I put on another new set of strings this morning and wiped them with alcohol prior to putting them on. This was the result. These were Yehudi brand steel core strings. I'm sure I will now wipe all new strings before installing them. I don't want whatever this is on my bow hair.
Second pic is what I am using for a chin rest now. It is one half of a small clothes pin "gooped" on the edge. It is enough for my chin to grab the violin when down-shifting so as to keep the violin from sliding.
I have taken the zyex off Vannessa again. They are just too raspy. I guess I'm just too unsofisikated to enjoy that sound, so I put on the steel strings. They don't sound good to me either, so I just put her away and play on Jane. I'm going to be in the market for a smooth sounding violin soon that isn't too loud.
The stuff that you are wiping off is just oxidation. You can wipe it off, but it will just return, so long as you play in an environment where there is oxygen. I looked at Yehudi strings on EBay and it says they are silver wound, which means they are going to oxidize pretty easily. It's just one of the things you have to put up with when playing metal stringed instruments. The bottom line is that it doesn't mean anything other than the string has come in contact with oxygen -- which actually is not very surprising.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright