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41  COOKING / Dessert / Totally decadent peppermint bark 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
42  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Scarf and Headband crocheted from my handspun yarn 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.
43  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Crocheted Spring Baby Sweater 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.
44  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Is there any need to set the twist with a synthetic fiber? on: April 19, 2011 10:25:27 AM
I just finished spinning a faux cashmere yarn.  It's 100% nylon.  Is there actually a need to set the twist on it?  I'm thinking nylon isn't going to have a memory the way that wool does.  It's not overspun, actually nicely balanced, so I don't need to soak it to relax the twist either.

Think I can just crochet it on up, or do I need to set the twist?  I'm thinking setting the twist is probably not needed, but I've never spun a synthetic before.
45  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday 15 April 2011 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:

46  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / OMG! YouTube video of a glass spinning wheel! on: March 25, 2011 01:25:53 PM
Have any of you seen this video?  It's a handblown and sculpted glass spinning wheel.  What a dream!  Just amazing.


Thought other spinners might enjoy watching this as much as I did.  Hope it's OK to post it.  I find it totally inspiring.

47  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Mittens from wool I dyed and spun myself on: March 24, 2011 10:36:00 AM
Here are the mittens.  It's from www.redheart.com pattern #WR2166 "Crochet Mittens for All", a super easy single crochet in-the-round pattern:

My son and I dyed the wool with Kool-Aid before I spun it.  I called the yarn "Tequila Sunrise."  I made the mittens from the 2-ply yarn on the right.  The yarn on the left is a single-ply which I haven't used yet.
48  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Ugh, ever have one of THOSE spinning days? *vent* on: March 05, 2011 09:58:45 PM
Ever have a day where you just want to spin and relax, and the universe is telling you to just put all fiber away and forget about it?

I was all jazzed up to try one of the techniques from Jacey Boggs' DVD.  I grabbed some new merino roving I just ordered.  Now I've spun merino several times before, but this stuff is just crazy slippery and driving me crazy.  So I ditched the idea of trying the new technique (cocoons) and thought I'd just spin the fiber instead.  Even that was a total pain in the a$$.  Just too slippery for me, and I'm too frustrated to mess with it anymore tonight.  I totally hate how the yarn is turning out.

I think I'll throw that fiber into my "spin it later" stash, and just grab some more familiar fiber when I feel brave enough to try some new techniques again.

That's the trouble with watching a video made by someone who makes it look so effortless.  I was all psyched to give it a go, and then just struggled with the slippery new fiber.  Now, I know Jacey Boggs only makes it look effortless because she has spun jillions and jillions of yarns, so I know that's what I need to do too.

Anyway, I imagine a few out there might have similar feelings every now and then.  Grr...
49  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Corespinners -- where do you buy your core yarn? on: March 04, 2011 11:26:57 AM
I haven't tried corespinning yet, but I just got Jacey Bogg's art yarn video, and it makes me want to try it.  For my first attempt I do have a couple of cones of yarn I found at a thrift store laying around I can try.  But moving forward, what's the most economical source for core yarns?

On her video, Jacey uses cones of laceweight yarn.  Anyone know of a really affordable source for that?
50  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday -- 18 Feb 2011 on: February 18, 2011 10:33:24 AM
Not sure if I missed something, but I don't see a Fiber Friday for today. (?)  Well, I guess I'll start us out!

This is the first yarn I've spun in 4 months!  I guess I got caught up in other crafts and let the spinning slide.  This is 95 yards of black/white sheep shed mill ends spun bulky and plied with purple sewing thread.  My husband named this yarn "speckled hen."  I had fun with the texture on this one -- I kind of got some coils going in this one.  Pics aren't super great but I was so excited to post a finished yarn after such a long absence that I don't mind!

I hope there will be lots more yarn this week!!
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