It has been cold the last few days. I don’t like it when it is colder than -30 C. Actually, even between about -25 C and -30 C I get a little grumpy because there is the potential for it getting colder unless the -30 to -25 is an improvement. The dogs have decided after 6 years they want to be inside dogs and so they slept in their crates last night inside. I have had those crates for 4 years and I have never been able to get them to sleep in a crate up until last night. I guess -43 C before the windchill convinced them that they wanted to change.
The crates in the living room meant I had to move my spinning wheels out. I was spinning on a Bosworth spindle today so maybe it isn’t all bad. I have also been watching The Natural Dye Workshop and it is amazing. I haven’t finished all 3 hours of it yet but am hoping to soon. I love learning about natural dyeing.
Anyways, just a quick update on what is going on in my life. Stay warm everyone.
I saw this recipe today for lotion bars and made some. I used 1 part cocoa butter, 1 part macadamia nut oil, and 1 part beeswax. I didn’t scent them because the kids loved the chocolate scent from the cocoa butter. My hands get so dry in the winter and crack so I am always making things to keep them in good shape. I can’t spin silk if my hands aren’t smooth. The silk snags if I try to.
I am going to try to finish some projects (I know I say this all the time). I am really in the mood for spinning on a supported spindle and I think I am going to work on my project on my Tabachek Russian style spindle and the Merino/yak from Spunky Eclectic that I was spinning. I was carding the top into punis which are tiny rolags that are a bit tighter than rolags. I find the punis easier to draft one-handed from. I haven’t got to it yet but I hope to after I make my pizza and eat it. I have the dough rising right now and will start grating the cheese. I have been listening to a dramatised version The Hobbit from Audible. I have read the book and am enjoying the dramatised version. So my Saturday night plans are spinning listening to that. How awesome is that? I was spinning on my CPW last night. I have been spinning on my Mazurka for a while and the extra 10 inches in the drive wheel size is an adjustment. I hope to finish the BFL I am doing on that. It is a number of green dyed by Briar Rose Fibers. It has been in my stash a long time.
Next weekend I head in for a shopping trip and plan to get some things for starting garden plants. I am excited to see how that goes. If it doesn’t work out then I will just buy a bunch of bedding plants off the greenhouse again. I hope to watch my natural dyeing dvds before I go in so I have a better idea as to what I should be doing.
Life is awesome. I hope yours is too.
This was all the fleece I have dyed in the last while. I had to put it on my bed so I could get it all in. Most of it is logwood and the yellow is the marigold/osage orange dye bath. I am excited about all the possibilities for this Icelandic fleece.
I finally took a picture of the supported spindle my kids got me for my present. It is from IST Crafts and I have actually tried it out but it is bare because I haven’t found the right fibre for it yet.
If you are curious my duvet cover is organic cotton dyed with natural dyes. The ajrakh cloth is made in India and imported by Maiwa. They have some new prints in and I plan to order a few napkins and see which patterns I like the best for a curtain. I can always use more cloth napkins with 3 small kids. My mom will be so proud that it only took me 6 years to get curtains….lol.
Today, I plan on reading Pride and Prejudice. My energy seems to have returned somewhat and I am getting on track with my chores.
Have you ever had one of those days/weeks/months where you feel like you are running after a bus you have to catch but know you probably are going to miss? That is how I have felt lately. Take today. I am writing down the particulars for some yarn I spun for a project. I figure out the wraps per inch (wpi) and look up on the internet what classification of yarn I have. Every chart is vastly different. I then calculated the yards per pound (ypp) and that gave me another answer. I unscientifically took the weight and yardage of my project and went through a couple of yarns on Ravelry and calculated approximately what my yarn classification is and I am just going to do an educated guess. It seems that is what everyone else does. On top of that this morning my truck didn’t start. I hadn’t plugged it in and after I plugged it in for several hours it did start. The weather has been nice lately that I haven’t got into the habit of plugging it in before I go to bed and it was -29 C this morning. I plugged it in for tomorrow even though the forecast for tomorrow is supposed to be for -8 C.
I am thinking I should just find a good book and read for a while. That can help when I feel out of sorts.
I have not done any spinning yet but plan to after I am done making some rice pudding. It will burn if I start spinning now. I did measure the yardage of some hand spun and calculated all the particulars (wraps per inch etc). I then made most of a sock. I am almost done the heel and just have the cuff to do as I am doing them my usual toe-up. I did wash some Jacob fleece too. It was the britch because that was the bag I had grabbed first. I had split this fleece up a long time ago and bagged according to what section it was from. The britch was understandably dirty. It took 3 washes to get clean and then I rinsed it. I am not going to dye it yet if at all.
I took out some pizza dough this morning that I had made and frozen a week back. I realized further along in the day I did not have any store bought pizza sauce. I had to make some so I did. Here is the recipe I used which I made up as I went:
Quick Pizza Sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large clove of garlic chopped finely
1 28 oz can of canned tomatoes chopped up with juice
1 tsp of sugar
small handful of oregano
some garlic pepper
Heat the oil and add garlic and cook stirring it until it turns golden. Add chopped tomatoes with juice, sugar, and herbs and spices. Take a stick blender and puree (you don’t have to but my kids think pizza sauce should be a puree). Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Covers about two, 13 inch pizzas.
Tomorrow is Distaff’s Day. Not a very important day unless you are a spinner. Apparently, people are not supposed to spin or do housework for 12 days. How any spinner could go 12 days straight without spinning is beyond me. Sure I did it before I knew how to spin but I am not sure I could now. Of course, I am a master at not doing housework so at least I got that part correct. I haven’t figured out what I am going to do to mark this spinning holiday but I will think of something.
I haven’t been feeling well this week. I have a chronic health problem called endometriosis and it was particularly bad this week. I am taking steps to have some surgery done though because my quality of life is being more and more impacted. I have had it before in 1996 when I was diagnosed with this condition but had to cancel a second round of surgery when I became pregnant with my first child. I should be back to my usual self right away though.
I hope all the spinners have a good day tomorrow.
I didn’t get much chocolate for the holidays mainly because I can only handle so much chocolate. The kids wanted some fudge so I made some today combining a couple of recipes to make it. Here is the super easy recipe:
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup mint chocolate chips
1 can of condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Heat all the ingredients over low heat. Pour into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish lined with parchment paper or waxed paper. Chill until set.
I usually do my big laundry day on Mondays and that is what I did today. The bedsheets got changed and I vacuumed upstairs. The kids played outside because the weather was nice. I am rather worried about all this nice weather we have been getting as it usually means really cold weather to make up for it later. It was -5 C today. It was snowing and Noah got stuck in the snow that came up to his waist. I pulled my boots on and ran out and got him. We got him some fresh mittens and he headed out again. Luckily, we have a lot of mittens and hats in our house.
I made up another batt for this project I am doing as I wasn’t sure I was going to have enough yarn to complete it. I was spinning it earlier and plan to spin more after the kids get to bed. I also scoured some more Icelandic, mordanted it, and am now dyeing it with that same Logwood dye bath. It will be pale but I want to make a bag with the colours going from dark to light I think. Maybe. I am not sure yet.
I am still working on the cube storage basket slowly. That is long term.
My hands are feeling much better after using my new cream on them. Hauling wood, washing things, and even just the really low humidity all make my hands rough.
I am so tired. We had baked spaghetti made with homemade spaghetti sauce. It was a good day for comfort food. Life is good.
We were getting low on cream and during this time of year I like to put cream on my hands as they get dry. I have used a number of different recipes and they are all sort of similar and here is what I did today which is what I usually make.
In a pot put an inch or so of water in a small pot and place a jar like a canning jar that can handle the heat into it. Put 1/4 of a cup of emulsifying wax (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs) and 1/4 cup of oil of your choice into the jar and heat it up on medium or so heat. I used half sweet almond oil and half kukui nut oil. While you are doing this boil some water and have a container ready that can hold at least 2 cups. Pour 1 cup of boiling water into a pyrex measuring cup and 1/4 cup of glycerin into the boiling water. I usually pour the oil/wax mixture and the boiling water/glycerin mixture into the container at the same time. Add about 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil and some essential oil of choice is desired. Stir the mixture well. As it cools keep stirring to make sure it doesn’t separate.
1/4 cup emulsifying wax
1/4 cup oil or combination of oils
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp Vitamin E
My first handmade instead of store-bought item of the year!
::whispers:: I am going to try to make 2012 and handmade year. I am rather nervous about this but for myself anyways I want to make everything I can handmade.