things go right sometimes

My little daughter is asleep at my breast as I write this and I. Am. Tired. My body is remembering what it takes to do this work of tanning skins the traditional way. I’ve got a couple blisters forming on my hands where old calluses had softened. My muscles are sore and my back is stiff. It’s good though; I’m rebuilding my strength. The muscle memory is still there.

This morning I gently washed the skin in my tub (smelly). I got the whole sopping thing back outside to dry, and by this evening it didn’t look too bad.

I’m surprised at how much lanolin washed out of the wool. I’m not sure I like that, and think I’ll forego the laundry soap with the next one I wash.

I applied my tanning dressing (soap, water, and neatsfoot oil) to the big creamy wooly one; I don’t think I had done so in ’19, and I don’t think another coat will hurt anyway. Here’s that guy:

I’d like to give it just one final scrape with my blunt tool tomorrow and then smoke it. We’ll see. If the other big one actually dries I’ll feel more confident washing this one.

The weather – that I was so stressed about – has given me a bit of a reprieve. Looks like I’ve got 5 days before freezing nighttime temps.

In other news, the shearling is looking and feeling great, and I’m dreaming of sheepskin mittens. I found a pattern that I think even i can follow to success.

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