Tuesday, May 29, 2012

mmmm, peanut butter

Since work is slim today, I decided to try out a new recipe for dog biscuits. Reilly's always a willing taste-tester though he's probably not really the best judge since he'll eat just about anything. lol

I used the peanut butter dog treat recipe from Chloe's Kitchen. With only four ingredients (whole wheat flour, water, molasses and peanut butter), it couldn't be quicker or easier. The most time-consuming part is cutting them out.

They are definitely Reilly-approved!
patiently waiting

"Stay" only last so long when homemade peanut butter biscuits are involved!
not so patient

This has quickly become one of my favorite cookbooks and I'm so glad I splurged on it!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I dyed up another small hank of yarn to try out a new technique. This time, I used neon liquid food coloring. I first dyed the 35g hank of winter white wool in what was supposed to be turquoise (according to the box), but the wool took up much more of the green than the blue even though there was very little green added. lol Once this was dyed and rinsed, I wound the hank into a ball and mixed added it to a bowl of dark purple. Sorry, no process pics this time.

The result:

I'm loving the mix of colors! The 2nd color is mostly taken up on the outer layers of the wound ball and in lesser degrees as you move inward. I did squeeze the ball a few times to help the purple soak in a bit further. I definitely plan to try this again in the future!
Any suggestions for 35g of a worsted weight wool in a gradient?
gradient cake

Sunday, May 13, 2012

stash reorganization

A couple weeks ago, I decided the stash needed a good toss (and a serious culling). My intention for awhile now has been to get my stash down to just what would fit into my vintage steamer trunk. This is what I started with:
old stash
Lots of plastic bins full of yarn!

This is where it ended up:
new stash home =)
The bag is sock yarn. Sock yarn doesn't count, right? lol

Wanna see inside? The bottom layer is all wool and wool blends, mostly in sweater quantities:
bottom layer - sweater quantities

The next layer is smaller amounts of wool, alpaca and a bit of cashmere, surrounded by smaller bags of linen, cotton and bamboo:
2nd layer - alpaca, wool, cashmere

Then, I filled out the top with more cotton and linen and sock yarn in larger quantities:
3rd layer - linen, cotton and sock yarn

The top tray now holds my needles, hooks, a styrofoam head for blocking hats, purse handles, my ball winder and some cotton blends perfect for baby items:
tray - soft cottons, needles, hooks, ball winder, etc
Sadly, my swift is about an inch too long to fit in the trunk in the tray. I might have someone cut it down jsut a bit though so it will. I love having it all in one spot like this. =) As I work on a design for a tiny house, I'm keeping this trunk in mind. I'll have to work it in somehow.

I've sold a good chunk of the yarn I culled, but still have some to go. I don't mind holding on to some of the wools since I can overdye some and use those, but most of the acrylics are going one way or another. If they don't sell soon, I'll be donating those. I have nothing against acrylic, I just don't really enjoy using most of them and I have too much great yarn to waste space on the cheap stuff. =)

Friday, May 11, 2012

adventures in striping

Thanks to a break in work - I had work, but we were not allowed to work, waiting for possible changes to the rules that never actually changed. Yeah, thanks boss for costing me a whole day of work. :-/ This waste left me with free time on my hands yesterday and this morning so I pulled out a skein of winter white Patons wool and got to work with a plan to make some self-striping yarn. =)

What I stated with:
boring winter white skein of wool

I pulled out my swift and started wrapping:
set up for self-striping!
I used roughly a 10-yd repeat for this one for thicker stripes. I'm thinking of making a cowl with this.

Getting the colors together:
teal - 4 pkg berry blue, 1 pkg lemon lime and about 1/2 pkg grape

brown - 2 pkg lemonade, 1 pkg orange, 1 pkg grape and I added about 1/4 tsp brown Wilton's icing paste to darken the brown

After about an hr in plain water, the divided skein went into the color and into the microwave:
getting nuked

Nearly clear water took 4 2-minute stints in the microwave:
when you know you're done

teal/brown self-striping!

After I had the skein rinsed and hung to dry, I still had time on my hands... and more yarn! So I set up for a 3-stripe skein:
setting up for 3 stripes
Really glad I got this type of swift - no need to build a separate board to do this! =)

I went more basic with the colors on this one:
mixing the Kool Aid

Super simple!
in the dye headed for the microwave

And very spring-y!
purple/blue/gree self-striping!
This one was about a 6-yd repeat. I'm thinking socks. =)

Next, I'll have to do a gradient...