Sunday, December 30, 2012

Another Year Done and Dusted (nearly)

Wow - another year has just flown by! A busy one at that. Lots of things happened this year. In short:
- I decided to teach myself to spin, what a fantastic idea that was :) I love it!
- I completed my first work placement for my study that I started last year - loved it!
- Work placement led to work, only on a relief basis - but I love it! That was a big change as I hadn't worked in nearly 10 years since becoming a stay at home mum.
- I applied for a job (I wasn't successful - but wanted the experience of doing so), so I have managed to get together a decent CV now.
- We went on our first real family holiday. So much fun.

All the normal family things happened as well, and the kids kept growing and changing and surprising us. Our DS was accepted into the PEAC program for 2013 - very excited as it will hopefully give him more opportunities to interact with kids who think more like him and challenge him more, rather than not having peers who are at the same level as him.
Said child also gave reason for the very first trip to emergency - a fractured cheek bone from an incident with a baseball bat at school. Back for a follow up x-ray next month, but there is no reason to believe it isn't healing well.

So for the last line up of photos for this year, we will begin with the cut photos of the lovely soap from the last post.

Kids Christmas presents - Ottobre patterns. Shorts were the same pattern and sizes as last year. Ottobre 2/2005 #32 Safari Shorts in size 122 & 140. Tops were Ottobre 3/2012 #17 for DD, upsized to 128 and #35, size 146 for DS.

I finished the Clapo-Ktus shawl for my aunty - I think she might love it as much as I do. I spun the fiber some time back, and it striped beautifully while knitting - almost symmetrical :) (modeled on me, because my aunty didn't want to ;) )

Lots of soap all packaged up - including some soap bites :)

Some fiber spun especially for another aunty - a polwarth/silk blend (60/40) from Corgi Hill Farm. This was my first time spinning this fiber and it was just delightful to spin - I can't wait to see what is made from the yarn.

Lastly (I think), some pencil cases for friends - I embroidered their names on them (so they are blanked out) and the kids picked the designs for them. They are lined, but I forgot to take a picture of the inside.

So that is all the Christmas stuff, but last night I finished up some spinning - the last lot for the year. BFL in Newtons Rainbow by Corgi Hill Farm. Love it! It is roughly an 8ply/DK weight and about 320m.

I wonder what 2013 will hold?


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Soaping Experiments

I recently decided to try some new scents from Bambleberry, as they came in trial sizes. About enough frangrance oil to make 2 soaps - perfect, especially if I didn't care for the smell.

I also decided to try a new recipe (made up by me) that had the addition of coconut cream. Not much, but having tested some of the soap, it is a nice inclusion. Unfortunately, that first batch I forgot to include the almond oil (until I saw it sitting there after I had delicately layered the soap). This meant rebatching in the crockpot, thus messing up my beautiful layers and changing the appereance :( The scent in this one is Key Lime Pie - a very sweet scent, but it seems to have lost some of its potency as it sits. This is how I wanted it to look

This is how they actually look

The other fragrance oils I tried were:
- Moonlight Pomegranate (this accelerated on me a bit, and I wasn't expecting it, hence why it is a bit lumpy bumpy)
- Oatmeal, Milk and Honey
- Cranberry Pomegranate
- Black Raspberry and Vanilla
- Mango Peach Salsa
- Pineapple Cilantro
- Pina Colada (sadly this separated so badly I couldn't pull it back together and it was thrown out)
- Coconut Lime
- Kumquat
- Cranberry Fig (this one and the next two, had already started to thicken by the time I got to mixing the fragrance, which is why they aren't as smooth and pretty)
- Yuzu
- Love Spell

From top left, 1st row, they are: Key Lime Pie, Moonlight Pomegranate, Oatmeal Milk and Honey, Cranberry Pomegranate
2nd row: Black Raspberry and Vanilla, Mango Peach Salsa, Pineapple Cilantro, Coconut Lime
3rd row: Kumquat, Cranberry Fig, Yuzu, Love Spell
4th row: Lavender Vanilla

My other issue with these batches is that I think I soaped too hot - so trying to make small amounts of each fragrance (6 to a batch), the soap started to gel in the pot. Such is the way of learning I suppose.

Since I was then out of coconut cream and almond oil, I just used the base recipe that I like and made some simple log soaps.

Again, this one was too hot - impatient much!? It was meant to be Lavender, but I didn't have enough when I went to weigh the scent, so added some Very Vanilla to it. I also tried a swirl in the pot - not overly successful, but not too bad. The purple could have been more purple.

And finally today, I finished up with a hopefully more successful in the pot swirl. Coconut Lime and Key Lime Pie fragrance oils - white and green swirls. We will have to wait for tomorrow to see how good the inside swirls are :)


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Where I Am At

Well, this blogging thing has certainly become a little sparse. Another whole month has passed without a whisper on here. I suppose life is a bit like that. Sometimes busy and sometimes quiet.
Currently my life is busy. About 18 months ago I decided I wanted to go back to study. This was a big step. I had been out of the workforce for nearly 10 years and hadn't studied since I was a teenager! After being asked to volunteer in my daughters class helping with art each week, and helping begin and run a playgroup at my kids school, I knew that I really wanted to work towards becoming an EA. So I enrolled in an external course and started studying.

Now I also do some relief work and continue to study and try to fit everything else in around that. There is just over 6 months left of my course, a few more assignments and one more work placement to go. Then....well, I don't know what comes next. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Now I know that pretty pictures are appreciated, so I best find some photos of what crafty happenings have occurred around here lately. I think I need to start off with the rest of my TDF spins, as I didn't quite get back to them....

All these fibers are from Corgi Hill Farm (how unusual lol).

This braid of Merino/Bamboo/Silk (50/25/25)

became this yarn

which became this very special shawl.

This braid of Shetland

became this squishy 3ply yarn of about worsted weight. No plans for it yet, but it maintained a pretty good gradient, so something to show that off I think.

Lastly this braid of BFL/Silk (85/15)

became this yarn.

That will do for now I think.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oh Dear..........

I think I lost the rest of July & August. Busy, busy!

In July I joined in with the Tour De Fleece over at Ravelry - it was a lot of fun to join in and spin a bit of fiber every single day.

I finished off my intended jumper spin - 20oz of Portuguese wool from Corgi Hill Farm.

The colour ways are Fog and Whiskey Barrel - one ply of each (2ply). I used a faux rolag method way of prepping my fiber to spin it light and lofty. It was my first time of spinning long draw and I quite enjoyed it.

I ended up with approximately 1621m at around 12-14wpi. Though I haven't decided on a pattern for it yet........
I like the look of my swatch.

Will post about my other TDF spins at a later date :)


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Long Time, No Post

Life. That is the only excuse that I have. Pretty self-explanatory I think :)

Good thing I have photos - I would've forgotten what I had been doing!

Socks. I dyed the fiber myself - Corriedale top, ~125g. I added the 25g of white when I thought that the 100g of dyed wouldn't be enough.

The top became 3 bobbins of singles.

 Which became this yarn, ~14-15wpi.

Then into these socks. I made them up from two different patterns and Rav'd here.

Then I tried spinning some fine Merino. It wasn't very easy, so I ended up stripping the top very thinly and spinning from that.

It was not the most fun I have had. Maybe more practice is needed? It created a thick and thin yarn, that was very soft and squooshy, I didn't have a lot, but it was enough for this.

During this time I found Corgi Hill Farm on etsy. Love her fiber! As is evident from my last post with the shawl. I also had some Rambouillet from there. This is quite like Merino, in that it is soft and fine. So I dove right in to give it a try. Still not much luck lol Though it wasn't as thick and thin as the merino. But I couldn't fit any more on my bobbin when plying - I had to hand wind the last few metres on :)

Also there was a very small hat for a friends newborn. Shown on a rather large headed Cabbage Patch doll.

'Til next post! Hopefully that won't be long, as I have been joining in with the Tour De Fleece on Ravelry :)