized animal can stomach 8 yards of sock yarn extra greasy homespun, I finally learnt not to let my knitting lie around. They don�t have figured out how to crunch the bamboo needles yet, but next summer they will try.
    So, if they like normal reeking sheep wool, they will love this goat roving. Anyway, they eat carrion in the wild.
    Good Luck!
    –and no, I don�t rent my babies for this job, sorry.—

  85. Hmmm… maybe when you drain the sink, the oily stuff gets redeposited on the yarn? Try doing the soak in a bucket with the yarn weighted down, and then carefully pour the gunk off the top.
    Sorry if someone already suggested this… there were too many comments to read.

  86. It is now what they eat. Goats that is. When I was little and visited grandma’s house in the country I was told not to go and look at the goat that was kept far from the house. I was encouraged to “go and look at the bunnies”. But I did go and looked at the goat. He was rather scary looking and smelly.
    Then on one of these clandestine visits I experienced the goat relieving himself, straight into his open mouth. Revolting? Quite but fascinating too. I took my younger cousins. vj

  87. At work we use this stuff called OdoBan
    it works on the smell of urine and BM?
    It comes concentrated too, so you could use it really strong…
    (I work at a group home)

  88. I’ve used Nature’s Miracle with great success removing male cat urine (and worse) from carpet, clothing, luggage, etc. I never tried it on yarn, but it saved many pieces of clothing and two suitcases from the trash bin.
    There used to be a product from Febreeze that was meant to be used in the laundry to remove odors- I used to use both products at the same time, but I haven’t been able to find the Febreeze stuff in months.

  89. I just had my first spinning lesson over the weekend. I LOVED it! Thought as I went from wheel to wheel trying new things, like drafting on my own, I got worse and worse. Oh well. I just need a little practice. Good luck with the smell and have a great time at the launch! I wish I could just drop everything and hike up to Canada.

  90. Thankyou! I think you have maybe solved the mystery of my Mystery Roving. I own a Big Bag of it, and have done for about 15 years… I never knew what it was, as I bought it off a woman who’d lost its label. Mine doesn’t smell though. As far as I remember. I’m not sure it’s the same kind of goat, but it sure looks similar…

  91. Oh boy, you just brougt back memeories of my trasintioning-from-highschool-to-college job I got when I was 18. I started working at This Is The Place State Park, where I was a dossent. I worked in the Jewks home, where I washed and spun LOADS of wool (from sheep raised and sheerd at the park). My hands were so soft, but my hair reaked of sheep all summer! I wish I had taken up knitting before that! What I wouldn’t do to get that yarn back!!

  92. That stuff looks like the prayer rug my husband brought home from Turkey when he was stationed there many, many, many years ago. The prayer rug is striped that color and black. It still smells a generation later.
    I remind you this is a prayer rug. Men kneel on it, bend down and end up with their noses inhaling goatiness. A really spiritual experience,

  93. Tell Joe that gold is much less bulky to bring home as a present. Your story reminded me of the time my (ex)husband talked me into shearing and spinning wool from a dead sheep. He never understood the “gold” bit either…

  94. Hm. I have 2 friends who through brain injury/surgery have lost their sense of smell completely. Would you like theirs, or their surgeon’s numbers?

  95. My daughter spins, and she and I loved this post, recommended by Laura Blanchard. Kate suggests Orvis Paste to take the smell out and clean the yarn completely. It’s formulated to wash livestocks for shows but works wonderfully for cleaning dirty fiber.
    The roving looks lovely! You could, she says, ply it onto itself now or use it as singles for something smaller than you expected, like mittens.

  96. You poor dear! i had to choke myself from laughing so loud I woke my sleeping children in the next room. 😉
    Thank you. I needed that.
    Please please put the dead goat in the garage and move on with the holidays. No one (including your family) should have to suffer like that so close to Christmas.
    Maybe you could dye it blue 😉 was there any indigo left? Maybe it won’t smell as bad if it were blue? just a thought….

  97. LOL! I’ve just been rolling on the floor at your goat stink adventure because I have been down the very road you walked.
    Back in the 70’s my dad went hunting in Georgia and came home very proud that he had bagged an albino mountain goat. While in GA he sent the head to the taxedermist to be delivered home when it was done.
    The time came to pick it up at the airport and my dad, all excited, went to get it. Please note here my mom decided not to go along. If she had the story might have ended differently.
    He came home, brought it in the house to the family room and opened the crate….
    The smell of goat urine just about stripped the varnish off of the paneling. My mother had appoplexy! “YOU ARE NOT HANGING THAT THING IN OUR HOUSE!” I have NEVER smelled anything quite like that in my entire life.
    My dad cajoled and pleaded with my mom and then made MANY phone calls about how to get rid of the stink in the trophy. It was years before we could say the smell had actually gone. My mom vacumed and sprayed and dusted with baking soda and scrubbed with every imaginable concoction trying to get the smell to go away faster. Now this trophy hangs in my mom’s apt. at her retirement community. She still laughs about the whole thing.

  98. Don’t know if anyone else suggested this, but dog people have been known to wash a dog in Massengill douche (mixed from powder) after an encounter of the skunkish kind. I figure anything that can deskunk a dog can degoat wool. And if it’s safe enough for our … errrr …. parts, it shouldn’t hurt the wool.

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