Friday, July 30, 2010

What a Beautiful Mess, what a beautiful mess I've made!

In my kitchen, anyway! I've been busy today. We went to the orchard down the road this morning and I bought half a bushel of apples. I really had no idea how many I needed to make some applesauce to freeze, but that seems to be the right amount! It made 3 big batches of sauce...but I will get to that in a minute. First, the dramatic reveal of ...

The Man Sweater!

Ta Daaaaa! I want a picture of it on my hubby, but he is balking at modeling in this crazy heat. Crazy man. Anyway, it fits great, and I'm so pleased! It took almost exactly 2 months to knit...and at least a week of finishing.

Ok, back to the kitchen. So the first batch I sweetened with marshmallows. The second with sugar and cinnamon. And the third...well, why not try peaches? While I cooked the apples on the stove, I cooked the peaches in the microwave until soft, then put them in my Foley Food Mill.

Churn away, and when only the skins are left, look underneath and...
I stirred the peaches and apples...the concoction was sweet, but lacking something, so I added cinnamon -
Mmmmmm! Perfect! I have two half gallon containers full of applesauce, ready for the freezer!

And pumpkin bread is now in the oven - and I am DONE in the kitchen!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If only I could spin spin spin all day

Darn kids, just won't let me lose myself in craft for the day. Well, to be fair, the state of the household would be a slippery slope as well.

Yesterday I pulled out my $1 cards and started playing. It took me about 7 or 8 rolags (the name for the ball of fluff you end up with after carding) to get the hang of it, but in the course of 30 minutes of Food Network I had a whole basket of rolags. Still, I wasn't sure how long exactly a rolag would last - just seconds or minutes? So last night I did spin up one of them, and while I didn't time myself, I would guess it was about 10 minutes of my slow speed spinning to use one of them, so just a little time carding gets me a whole lot of wool ready for spinning.

The wool I've been using is left over stuffing from making Waldorf Dolls last fall. It comes as a batt - just like you would use in a quilt, but it's pretty dense stuff, so I had a feeling carding would open it up and make it better for drafting - and I was right. It's much easier now. And now that I have a feel for carding, I can card together different fibers and colors to make some very interesting spinning!

I spent only a little time spinning last night as I'm getting very close to finishing the Man Sweater, and I'm pushing myself to finish it. I'm to the last bit of knitting now - a band around the bottom.14 more rows and I'm DONE! Well, then there's the finishing - lots of sewing, and weaving in ends, and then the dreaded zipper (which I have never tried and am more than a little nervous about).

And as much as I'd love to spend every free moment with my wheel, Christmas is coming and I'll be darned if I'm sweating it out to the last minute trying to finish everything. I'm not going to make a lot this year - unless I get some very cool ideas - but I always like to make some things for the kids and am now scouting out some ideas.

Also on my short list - I'd love to make the Owls Sweater for myself. I love it, and have yet to make myself a sweater, but I have a feeling that will be once the Christmas things are done.

Not to mention, I know 2 more people having babies now, and I'll want to make something for them.

The list is never-ending, but I love it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Fiber-y Weekend

First, this is my merino I have been spindling for-ever. Finally finished it, plied it, and all washed up!

Here are the first two bobbins worth off my wheel, in my homemade lazy kate.
The make shift scotch tension on my wheel.
All shined up! Thank you boiled linseed oil!

I've had lots of fun this weekend with the wheel - we've repaired broken leather and one of the bolts (not an original one, something that's been replaced) has been giving me some issues, so the hubby and I are working on getting it smoothed out. I've been having so much fun though!

I plied up my first skein last night, then kool-aid dyed it. The dye didn't take great, but the skin isn't so great either, so it was more just play. I have no idea what I'm going to do with that loosely plied 65 yards of mysterious wool, but I'll find something!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Meet Grace!

Thanks to an ad in CraigsList, I am the proud new owner of a spinning wheel!

I picked this little beauty up in Cincy this morning for ...wait for it...$20!!! Holy Canoodle, can't beat that! Now I'm off to do some web research on cleaning her up and using her!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Coming along

Still chugging along on hubby's sweater. It's knit pseudo-in-the-round - it's a cardigan, and will zip up the front, but I knit the sleeves, then joined them to the body and now it's just raglan decreases all the way around...forever. Or at least that's how it feels. I love the yarn though, so at least it's nice to work with!

I just finished plying my merino roving that I've been working on since...before we moved! It's a solid lavender, very pretty. I haven't skeined it yet, but I think I got some nice yardage on it. I had a little bit left over and plied it with the little bit of alpaca I had left from last year - it's a very pretty 25 yard skein. Maybe it will be a coffee sleeve? LOL, it has to be something small!

The rest of it will get skeined tonight or tomorrow, then I can take pics!

I've started a sock with the yarn that I bought at the Wool Gathering last fall...they are going to be beautiful!

Also managed to hem up 3 pair of hubby's holey jeans into shorts this morning. Definitely not as much fun as other sewing, but eh, had to be done. Now that that's done, I can cut out the other skirt I bought fabric for. Though I'm thinking about looking for another pattern - I love the other pattern that I've used, but I already have 2 skirts out of it, and am thinking a little variety might be nice. Just maybe :)

I still need to tread Toby's slippers, and need to do a pair for hubby, Lucy, and myself.

It's also time to start thinking about Christmas knitting - I have a couple people in mind for handmade gifts this year :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mish Mash

I just realized I haven't posted on here since this Spring! It's not that I haven't been busy - I have - I just have been horrible at updating!

So here are some things I've been busy with:

Lucy got her first Barbie, so I made my first Barbie dress...super easy and quick. I found a basic template online and can use it to make many different things. Has a basic velcro closure at the back, simple for my 2 year old to operate (though she prefers her Barbies au naturale)

A new tee for Lucy - knitted with Patons Grace I had on hand. Very cute and easy, though the neck has a tendency to stretch out through the day and by the end hangs down. Cotton is a tad heavy for a toddler's abuse on clothes.
Not mine. Didn't make them, grow them, nada. I did however take the picture. I thought this color combo was gorgeous, and would love to find some pansies like this sometime. Or make an outfit for DD in these colors.
Lucy's Summerlin - I knitted the top with Lion Cottonease...super easy! Then sewed it to the skirt with some Pooh fabric on hand. Quick and easy - and cute!
Knitted socks
Rhubarb - black raspberry pie I made yesterday. It was a success!
These roses are in my yard - planted them a couple weeks ago. I love how the one plant has two colors of blooms! After planting, I cut away the blooms so the plant would put more energy into rooting at first, but I wanted to document the colors in case I kill it before it ever blooms again. LOL. But, it does have some new buds forming! Yay!
Knitted peas in a pod for the kids' kitchen.
My first needle felted animan - it's a sheep in case you can't tell. Sigh. The ones in the book were much cuter.
I've started a sweater for hubby, with PAtons Classic Wool. This is the cable band around the waist, then the stitches are picked up around the side of this panel and worked up. I'm now working on the second sleeve, then it will be the top. It will have a zip front (the pattern is Avast).
This was supposed to be a dress for me, but alas, I did not have enough yarn to make a dress. So it became a top...but it's not exactly flattering. Sigh. I'm still decided whether to wear it or frog it.
I'm also working on a set of modge podge blocks, covered with scrapbook paper. Need to continue this project!
Well, there is my update. I have a few baby sweaters I've finished recently, but haven't taken pictures of yet....and finished a pair of slippers for Toby last night - just need to get them felted. Next on the list!