Tuesday
Aug212018

octopus

It may sound crazy but I have been working on crocheted octopus this weekend.  I have a baby shower to go to and I decided to make one as part of a gift.  I usually bring a hat I have made.  A hat is a simple thing but actually is shown to increase mortality rates in babies.  It has everything to do with small babies do not regulate their temperatures well.  

Recently, it has become apparent that crocheted octopus calm babies.  Especially newborns.  Then tentacles feel like the umbilical cord.  It is especially true with premies.  They do not pull out all the cords and tubes they are attached to if they have an octopus near.

This green octopus and hat are going with me to a friend's baby shower this weekend.  I do not dread my friend or the giving of gifts.  The shower has on the other hand.  I do not enjoy parties like this so it will be interesting.  I can always come home for a cup of tea and hide in a book afterwards!

I stuffed both of the octopus with wool.  They are machine washable and the wool heads will act like a dryer ball in the dryer.  The yarn is cotton.  Wool is antibacterial so life is good.

I made the yellow one for Koda Bear.  I figured why not.  The green one I kind of followed a pattern.  The yellow one I did not.  I like how I made the yellow one better.  I know of one more baby that will need an octopus so that is a good thing.

Koda Bear said the green octopus for the baby did not need a face.  I liked the short person's opinion.  But he did believe the hat should be worn by the octopus.  If you pull the hat down, the octopus looks more like a squid.

 

Saturday
Aug182018

floral wool shawl

While I was making the striped shawl, I was also making this floral shawl.

I spun the brown yarn from the last of the BFL/Cormo lamb fleece that I had.  It is so soft.  It is rather large and cozy.  Another good shawl for being cozy with a cup of tea and book.  It is not as heavy at the striped shawl but I think it may be warmer.  That may be because the lamb fleece is softer.

All the variations of brown are from the fleece.

I have been enjoying embroidering flowers on wool.  So I did it here.  All the yarn is from other projects.  Mostly hand dyed from other artisans.   It makes me happy.

It is going to be for sale in my shop.  Even though I would rather keep it.  But that is part of what happens with almost of everything I make recently!

Tuesday
Aug142018

A not exciting Saturday night

I had such a not exciting Saturday night but so much me!  I have been drooling over a crochet artist on Instagram, Isa Catepillan.  I think her work is lovely and she makes me wish to up my crochet game.  I have some yarns of a lace weight that I thought:  shawl.  I am now playing with granny squares and am going to learn cables so I up my game.  Maybe make a dress?  

I am doing this by not going by any pattern.  I am going to use my favorite dress pattern as a go by and work within those constraints.  I like Isa's cable accents and I can see where they add a lot of structure.  Again, something new to learn.  Cables in crochet.  Something I have wished to learn for awhile but this is letting me take the jump.  I may have a wedding to go to next summer and if this dress is wearable I might just wear it.  It is truly about learning skills though.

Koda Bear learned a new skill this weekend.  He has been helping me sew since he was interested.  That was before he was a year old.  But on my treadle sewing machine, you have to be tall enough and strong enough to work the treadle.  When we moved the stool closer to the machine, he was big enough.  

We started off simply with him guiding fabric through the machine.  Can he make the stitching go where he wishes it to?  Can he control his hands and feet at the same time?  He did a very good job.  Then my Beloved said he needed a sleeve for his paint ball marker hoses.  The two of them found fabric, measured, and cut.  I pinned the sleeve together and Koda Bear sewed.  Koda Bear still has problems with the initial pinning.  It is a dexterity thing.

Then the sleeve was done.  Koda Bear did not realize that it was actually going to be used on the paint ball marker.  He was so excited and proud that something he made on my sewing machine was actually going to be used!

I am still threading the machine.  And filling the bobbins.  But the filling of the bobbins will happen soon.  Threading will get there.  So proud of Koda Bear.

Saturday
Aug112018

beer vinegar

That cookbook I was reading recently that was about Icelandic cooking?  The Chef there had this interesting vinegar he was making.  It was from beer.  He does not use pepper but he uses this.  Makes it himself.  It made me go mmmmmmm....

There is a lot of fermentation that goes on in my kitchen.  Vinegar making is one of those so I thought why not?  The worst would be that I would give it away to one of the boyos.

I poured two bottles of porter in a quart jar and covered it with muslin.  I let sit on the counter for a month.  I did have some vinegar mother so I put that in but the recipe said you did not have too.  It was one of those things I liked about the fermentation recipes in this cookbook.  They told you how to start from scratch!

A month later I had more mother grown and vinegar.

I had to strain the mother from the vinegar.  But I still have mother growing in the jar pictured at the top of the post!

The taste was not too beery.  I have been using this vinegar in place of the rice vinegar for sushi rice which we use in poke bowls (yes, I am getting there).  I already have more fermenting and wish I had started a larger jar.  But the boyos drank the extra beer.  I think I am the only one who thinks beer is extra.  Not my beverage.  But this is good vinegar and I will continue to make it.  Now I just need to figure out how to ship it across international boundaries for a baker on the east coast of Canada.  And make larger quantities.  

Bigger jars.  I need bigger jars!

 

Friday
Aug102018

stripes

I have had an interesting week.  I have not been able to figure out where the time keeps going.  I also had one day where my joints were very hot and stiff.  They felt swollen.  I felt swollen.  But other indicators would have said not.  So I sat in my chair with this shawl, yarn, and hook and finished it!

I really liked how it turned out.  All the colored yarn is from the same fleece that the farmer dyed.  I spun all the yarn in this.  This is one of those times where my Dad would say the actual crocheting takes the least amount of time.  It would if I had not started it three times.  I kept having different thoughts about it.  I get laughed at on how many times I will start a project.  It is part of my process.  But in the end, I really like it.

Why do I like it?  Because there is a cozy weight to it.  I could see myself cuddling under this with a cup of tea and a book.  Especially if there was a fire place near.  I do make things I like so I admit to being very tempted to keep this.

But no, it is going into the shop.  Both here and on Etsy.

Though, if it does not sell, there will be great temptation!