Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The Complete Guide to Natural Dyeing: Techniques and Recipes for Dyeing Fabrics, Yarns, and Fibers at Home written by Eva Lambert and Tracy Kendall.
At first flip through I thought "This is a pretty book." I'm always skeptical when a title says it's the complete guide, though. But I've been converted. This is a book that even a non-dyer like me could use and, I think, be successful with.
As the title says, this is about using natural dyestuffs to add color to fiber and yarn and fabric. It covers everything from the basic equipment needed to collecting your own plant matter to dye with and keeping notes so that colors can be sort of repeated.
Indigo is covered as well as Ikat, Batik and Resist dyeing. There is so much packed in this book it's amazing.
I think if you are looking to try Natural Dyeing this is a great place to start. I think if you already do some natural dyeing this could be a nice addition to your library because the women who put this all together for us have decades of experience and I'm sure there are some little nuggets in there.
If you want to check this book out you can find it in the Spinning Loft online store or in the shop.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
My first birthday present arrived today. And it was a joyous occasion.
Some hand combed Mohair in my favorite colors. A couple of hand made pompoms with some green locks thrown in like cute pig tails.
And my favorite of all....a bacon bracelet with an egg button for secure wearing.
Stephanie Flynn-Sokolov is my HERO! Just sayin'
You can see a photo of here fabulousness here posing with Her Abbyness and Spinning Instructor Extraodinaire, Maggie Casey
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
He seemed to be getting better. The cough was a lot better and he was running and jumping like usual.
Monday he went to the pediatrician for his 6 year old check up. He needed 4 immunizations and it wasn't fun. They really do hurt when they shoot that medicine into your muscle.
So I took him for ice cream and said he could get whatever he wanted. Two scoops in a waffle cone was the verdict. It was as big as his head.
Then yesterday things started gettign worse again and there was lots of vomiting. Over 6 hours there were at least 12 episodes. So off I took him again to the ER. We were there for about 3 hours while he had a very much protested I.V. and some anti nausea stuff.
Today he is on the couch and there will be no playing in the snow...no matter how much he wants to tramp through the lovely smooth 8 inches of snow that happened yesterday and last night.
So before the sick yesterday I worked on moving more stuff to my new fiber room. In that plastic storage thingy will be lace and sock yarns. It is full now and I have more to add. Not sure what to do but...
This is just another view of the chaos. There is plenty of work to do. I think that wall unit will jsut be spinnign fiber. This all needs to be finished before the Sara Lamb weekend because Ryan's new room will be my old fiber room and Ryan's current room is going to be a guest room for teachers and family and friends.
After the fiber organizing there was bread making and I thought it might be fun to share my process. I'm a big preparedness girl and so have hundreds of pounds of dry goods including lots of wheat. So when making bread I usually grind my own wheat. I love my grinder. It will grind coars and fine and anything in between. For bread I like a finer ground wheat.
Here's the ground wheat. Isn't it pretty? That's about 3.5 cups in there.
I also buy my yeast in those 1 pound blocks that are vacuum sealed. One pound of yeast lasts me for about a year. When I open the package the first time I just put it all in a zip lock bag and store it in the fridge. So I proof the yeast every time before I bake. I just add the warm/hot water (3 cups) and some sugar or honey (1/4 cup) and one tablespoon of yeast to the mixing bowl and watch for bubbles and signs of life.
When i am convinced the little darlings are willing to work I add a tablespoon of salt, and 1/4 cup of oil or melted butter. Sometimes I add an egg or two, sometimes I use milk instead of water - but then I have to warm the milk. You can proof the yeast in 1 cup of warm water and then use 2 cups of milk but adding cold milk slows the rising A LOT!
Then I start to add the flour. I rarely use only whole wheat flour anymore. Generally I use 2/3 wheat I grind and 1/3 white flour (also stored in big cans in the basement). The thing is my family will eat the wheat bread if I add enough white flour to make it lighter. Using whole wheat flour only makes a much heavier bread and it needs to be kneaded a lot longer in my experience.
So I mix the dough in the mixer until it starts to climb up the bread hook and won't stay in the bowl. Then I turn it out onto the well floured counter an.d knead for about 10 minutes adding more flour as needed. When the dough no longer looks smooth and starts to have breaking places during the kneading I know I am done. I don't over add flour because I think that makes a really dry bread
I put the dough into a greased bowl - I use Pam - and grease the top and bottom sides and cover with a cloth. Rising times are variable but I wait until I think it's doubled. I have a hard time judging this but the bread's almost always good so....
So this dough was risen until it was even with the top of the bowl then I punched it down and kneaded it again for about 5 minutes. It then rests for a short time while I turn on the oven and grease the bread pans. I split the dough into 3 evenish pieces and shape them into loafs.
This dough needs one more rise and you can see why I say evenISH. I let it sit until it's about double again and bake it in a 375 oven for about 35-40 minutes.
This bread is really good and the family who won't eat store bought wheat bread will eat this.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
|Save Up to 20%||New for 2010. A Bulk Buy Program.|
So here's how it works. There are three discount levels. Purchase your discount level and spend your credit throughout the year.
Wensleydale Level - Spend $300 plus tax and get $375 worth of Fiber
Rambouillet Level - Spend $212.50 plus tax and get $250 worth of Fiber
Oxford Level - Spend $112.50 plus tax and get $125 worth of Fiber
You do not have to spend your credit right away. We will keep track for you.
All Spinning Fiber and Yarn does qualify!
This offer is not good on sale merchandise, tools or equipment.
Even if you are an Online Customer you can do this with us. Just email or call and we will ship your order right out!
Call or email if you'd like more details.
Monday, February 01, 2010
What happens is thast stuff happens and I think - Ooo that's a blog post! Then I don't do it.
So here's what I've got and it's a week old.
The naughty girls came for a class
Carla spun Wensleydale.
It was a class about how to use all the drive systems on the Schacht matchless since all the naughty girls own them. It was a fun class and I hope they learned something.
If you have a couple of friends who want to get together for a class, let me know!