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51  Totally decadent peppermint bark in Dessert by nikschaf on: June 20, 2011 11:04:02 AM
My husband's been out of town for a few days, so we missed celebrating father's day with him.  I decided my son and I should make him a delicious treat for when he comes home today.  Voila, peppermint bark:



I've never made any kind of bark before.  I decided to make peppermint bark since I had a bunch of old candy canes left over from christmas sitting in my kitchen drawer.

I know peppermint bark is nothing new, but I decided to amp up the taste by using super high quality chocolate in place of the almond bark and chocolate chips I saw in many recipes.  I used Moser Roth 70% cocoa dark chocolate and Choceur white chocolate, both from ALDI.  Their chocolate isn't expensive, but it's made in Germany and the quality rivals any fine chocolate I've ever tasted!

I couldn't believe how easy this project was, and how delicious the result turned out.  It's been hard to keep myself from eating it all before my husband gets home!  You can bet I'll be making this to give out as gifts at Christmas.  I've had the Williams Sonoma chocolate peppermint bark before, and I think this is at least as good if not better, due to the excellent chocolate.  Rather than reinvent the wheel, here is a recipe for peppermint bark:  http://candy.about.com/od/specialoccasions/r/pepbark.htm
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52  Re: Fiber Friday: June 17, 2011 in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: June 17, 2011 01:12:48 PM
Yay -- another super awesome Fiber Friday!!

Jexx -- I love storm clouds!
Nittydread -- Rothko is such a rich color -- to die for!
Calluna -- I am blown away that you spun that on a drop spindle.  Way to go!!
Antsy:  Your singles look absolutely perfect.  Must be super soft!!!
Catielove -- great yarns!!   I'd also be curious to know how you liked spinning with the sari fiber.  I've been thinking of getting some.


My yarn this week is "hummingbird."  It's 163 yards corespun mulberry silk.  I'm thinking it would make a pretty cowl with silver buttons.  I still have more of the silk left, but will probably blend it with something instead of spinning it straight.

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53  Re: 3 June Fiber Friday in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: June 03, 2011 02:08:43 PM
Lovely yarns this week!  I can't pick a favorite. 

Jexx -- glad you found the missing bobbin piece -- glad you had a drop spindle in the meantime.

Here's my yarn this week.  403 yards Black Irish Cria alpaca single.  I bought the roving last year, and have been scared to spin it for fear of ruining it.  I love how it turned out -- it's crazy soft!  There are still lots of miniscule pieces of hay in there, but I'm sure I'll be able to get them all picked out eventually.  It was my first time spinning alpaca and I really loved it.
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54  Scarf and Headband crocheted from my handspun yarn in Crochet: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: May 27, 2011 08:43:15 AM
On the left is a Queen Anne's Lace scarf, and on the right is a winter headband.  They'll go along with some mittens I crocheted from the same yarn a few months back.  Not the best pic.


The yarn is Tequila Sunrise which I dyed with Kool-Aid.  The single yarn on the left is what I used for the scarf, and the two-ply is what I used for the headband and the aforementioned mittens.
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55  Re: Spun to finished photos in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: May 27, 2011 08:40:20 AM
On the left is a Queen Anne's Lace scarf, and on the right is a winter headband.  They'll go along with some mittens I crocheted from the same yarn a few months back.  Not the best pic, but, meh.


The yarn is Tequila Sunrise which I dyed with Kool-Aid.  The single yarn on the left is what I used for the scarf, and the two-ply is what I used for the headband and the aforementioned mittens.
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56  Re: Fiber Friday may 27th, 2011 in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: May 27, 2011 08:35:57 AM
Ooh, I love Mist, and Charaxes, I love your vibrant colors!!

I don't have a yarn, but a couple of finished objects.  On the left is a Queen Anne's Lace scarf, and on the right is a winter headband.  They'll go along with some mittens I crocheted from the same yarn a few months back.  Not the best pic, but, meh.


The yarn is Tequila Sunrise which I dyed with Kool-Aid.  The single yarn on the left is what I used for the scarf, and the two-ply is what I used for the headband and the aforementioned mittens.
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57  Crocheted Spring Baby Sweater in Crochet: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: May 26, 2011 01:45:18 PM
Just finished this baby sweater for my best friend's little girl.  You can't tell from the photo, but the green yarn is super sparkly and happy.  I couldn't resist making a little sweater with it.  The flower is just two flower motifs sewn together with a rhinestone button, and it is removable.  Can you tell I have a son and have been dying to make some girly stuff?



I used the Little Girls Shell Vest pattern from Ravelry.  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/little-girls-shell-vest

Thanks for looking!  Comments welcome.
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58  Re: Fiber Friday April 22, 2011 in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: April 22, 2011 04:04:06 PM
Very nice yarns this week!  And, I always love a shot of a munchkin modeling a lovely poncho...

Here's my happy accident of a yarn this week.  I accidentally made an elastic yarn!  It's Paradise Fibers Fake Cashmere (100% nylon) dyed with Wilton's and kool-aid.  I spun it kind of bulky, then plied with a yellow sewing thread and a magenta Woolly Nylon serger thread, and almost did coils in order to have a faux boucle effect.

Woolly Nylon is kind of stretchy and I'd never used it to ply before.  When I set the twist, the Woolly Nylon reverted back to its pre-stretched condition and I got a crazy corkscrew yarn!

"Crocus"

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59  Re: Is there any need to set the twist with a synthetic fiber? in Spinning: Discussion and Questions by nikschaf on: April 19, 2011 02:35:10 PM
I wasn't really finding any good info online, so I contacted Paradise Fibers customer service.  They weren't sure about whether setting the twist was necessary or not with the 100% nylon fiber, but said it wouldn't hurt anything to do it.

So...I did my own experiment, and figured out the answer for myself!  I realized I could just experiment with one little length of yarn instead of jeopardizing the whole skein.  I plied my yarn with thread to get a kind of faux boucle effect.  In the pic below, the section of yarn to the left of the black spool of thread was set with steam.  The section of yarn to the right of the purple spool of thread was set with hot water.  The section in the middle did not have the twist set at all.  Check out the crazy corkscrew-type action of the yarn once the twist was set!  It's like a faux boucle gone wild.

So the answer is, YES -- you must set the twist on synthetic fibers!!!  I was thinking of using this for a baby sweater and I hate to think of what would have happened if I'd crocheted the sweater without setting the twist, and then blocked the sweater later.  I'm thinking the final result would be a lot different that I imagined.  (PS - sorry for the cruddy flash pic, but it's cloudy and thinking of snowing today.)

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60  Fiber Friday 15 April 2011 in Spinning: Completed Projects by nikschaf on: April 15, 2011 09:10:33 AM
I guess I'll get us started this week.

Here is my first-ever fabric yarn.  It's called "Hippie Chick."  There's just 45 yards and it's very bulky and not very soft.  It was a lot of fun to spin though!


I spun it from the pink center panels of this hippie skirt I got for 99 cents at a thrift store:


Don't know if you can tell, but it's VERY sparkly b/c there is gold thread running through the fabric.  I like that it has a very antique look to it.  Don't know what I'll manage to make with it though.  I still have the green fabric left over, but I'm not sure if I'll spin it since cutting the strips took a long time.  Seemed like a lot of work for 45 yards of yarn.  So maybe I'll decoupage or do something else with the green fabric.

And here's a pic, because my son wanted a photo of his kitty holding the yarn:

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