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1  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / First ever weaving project- pic heavy on: January 18, 2014 09:51:28 AM
Hey gang! A very good friend of mine let me borrow a table loom and her warping board. I'd never used either before, but with YouTube and some willpower, I figured it out. This is my first ever attempt at weaving anything at all. I made a scarf using some yarn I spun up over the Christmas break (I dyed the yarn with food coloring). I really love how this turned out, and I'm officially addicted to weaving!

Thanks for looking!
2  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Circus yarn! on: December 26, 2013 09:15:02 AM
Hey gang!
We usually do our family Christmas the weekend before the actual holiday, so my Christmas eve and Christmas day were open. I used this time to dye some roving and then spin it up! It was the first time I used food coloring to dye, and the first time I dyed roving (I've dyed finished yarn before, though). It was easier than I thought! My folks gave us a turkey fryer setup specifically so that I could dye outside (vinegar smells gross, y'all). I spent the day of the 24th dyeing, then Christmas day was spinning day.

Here's what I came up with. I call it circus:

I wish, I wish, I WISH I had a loom, I'd love to see it woven up into something beautiful. I'm thinking of knitting something using small needles and a garter stitch to simulate a woven look. I'm also kicking around the idea of going to Lowe's and getting materials to build a scarf loom on my own. We shall see!

Another shot, this time on the niddy noddy-

I don't actually know what kind of fiber it is. I got a new wheel last month, and this came with as a freebie. It showed up in a giant bag marked 'domestic wool'. Since it doesn't feel fancy, I figured it was an ideal type to play around with.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome! I'm still getting used to this spinning thing!
3  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Quickly dry wool roving? on: December 24, 2013 02:43:13 PM
I hope I'm putting this on the right board.... it IS from a dyeing project, after all.
I dyed some roving this morning with food coloring. I'm not sure exactly what it is- it came free with my new wheel. It was marked 'domestic wool'. I love the colors that came out and really want to start working with it. Can I put roving in the dryer on the dryer shelf with the wool setting? I definitely don't want to felt anything.
Any and all suggestions are welcome! Thanks!
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Wire Bonsai Tree on: December 23, 2013 08:33:13 PM
I didn't know what to get handsome hubby for Christmas. Last year, I got him a live Bonsai tree. This year, he needs a replacement for it  Wink. I decided to try my hand at a wire bonsai tree, based on the tutorial I found here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=335045.0#axzz2oMaQVARW.

This is how it came out:

And here is my lone in-progress pic:

I couldn't figure out a way to wrap it, so I just gave it to him early. Luckily, he loves it! It's made from floral wire, seed beeds, foam, and river rocks.
5  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Wrist warmers made from yarn made by me! on: November 17, 2013 04:19:31 PM
I made these wristlets/wristwarmers/whateveryouwannacallem today. They're pretty run of the mill, I guess (just puff stitches and single crochets), but what makes them awesome to me is that I also made the yarn! I was so happy with how the yarn came out, and now I'm really pleased with this project. Woohoo!

What do you think?
6  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Form of: Successful Socks! on: August 14, 2013 05:01:49 PM
I got a spinning wheel last weekend, and I've been obsessively spinning ever since. I'm feeling a little Rumplestiltskin-y over here. Anyhoo, I wanted to make something I could use out of my first yarn I made. If you spin, you know first yarns are... well... interesting and art yarns  Wink. They're cool for looking at, but not cool for making something you can wear (aside from a scarf or something along those lines). I decided their lumpiness would work well with socks, so that's what I went with.
Now, I've tried to crochet socks so very many times now; I've never had any success until these. So this project is twice as awesome for me- the first time I've successfully crocheted socks, and I used the yarn I made! I'm so excited!

I typed out a pattern, then closed the browser (because I'm cool like that). So if anyone wants the pattern, no prob- let me know and I'll add it. If not, ain't nobody got time for typing out patterns!  Cheesy
7  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / First wheel-spun yarn! on: August 11, 2013 03:16:55 PM
I have been DROOLING over spinning wheels lately. A friend let me borrow one of hers, so I was able to learn and get going. This yarn is the very first wheel yarn I've done- it's blue face leicester that I picked up at a local yarn shop, and I plied it with more of itself (this is actually only my second time to ply, EVER! I learned how to ply from Belladune's awesome tutorial).

I'd love to hear what you guys think- the good, the bad, and the suggestions. I love spinning and I want to get better, but I know most of my mistakes will get better as I practice.

8  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Tie dyed granny square? Just plain bright? Afghan on: July 27, 2013 04:31:54 PM
Hey y'all!
My bestie and I are big ole hippies, so I crocheted this up for her. It was meant to look like tie dye, but that's okay; I'm still happy with how it came out.
It's just a basic spiral granny blanket.

Watcha think?
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Whovian Scarf, Ahoy! on: July 09, 2013 11:48:43 AM
Hey gang!
I knit this for my best friend's son who loves Doctor Who. He's going off to college this year, and is leaving tomorrow for orientation. I wanted to make him something fun to take along. We live in Texas, and he'll be going to college in Corpus, but he loves it even though it will literally never be cold enough to warrant this kind of winter getup.

I'm not a Who fan, I've actually never seen an episode, so pardon my lack of Who-isms in this post.  Wink

I know there have been lots of Who scarves on here over the years, but I'm really proud of this! I don't like to knit very much, I prefer to crochet, so this was a lot of work for me.

I got the pattern from Ravelry, but the link claims it to be the official BBC pattern. Who knows? Either way, by the end, my carpal tunnel was acting up so badly that I cut a few stripes short of their designated stitches. Le sigh.

Anyhoo, c&c always welcome!
10  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / APPLE CHIPS! *with tute!* on: June 02, 2013 02:48:49 PM
Hey gang!
I got a new food dehydrator, and was craving apple chips. Funny how that worked out!
Anyway, here they are, in their organic, preservative-free glory:

They're pretty easy to make, even if you don't have a dehydrator.

You'll need:
-About four/five apples- use your favorite variety. I like organic Granny Smiths. You're going to want to go organic on these because you'll leave the skins on.
-A bowl with water and lemon/lime/orange juice. You only need a couple of tablespoons of citrus juice in your bowl of water.
-Knife/mandolin and cutting board
-Cinnamon and sweetener of your choice (I use stevia, but if you want sugar or Splenda or whatever, knock yourself out)
-Paper towels or clean dishtowels
-Food dehydrator or oven preheated to 250 F.

Ready? Here we go.
1. If you're using an oven, preheat it now. You'll also want to cover some cookie sheets with foil. If you're using a dehydrator, dig it out from wherever it lurks and separate your layers.

2. Wash your apples. Get 'em good and clean. Again, go organic- we're not peeling them.

3. Using your knife or mandolin, slice 'em as thin as you can. DON'T CORE THEM OR PEEL THEM. You can pop the little seed giblets out using the tip of your knife. Note: The thicker the slice, the longer the cook time and the chewier the end result.

4. As you slice, chunk them into your bowl of citrus water. This helps them keep their color and not brown.

5. After they've all been dunked in the water, lay out some paper towels. I use a layer of about four. Assemble your topping- 2 parts cinnamon to one part stevia was what I used; you use whatever tickles your fancy. Place one layer of apples on the paper towels. You don't have to dry or blot them, just let 'em hang out.

6. Sprinkle that cinnamon goodness over them. If you accidentally put too much, use your fingers to wipe some off (or a paper towel, if you're trying to be PROPER).

7. Load up your dehydrator trays/foil lined cookie sheets. You don't want them to overlap, but it doesn't matter if the apples touch.

8. Pop 'em into their destination.

Dehydrator- About four-six hours (if you have settings on yours, aren't you special? You'll need to put it on low. I'm not that cool. One speed/temp fits all.) Play around with what works best for your desired outcome.
Oven- Start checking after about an hour. You'll want your chips to get shriveled up, but not burn or brown too much.

Mine looked like this:

Note that the brown is cinnamon, NOT burned apples!

Let the chips cool completely before putting in storage or allowing them to overlap. Chips will crisp up as they cool. They won't be as crunchy as store bought chips, but guess what? These have no preservatives! They're pretty friggin' tasty, too.

Store apple chips in an air tight container. I used a big ziploc bag. If you're anti-bag, that's cool; just put them in a jar.

These are great in homemade granola (added after the baking process), good as to-go snacks, and a very clean way to get a messy child to eat more fruit. If you make some, let me know how they turn out!
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