Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A bath always helps...

Pretty blues and greens are my go to colors. 

Earlier this summer I picked up a lovely 4 oz ball of Peruvian merino roving in the colorway Columbine. Socks of a simple self striping nature were on my mind. Now, some people will poo poo the idea of making socks from a yarn without any added nylon. But I poo poo that thought. Socks have been lovingly knitted up for hundreds of years...well before the advent of nylon. A little extra ribbing does wonders for the stay put power of a sock yarn. 

The ball was split as evenly as possible to assure the exact same color progression and spinning commenced. 

Oooooh, I love these colors together.  The first half was spun up quickly, yielding 52 gm of fingering weight. The second half took a bit longer, but is now spun, plied and awaiting a bath. 

In the next picture, pay attention to what happens during the process of wool soak, thwacking and drying. The two skeins are the same weight. 

The skein on the right has had its bath which results in the yarn fulling and, in this case, the colors seeped and dulled out ever so subtly. While the skein on the left is fresh off the wheel and niddy noddy. 

Spinning is magic.  You start with raw fiber, add a little dye, spin a teensy single,  ply as desired then the magic is activated in its bath. It never gets dull. You never know exactly what you will get. Kinda like a box of chocolates...;) 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Krikey, I'm krafting 'kraut!

It's those little things that take you by surprise.

Things that you know exist.

Things that people have been doing for a very very long time.

But, until it is happening in your own world you sort of discount it.

So, right now, I am in awe of Mother Nature.  We have successfully grown our very own cabbages from little bitty seeds.  Yes, people do it all the time, but me and my guy have never...until now.  It is also quite a spectacular spectacle when you factor in how many tomato seedlings, eggplant seedlings (all of them), broccoli and multiple types of pepper seedlings were sacrificed to a kitty that was sure they were grown just for her.  Never mind that she puked left us a present after every snack session she took.  Never mind that if someone me had been more careful about closing the sunporch door they would not have been so tempting a treat.

Cabbages.  Lovely firm green cabbages.  Now on their second sprouting after the first harvest.

I'm not that crazy about cooked cabbage, but I do love me some coleslaw.  The one caveat with coleslaw is that I will not eat it unless it is made with my Granny's dressing recipe that lives in my head and is memory stored in my hands from making it with her.  Mr. Dearheart Hubby does not like what he calls "picnic food".  The only reasoning he can come up with for this weird ailment is that, as a young boy, he was more interested in fishing and could not be bothered to stop to eat.  So, picnic food became associated with having to stop fishing.  Boy logic.  That being said, he has tried my coleslaw and does like it/will eat it.  But there are only so many meals that you can have coleslaw with in a row.

Enter sauerkraut.  He LOVES it.  Me, not so much until a couple of years ago when I re-tried it with corned beef at his request.  Now I'm hooked.  Thus began the search for an easy recipe for homemade sauerkraut.  Where else to go but to a very good friend that is a wealth of knowledge.  She shared both a jar of her home canned sauerkraut and the recipe.

Last weekend, faced with a basketful of cabbage heads, I set to thin slicing, salting, packing and brining the first batch.  They have to sit and ferment for 3-4 weeks before the final canning process.

I am totally excited and a little bit scared (visions of exploding fermenting cabbage jars dance through my head).

Will keep you posted.


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