12 November 2012

2 new soaps

I've made a few more soap batches lately.  Both are vegan cold process soaps.  Next on my soap list is a palm free soap.  I just have to order some rice bran oil so I can make one of SoapQueen's palm free recipes.  These last two are her recipes as well, but they were plain recipes to which I added some nutrients and/or scents.

Activated charcoal soap:
pretty plain in oils, unscented, but I added some activated charcoal for some cleansing properties. It's getting blacker as it cures.  I love it! Coconut, olive, palm (organic) oils grace this bar.

Activated charcoal cold process soap all cured!  Guess what people are getting for christmas... #soap

Peppermint Kelp soap:
this is a weird combo. Originally i was going to make it kelp but also unscented.  The kelp powder smelled really fishy, so even though i'm thinking the saponification while curing will probably kill that smell, I wanted to add the peppermint to help to cover that up a bit.  I love peppermint soap!  This soap has a nice light avocado colour to it, and also contains avocado oil!  bonus!  Jojoba oil and shea butter, coconut oil, palm (organic) and olive oil are also in this soap.

Unmolded homemade peppermint kelp vegan soap #soap

8 November 2012

Quilted Bunnles

Quilted Bunny

I wanted to sew a cute quilted bunny softie I saw in the Boo Davis "Dare to be Square" quilt book.  It was a pretty quick sew, and I just used a bunch of material I had in my stash.  I don't think the black was cotton as it made a stink when ironed.  If I make this again, I'm going to shorten the arms and legs a few inches I think.  Also, when turned out, the ears/head junction got a bit pinchy, so maybe I have to clip the seams a bit more before turning out.

Quilted Bunny

Quilted Bunny

5 November 2012

OHS Master Spinner's Year 2 Worsted Small Article Project

OHS Master Spinner's Worsted Project, Year 2

A few weeks ago, all of my skeins and the worsted spun article was due for year 2 of the OHS Master Spinner's program I'm enrolled in.  This year, as the project suggests, we covered worsted spinning, which is different from woolen spinning in many ways, but in my opinion, way easier to get a nice smooth yarn out of.  Worsted spinning is what most people do without thinking when they're beginning, but what makes a true worsted has alot more to do with the preparation and we learned alot of ways to get a nice worsted prep other than combing.  I really enjoyed the program this year, and despite already being very practiced in worsted techniques, learned quite alot about new and different ways to spin and scour fleece.  We also covered natural dyeing techniques, and for my homework for that unit, I used coreopsis from my backyard!  The skeins were wonderful shades of dark oranges.

For the worsted spinning unit, I decided the small article would be a pair of fair isle squirrel mitts I've been dying to make for so long!  I love this pattern.  I love the little extras you can add in such as the latvian braids, the knitted acorn and the fact that their lined.  Lining was important for knitting mitts with a true worsted spinning preparation and technique because the yarn would not really be next to skin soft.  I chose a Shetland/English Leicester cross.  Beautiful white locks, nice and soft and not too much to the strong side of the long wools.  I lock washed each lock by hand to keep them neat and tidy a la margaret stove, and then lock combed each one as well.  I think i washed about 350g of raw locks, so it took a few evenings.  After lock combing, i took the clean and poofy bundles and combed them on my big 4 pitch fine forsyth combs.  I love these combs, they did a wonderful job.  I then pulled a nice combed sliver through a small diz and got to spinning which was actually pretty fast since spinning worsted from a hand pulled combed roving is almost effortless!  I spun a total of 600 plied yards because the pattern called for about 560, and i added a bit for mistakes, but after knitting the mitts, I only had used half!  I now have a tonne of yarn left over, so I guess I'll use it for something else.   The knitting of the mitts was fairly quick.  The pattern has long floats which although they're lined, I wove in anyway.  Knitting the lining I held the yarn 2 strands so the mitts are super warm.  I won't be wearing them though since they'll be kept in the binder.

I learned quite alot spinning for this project.  I did alot more sampling and had alot less mistakes and hardly any wasted yarn/fibre.

OHS Master Spinner's Worsted Project, Year 2

OHS Master Spinner's Worsted Project, Year 2

OHS Master Spinner's Worsted Project, Year 2