Thursday, August 31, 2023

Bye Bye August


Farewell August. I would be feeling pretty good about the end of summer if they hadn't just forecast 90 degree weather for next week. I guess it'll be more of the same old, same old-hiding from the heat and the humidity and trying to stay busy inside. I've got the Vuelta to watch and this fiber to spin. 

That fiber has been sitting on my shelf in a very tight little braid for a long, long time so it's going to be challenging because it's very stiff and compacted. I'm breaking it down into small sections and doing a lot of pre-drafting. 

And...look at this...I cast on another pair of socks. I've been wanting to cast on two different socks to knit on the same needle so I pulled two different Felicis. Then I realized that the first one I cast on, this one, was not Felici like at all. It was more of a gradient meaning it would be hard to matchy matchy with the second sock if I didn't knit them both at the same time. So I did. I'll have to try again later with that two different socks at a time thing. 

As for that messy soap I poured the day's not so bad. It doesn't look like Earth Meets Sky. It looks like Earth Meets Water. I thought it might look like The Upsidesdown so I'll take it as a win. 

Right now I've got some Honeycrisp cooking in the incubator. It's the last of the fall scents but I'm not ready to stop making soap. I've just got my groove back. I'll have to go dig through the scent stash and see what I can come up with. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Where Earth Meets Sky


The All Soul's Night soap came out pretty darn good. I was hoping it would. 

High on that success, I got in over my head with the next batch. It's a fragrance called Earth Meets Sky and I thought I would do some clay layers with some blue at the top. I thought if I poured the blue at the back of the pitcher it would go in last. It didn't. 

It looks pretty calm on the surface but I am sure it's a big mess under there. We'll see tomorrow. 

And...I lied to myself when I said I was over sock knitting for a while. I'm so used to having something to work on when we take the dog for a walk so I cast on these navy striped Pairfects. They are for me. I made the black and green version last year for myself and love them. 

I was out with the dog, down by the bay and knitting on those socks when I got a frantic call from Daughter yesterday. She and SIL were at the National Zoo yesterday morning when they were evacuated. They were put out on the road and told to get as far away from the zoo as possible. They didn't know if it was a mass shooting or the bomb threat it turned out to be. They just ran. 

They weren't allowed to get their car so they had to ride the Metro all the way back into MD to the MIL's stop where she picked them up and took them home. SIL then had to ride the Metro all the way back to the zoo and wait for the all clear so he could get his car out of the parking lot. I've sat through many a bomb threat at my old school and I know how miserable and scary they are. I hope they catch the fool who did it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Barbie's Dream House


No Tiny Needle Anything for me this week but my Barbie Dream House dyed BFL is done. I've been spinning while watching the Vuelta and holy's nothing like the Tour. Disorganized is putting it mildly. 

And look at that....nothing bled out of it when it got a soak. I'm not the best dyer in the world so this was a big surprise considering how many colors I used. 

I still have a lot of that neon fiber left. 

I've also got a lot of the blue/green BFL I spun during the Tour. I'm thinking I'm going to run them all through the carder day. 

Right now I'd rather be spinning something more fallish. This mystery fiber oughta do it. I know who dyed it but I don't have a clue to what it is. The card doesn't say.

Speaking of fall....I just put some All Soul's Night in the mold. It smells like Halloween to me. Very patchouli of which I'm a big fan. It reminds me of being a teen in the 60's. We all had those solid scent compacts of sandalwood and patchouli in our woven shoulder bags from India. I hope this stuff looks as pretty cut as it did going in the incubator. Fingers crossed. 

Monday, August 28, 2023

Three Finishes


My Summer of Soccer Sox are officially finished. I didn't get them done before the World Cup awards ceremony but I did beat Labor Day. 

I've managed to add all these to the gift box this year but I think I may have already saturated the gift sock market. Soon I'll have to be handing out socks to perfect strangers. 

My newest sock yarn arrivals didn't make it into the sock stash. They are in overflow. They'll have to be cast on next when the mood strikes me. Right now I've got a bad case of the end of summer doldrums. I need a jolt of cool air to wake me up.

I'd rather be playing with soap than playing with wool in this humidity. Meet Wood Oudh. All these fall fragrances are making me long for a change of season but Mother Nature seems to have other ideas. 

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Changing Course


I finally finished my latest puzzle so the dining room table was up for grabs. 

I thought I would sandwich The Big Ugly quilt but I couldn't find enough of anything to back it with. I wanted it to be scrappy but it got ridiculous. So ridiculous that after dragging it all out and working on it for a few hours I put it all away and ordered some big backing material. I was worried that if the underside had a lot of seams The Mister would complain about it. I asked him in general what he thought and that's what he said. He still doesn't know this quilt is supposed to be for him. 

While I am waiting for that material to show up I've got the Vuelta a Espana to keep me busy. It started yesterday so it gave me a good excuse to start getting those Barbie Dream House singles plied while I watch the riders take a bike tour through Spain for a change. 

And...that botched Pumpkin batch came out really pretty. I was afraid that without the sodium lactate (liquid salt) it wouldn't get hard enough to unmold but it came out just fine. It's going to be interesting comparing this batch to a regular batch to see if all that fancy stuff I put in it really matters after all. I'm thinking it just might not. 

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Three Strikes


My second attempt at making soap in my new space seemed to work out better than the first time but I'm still working out the bugs. 

This one was my favorite Oatmeal, Milk and Honey loaf.

When I took it out of the mold it looked very promising. 

But when I cut into it I was shocked, shocked I tell you at that brown that all the swirls are swimming in. That's the natural color of the batter with no mica or whitener and I've never seen that particular vivid shade of beige before. Like yesterday's Plain Old Goat soap it had a yellowish/gold tint that's weird. Just weird. Sigh.

Oh,'s just soap and I've got plenty of supplies so I launched into another batch right away. It's Pumpkin and it smelled heavenly. I thought everything was going well until I went to put the finished loaf into the incubator. 

That's when I noticed I had never added the little container of additives that I mix together to give the soap a bit of oomph. It was still sitting there. It's the salt that hardens it, the milk that makes it creamy, the honey that makes it bubbly and the clay that gives it slip. Darn. Just darn. It's not a completely ruined loaf but it's not what this great fragrance deserves. I know it always takes a few loaves to get my mojo back but this is getting ridiculous. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

Maiden Voyage


I finally have everything I need to make some fall and winter soap so I gave it a go in my new digs. It was awkward. It's going to take me a while to get used to where everything is and to make the space comfortable to work in. 

I always start with something simple. This is some Plain Ole Goat soap, no color, no fragrance, nothing fancy about it. 

It turned a buttery yellow most likely because I added some buttermilk and yogurt along with the goat's milk to it. It developed some glycerin rivers even though I forgot to add the honey and didn't add any heat to the incubator. Heat from sugar or outside sources usually cause this so I'm scratching my head wondering about it. I also forgot to add the superfat so it won't be a very conditioning soap. Oh, well... the good news is I can try again tomorrow...and so on and so on until I get it right. 

Thursday, August 24, 2023



Doored that rhymes with bored. For the past two days all I've done is watch The Mister in an epic battle with some new closet doors. We started this project before his hip surgery and gave up but now with the knee surgery looming he's all gung ho to get it done. Nothing we did got those doors to work in the space so now we have to remove the molding and move it back. Easier said than done since he tripped and fell over the miter saw a while back breaking it. Since we've got to get a new saw and some molding I get a break and then it'll be back to watching The Mister carrying on again. He always needs an audience. Until then he's boring me to death with all the online miter saw shopping.  Good times. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Pucker Up


The fall batik thing is finally done and I have regrets. 

I like everything about it, the fabric, the backing, the contrast sashing....

...the pieced binding but.....

...I wish I had taken the time to change the thread color on the darker fabric. It puckered up nicely after washing but my wonky machine quilting still stands out too much on the darker places especially in the pieced sashing parts. Thankfully all the center blocks don't look too bad. I don't think I want to pick it all out and do it over never know. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday


I said I was going to pack this up for the season after I finished the left hand side of blocks but I changed my mind. Since summer goes on forever around here I'm going to finish up the last of the center blocks instead. I'll save the outer borders for next summer-unless this summer decides to stick around. Looking at the temperatures around the country, I'm not so sure it won't.

The second tree is finished on The Matter's House. 

What I spent the most time on this week was the pieced binding on the fall quilt. One more side to go. 

Monday, August 21, 2023

A New Leaf


It's not exactly new. It's been stored in the downstairs while The Mister recuperated from his hip surgery.  He needed to be able to get around the room with his walker. He's not using his walker anymore and I needed to put it back in. I have a job to do. 

I bought this huge dining room table for one reason and one reason alone. To lay out quilts for sandwiching. I can't do the crawling on the floor thing anymore. I suppose I actually physically can but I won't. The Mister hates this table. It's too big for the space. That's a fact. I most likely will be taking that leaf back out again in October because his knee replacement is set for the 19th. I'd like to get The Big Ugly finished by then if I can. I can't watch him wrap himself in his pitiful little blankies again. I bought him lots of new duvets and blankets before his last surgery and he hated them all. Maybe he'll like The Big Ugly, maybe not. I've never seen anyone so picky about blankets in all my life. 

Before I do any of that, I need to get my puzzle finished first so I can get it off the table. I've been too tired at night to work on it after getting up at 4 am to watch the World Cup. Now that it's officially over (sorry, Lionesses) maybe I can start keeping my eyes open after dinner again. 

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Odds and Ends


Most days I manage to do something that is worthy of posting about but yesterday was one of those days where nothing went off as planned. I did get my butters and other hard oils measured out for soap but then realized I did not have the amount of base oils I needed so I'll have to wait for them to get delivered before I go any further. 

I thought I could just use that space to do some print making while I wait with this new acrylic kit I just bought but no....The Mister had other plans. We had a dog to walk and then another fan to put up. That led to piling the car up and a trip to the dump to get rid of the old fans. No fun there. 

I did manage to set the fall quilt up into my little spinning corner of the living room in hopes of finding some time to get that binding done. Maybe today. 

Saturday, August 19, 2023

The Summer of Soccer Sox


This is it. The game this morning for third place and the final game tomorrow at 6 am will be the end of my summer of soccer. I've got a lot to show for it knitting wise. All three pair are past the heel and well onto the foot. 

Even the two at a timers were able to keep up. I'm debating whether I am going to continue round robining them or just dedicate myself to completing one pair at a time. 

The Big Gray Blob has also reached a milestone. I've got both sleeves at the same place now. Now I've got some hard decisions to make measurement-wise before I start any of the ribbing.