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41  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Some embellished shirts for little ones on: October 02, 2013 08:59:21 AM
I know a few people who had babies recently, and just by chance I found some packages of onesies in the back of my daugthers drawer that were labeled 18 months.  None of my kids are that small anymore! I took advantage of this in the form of baby gifts! There was also a package of small kids t shirts, so I whipped up a matching shirt for the older Bro of one of the babes, too.

4 Shirts done in gnomes.

And one tetris shirt!

I put some light heat and bond on the one side of the felt, cut my pieces out, ironed them on and stitched them down so they were secure!  Easy peasy Smiley
42  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Separating the thel from the tog. on: September 15, 2013 04:13:03 PM

Seperating Tog and Thel on the drum carder by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

So, I heard that there was a method to separating the Tog(long) and the Thel (short)on a double coated fleece with a drum carder.  So I tried it with a Scottish Blackface fleece I had.

Hold the tog in one hand and the thel goes against the drum of your drumcarder as you spin it. The thel is pulled out by the teeth of the drum carder, leaving you with just the tog in your hand. This method gives two types of prep, with 1/2 the effort it would take if you did it the traditional way (combing the long fibres out for a top, and then carding the short ones for a batt or rolags)  The down side: my drum has 120tpi. It's intended for fine fine fibres, and not a double coated fleece. As such some of my teeth are bent Sad  If you have even a 72 tpi drum, then I think you'd be fine to do this and have no harm to your carder.
43  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Gluten free pancakes -With my own perfect GF flour mix on: September 07, 2013 09:04:34 AM

I've been gluten free for just over 2 years. I used to very much miss gluten baking, until I finally made the most perfect GF flour mix. It took a lot of experimenting to get it just right.

The recipe for the flour:
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup arrowroot flour
1 tsp xanthan gum

It's easiest to stick these ingredients in a ziplock bag and mix mix mix by shaking it around.  i keep this mix in the freezer, because the coconut flour keeps best in there.

On to the pancakes!
Now, I didn't *exactly* measure.... Because I'm really bad for just winging it.  Here's the list of ingredients anyway Cheesy

2 over ripe bananas - smashed
2 eggs
1 big tbsp of peanut butter
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
The above GF flour mix

(see... I just kinda added the flour and milk until I got the consistency I wanted.... given the amount of flour in my bag before and after, I'd say it was about 1 cup of flour, and enough milk to make it the right consistency.  Undecided any who....)
I will say that the consistency is thicker then your average gluten full pancake batter, it does not run, and you have to spread it a bit in the pan.  And a picture is worth a thousand words, so I took some I'll share with you.

When it first hit the pan.  Notice that the little blob of batter on top doesn't sink into the pancake. It's that thick.

Right before I flipped.  Note that there really aren't bubbles, as you would normally see in a pancake.  Again, the thickness of this batter plays a big role in that. ( i know they look really similar, but I promise, these two pics were taken about 3 minutes apart)

Right after I flipped.  wonderful!  This one's a bit darker then you'd find a normal pancake, as you need to cook GF flour a bit longer then normal. You can adjust your stove temp accordingly, so you don't burn the outside, and have an undercooked middle.

And the crumb.  Spongy, yummy, and I was told it does have a very close consistency to a gluten full pancake!

I've used this flour to replace wheat flour 1 to 1 in cakes and muffins and cookies as well, and they turned out really well!  Some gluten eaters couldn't tell the difference between the two cakes I made for a birthday party. So I'd say this flour mix is a keeper!

Thanks for looking!

44  Category Challenges / Fiber Arts: Challenge Entries / Felting Challenge- Fall 2013 -Gift it! Enter Oct1-5,2013 on: September 03, 2013 03:22:53 PM

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to felt something wonderful as a gift! The gift can go to anyone, but cannot be a swap item.  Is someones birthday coming? Getting ready for the winter holidays? Does someone you know need a little pick me up?  If it can be done in the form of a felted gift, then it counts as an entry!  One entry per person. Your item can be done in any form of felting, be it wet, needle, shibori, upwolfing (which is really cool) or what ever method you favour!

Entry Dates: October 1-5
Voting dates: Ocotber 6-11

Prize!! littlecircles has donated a pair of quiled earrings!
As well, I myself, Belladune, am donating a small selection of felting fibres!

I cannot wait to see what beautiful gifts you'll be giving!

A picture of the prize from little circles!
45  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fibre Saturday? on: August 17, 2013 06:53:42 AM
Meant to do this yesterday.... Whoops!

A wool mohair blend. One strand was a Frazzle Batt, and the other was some weird roving I had that was some kind of wool and mohair. It was nightmarish to spin, where the Frazzle Batt was lovely. Together they make an okay yarn.

And while adventuring in BC in May I found a wool shop (how can one not source out some fibre from the place you visit?) and this Polwarth top screamed out to me.  BUY ME! so I did LOL I made it this little single. Probably a fingering weight.

That's about it for skiens of epic proportion.. I've got a few samples of cotton, but they aren't set (I plan on doing that in one batch) I've got 3 more cotton samples to spin before I set them though.

What have you been spinning?
46  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / In search of a highly unlikely fleece on: August 14, 2013 02:08:47 PM
I need a fleece that is 6.5+ inches long, but of fine wool.  I know this is a long shot, but I'm putting it out there in hopes that someone somewhere knows of a fleece such as this.  I only need 4- 8 ounces.  2 might do, but more gives room for error.
*crossing fingers*
47  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Magnetic Curtain for the Front Door Window on: August 11, 2013 06:38:37 PM
Our front door has a gorgeous window.  But because of how the sunlight hits the computer and the fish tank, we really needed to cover it up.  I was lamenting this problem to a friend of mine when she told me her mother created a magnetic curtain for her front door.  I double checked that a magnet would actually stick to our front door, and it did! Out came the measuring tape, scissors, bias binding and fabric.  Cut and pinned one day months ago, and sewn together this afternoon... Wink Roll Eyes  It is now happily hanging there.  I may need to replace the magnets I used on the bottom, since i pilfered the magnets from the fridge and didn't want to take all the strong ones.  I put the strong ones up top, and the weaker ones on the bottom.  Enough words, onto the pics!

Without flash

With Flash

Thanks for looking!
48  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Community - The yarn that Craftster Spun on: August 10, 2013 09:33:04 AM

What Craftster means to me - Community. Yarn. Finished shot by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

What does Craftster mean to me?  Community.  A place where friends are made and inspiration is shared.

I started with fibres from community members.  I can't off the top of my head remember who all gave me these, but I did go through my past swaps and found photos of most these fibres. Some aren't there, but I do know that they came from friends on here.

What Craftster means to me- Community. Fibre shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

What Craftster means to me- Community. Fibre shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

What Craftster means to me- Community. Fibre shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

What Craftster means to me- Community. Fibre shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

After carding, I remembered that Missing Willow had also sent me some of her fleece (and I dyed it with my kids one day) so I grabbed a handful and added it in, you'll see how in a minute!

What Craftster means to me- Community. Fibre shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

See?  those little curlycues are Missing willows locks!

What Craftster mean to me- Comunity. Detail shot#2 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

What Craftster means to me-Comunity. Detail shot #1 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And there you have it.  Pictures are worth a million words.  I think I'll make a scarf out it. Wrap myself in the warmth this community has Wink

49  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Adventure knitting! on: July 28, 2013 06:17:23 PM

Leethal adventure knit along. Modelled shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

This project was an absolute blast.  I had no idea what I was making, simply that I knew I was making a head item. (I could have chosen neck hands or misc as well) And, I got to choose from a lot of different options, I could have ended up with something totally different.
I love what I ended up with, and this being just one of the many options, it's only a little bit of a spoiler if you wanted to get this pattern.  It's Leethals Adventure Knit, and like the choose your own adventure books, you get to choose your own adventure knit. Totally worth it.
Enough words, more pictures!!
Up the Redwood (buttonhole start) on the Orange Trail

Up the Giant Redwood by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr
Down the foot path

Leethal Adventure Knit along. by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr
I was afraid of running out of yarn. this is the end. You can see why I was afraid Wink Stone hilltop.

Leethal adventure knit along, just enough by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr
All done!

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr
No photo bomber in this shot Wink

Leethal adventure knit along. Modelled shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

50  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Learn to Spin- Lesson 4: Plying on: July 12, 2013 08:36:40 AM
Lesson 4! Plying!

Alright!  so you have two singles and you are ready to ply!  but wait, what do we need to succesfully ply? at least 1 thing:
    A Lazy Kate.  Now there are several types. You can buy beautiful ones, made of wood and finish them up all pretty or you can go function over form and save yourself some $$ (sometimes lots of $$$$)
Fancy homemade wooden kate
Or you could make a really simple one out of a shoe box and a couple knitting needles or chopsticks.
Or yet another, and my first Kate, was a basket from the dollar store, and I have multiple toy wheel spindles, so I would just stick the spindles into the holes in the basket!

Now, you do have other options when plying, and I'll go into that at the end of this lesson.  Let's just stick with the idea that you wound off onto toilet paper rolls and are using a lazy kate.

Direction of spin
Direction of spin is really important.  Lets say you spun your singles clockwise.  You are going to want to ply OPPOSITE the way you spun, so counter clock wise.  Always opposite! if you ply the same way you spun, you would have quite a mess indeed.

tension is important too. Your yarn needs to be taught between your hand and the Kate, AND between your hand and the spindle.  Even tension between your hand and the spindle will insure an even ply.  This can be tricky, but with practice, you will get it!

Alright, we have all the tricks and the tools, but how?
-Set your Lazy Kate behind you.
-Bring your singles up over your shoulder and to your hand and attach them to your leader.*
-Spin your spindle. Opposite direction! Remember!
-Slowly let the spindles weight pull the yarn out of your hands and watch them twist together.
-When you've gotten your arms length, wind on.
-Lather, rinse, repeat, until you run out of singles.

Quick pic of how it starts:

* You can position yourself anyway you like, this is just easiest for me.  I was taking pics by myself, and I wanted you to see how the yarn runs.  I'd do it as I wrote normally.

The end results of plying on the spindle:

More ways to ply
While the technique would be the same, there are multiple ways to get ready for plying.  They include, but are not limited to:
Andean Plying - Wrapping your singles around your hand a certain way, so you can ply from either end of the single.
Center pull balls and upturned flower pots - requires two balls of singles, you bring the yarn through the holes in the bottoms of the pots.
Plying balls - Take a tennis ball, or felt a ball, and wrap two singles around it.  secure your ball in a flower pot, or bowl, and ply as you would.
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