That wet wool smell.

I continue to felt wool pieces that I've knitted.  Every time I do I find myself thinking about mini-scenarios from my childhood.

Funny how much I hated that wet wool smell as a child.

I had a lot of things that I hated, but knew better than to complain loudly.

I hated wet socks inside my shoes, I hated wet shirt cuffs or sleeves, inside my coat, I hated water running down my back inside my clothes from the rain.  I walked to school - no weather exceptions.  And our winter clothes were wool.  I distinctly remember the coat room at *Lucretia Mott School #3 downtown Indianapolis.  You could find the coatroom with your nose.  They were in the hallways outside the classrooms.  We weren't allowed to leave anything overnight - but believe me something always got left and grew more rank in the overnight.  I'll add one more thing to my "hate-list" that stinky coat room. 

So when I work with wet wool, I remember the most curious things.  Like one day I was felting (shrinking) a purse I had knit out of wool yarn and alpaca combined.  I had a quick memory flash of coming home from school, not only having wet wool winter clothes on, but also having stepped in some dog doo-doo in the snowy slop on the sidewalk.  I was thoroughly disgusted.  I think odors really effected me back then and my recent washing the wool/alpaca mix gave me a slight reminder of the odor ...

Now, I start thinking about that school building and some of the memories.  Like Tommy T., the guy everyone laughed at, talk about bullying, it was horrible..  He was the nicest guy, just a little larger than the rest of us with big thick glasses.  He had round cheeks that were always flushed and wore baggy pants.  He was always smiling.  When we moved to the suburbs in junior high - he moved too and we ended up being neighbors.  He was unofficially my first date, Halloween, I was 15.  The neighbors threw a party for all the teens in the neighborhood, it was the night the coliseum in Indianapolis blew up, from a propane explosion.

Yep, that's just the way my mind wanders when I smell an odor from my past.  Weird how that mind works!

*Lucretia Mott, a Christian (Quaker), a wife, mother, teacher, an activist, woman's rights leader and evidently extremely effective in the anti-slavery movement of the mid 1800's.  She made here mark in history, and a school was named after her in Indianapolis, in 1906.
One of her quotes:

"We too often bind ourselves by authorities rather than by the truth."

You can buy this poster.