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1  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fibre Friday - February 14th, 2014 on: February 16, 2014 02:37:16 PM
I call it "The Yummiest Yarn I've Ever Spun (Thus Far)."  It's 110 grams for Peruvian wool that I dyed with Kool-Aid and then spun on my new Ashford Kiwi 2.  There are some places that are a bit overspun, I'm still getting used to the tension (it doesn't seem to work quite like the manual states) but I did manage my highest yardage ever, at 116 yards.  Overall, this one is my favourite dye/spin job ever! 



It's being gifted to Pinkleo in the Ongoing Wish Swap 101.  I hope she's not looking...
2  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Empty Bowls Fundraiser Pottery on: January 26, 2014 12:48:12 PM
These past few years I've been wanting to sign up for a pottery class, it was actually one of last year's 50 projects to complete.  It's been a no-go this entire time so this time, I wondered if it was even worth dreaming of the impossible.  Which leads me to today...  A non-profit I volunteer for, Anti-Hunger Coalition, is preparing for its 3rd annual Empty Bowls fundraiser event by teaming up with the college's pottery class instructor.  Participants pay $25 for their ticket and choose a handmade bowl to eat amazing soup (prepared by local chefs) and bread from.  There is also a silent auction that takes place at the same time, and we fit all donated items into a bowl theme.  With 200 tickets being sold this year, plus the donation items, that's a lot of bowls to make!  And today, I got to take part in one of the pottery sessions!! 

This is absolutely a new medium to me, I've never done anything sculpting-related before, so I just went with it.  It took me about 4 1/2 hours, but here's what I came up with, in the order they were created:









We have Wednesday evening scheduled to sand and glaze but I don't know 100% if I can see my projects through to the end yet.  Still, I felt like sharing.   Smiley
3  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Machine Knitters Unite! on: January 01, 2014 07:56:45 AM
One of my crafty resolutions for 2014 is to learn how to use my knitting machine, which was a garage sale find and offered to me for my birthday a couple of years ago by my mom.  I got to taking it out of the box the other day but couldn't use it because I'm waiting on a new sponge bar to be shipped to me.

Who else enjoys machine knitting?  Maybe we can discuss here?
4  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Baktus Scarves on: December 12, 2013 11:51:04 AM
I didn't think I'd ever get to crocheting a baktus scarf but here we go, with not only one but TWO, and created in its appropriate season!  Woo!  =)





Thanks to Ravelry user Jude45 (http://www.ravelry.com/people/jude45) for some pattern inspiration. 
5  CANADA / Ontario / BEGINNER CROCHET WORKSHOP - Timmins on: August 21, 2013 12:59:09 PM
Is anyone interested in taking a Beginner Crochet class, using organic, and possibly even locally sourced from a farm, yarn? I was approached to lead the workshop in celebration of National Organic Week and would like to get some feedback before making it official.

The tentative dates are Tuesday, September 24th and Thursday the 26th, from 6:30PM - 8:30PM. The cost would be $50, and includes basic supplies, a manual, and organic tea. To be hosted at Gathered Roots in Timmins, Ontario (outside if weather permits, otherwise in the reception area). Payment by next Thursday would be required to secure a spot in the group.

Show of hands?
6  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday - July 26, 2013 on: July 26, 2013 10:12:18 AM
I had a chance to watch some Game of Thrones and spin... 



Here's some Avocado Salad split in two but not yet set (it's been poopy out and I'd rather dry outside).  I picked the roving up on Etsy.  The base is a superwash merino with touches of silk, seacell, bamboo, soysilk, tencel and banana.

This spinning part went so well but when it came time to take the yarn off the spindle to ply, the yarn broke in one spot.  I guess I need to work on wrapping properly as I'm spinning...  Anyway, I took the opportunity to try a few different yarns for plying.  The first one is the same wool I used for the Icelandic lamb project posted last week (46 yards) and the second is a light green organic cotton (43.5).  I like the first one better.

Then I had the pleasure of ooohing and ahhhing over some tussah silk!  Yes, that's the fanciest I've worked with.  It drafts so easily and smells so good and I just love everything about it!  From 2 ounces, I managed to get about 96 yards.

 

I'm not sure if tussah is supposed to be set like other fibers or left as is? 

Anyway, I'll be out of roving soon...   Cry

7  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday - July 19, 2013 on: July 19, 2013 09:46:21 AM
I got to finishing one of last week's projects yesterday.  An Icelandic lamb fleece (purchased from an Etsy shop) plied with a wool yarn from my stash.  52 yards.  It's really fuzzy, but much softer than I was expecting.  



I'm not sure what I'm going to make with it yet...
8  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Camping/Wilderness Swap? on: July 12, 2013 12:31:24 PM
Is it too late to gather some participants for a quick and small camping/wilderness swap? 
9  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Second Spin! on: July 10, 2013 11:37:07 AM
I posted my first spinning project way back and now here is the long overdue second!



I spun this roving, which was gifted to me in a personal swap by Zombie_Queen, and then plied it (with some KnitPicks yarn) shortly after that first project but let it sit this entire time.  I was without a niddy noddy and let it be an excuse not to set the twist.  Well, my birthday is coming up and I decided to buy one along with some more fibers in celebration.  That means I got to work and this project can officially be considered done!  It's still a bit overtwisted in some spots but I'm working on the second roving of the new ones I just got and think I'm finally getting the hang of it.

So hopefully this will be a board I can hang around more often.  Not that I haven't been lurking like crazy but...  =)   
10  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Spruce Tip Preparations (Pickled, Blended, and Jellified) on: June 20, 2013 01:24:02 PM
Bits and pieces from my blog (full story:  http://dreadlocklovely.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/spruce-tip-harvest-and-preparations/)... 

I was able to collect a few yogourt containers full of spruce tips because my neighbour happens to have a tree in her front yard.  I meant to pick the tips sooner when they were younger than shown in the photo, but I wasnt feeling the greatest and also the next fews days were busy, with an even busier weekend  There is a newfound appreciation that has set in, and confirmation that beings have their many facets.  I never held spruce tips before and they are so soft!  Its the feeling of walking into a soft moss, but that feeling in the palm of your hands.



After browsing some blogs on the internet, I came across a few recipes worth trying.  Born in the Wrong Century shared an easy one, a spruce tip and sea salt blend (http://borninthewrongcentury.com/2011/06/13/playing-with-spruce-tips-sugar-salt-vinegar-oh-my/):



I used a fine grey sea salt for mine, and opted to use 2 parts spruce tips to 1 part salt.  The blend is today still in the plate on the counter and Ive been noticing how pleasant the aroma is whenever I walk by.  Im not necessarily a big user of salt but my partner in an Herbalism swap I participate in likes to be in the kitchen and I felt this would be a suitable gift.  (I do plan on keeping a bit for myself to try too, though!)

Also, I used Food With Legs idea for pickled spruce tips (http://www.foodwithlegs.com/pickled-spruce-tips/)!



Im waiting patiently for this one to be ready!  One jar will be part of my dads belated fathers day gift and the rest will be enjoyed with the next few fish we catch.  Something tells me Ill be adding spices to next years batch but that these will be good enough that I should have made more and bothered processing properly.

Finally, I have some 4oz jars of spruce tip jelly sitting on the counter.  Minus one jar, which was given to my neighbour as a thank-you.  I winged a formula for this one.


YIELDS

Approximately 10 4oz jars


INGREDIENTS

- 3 cups Spruce Tips, cleaned and finely chopped

- 3 cups (best-quality possible) water

- 1 lemon, juiced

- 4 cups white granulated sugar

- 1 pouch CERTO liquid pectin


METHOD

1.  Prepare an infusion by combining the spruce tips and water in a medium-large saucepan and cover with a lid.  Bring the water to a boil then reduce and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your jars (washing and sterilizing).

2.  Strain the infusion (I use a yogourt strainer, it works like a charm!), putting the liquid back into the saucepan and composting the spruce tips.  Add more water to the saucepan if necessary, to maintain the 3 cup amount.

3.  Add the sugar and lemon juice to the liquid and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.  Stir and boil hard for 1 minute.

4.  Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the CERTO Liquid Pectin.  Keep stirring for approximately 5 minutes, removing any foam at the surface.

5.  Pour the mixture into the prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Stir the contents of each jar to remove air bubbles, clean the rims, cover the jars with the lids, and screw on the rings.  Process the jars for 10 minutes.  Let your jelly stand on the counter, untouched, for a day, then inspect each jar to ensure proper sealing.  Enjoy, gift, or store (remove the rings if storing)!

Note:  The end result is a very pale yellow jelly.

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