Monday, November 29, 2010

pixies and fairs

newborn pixie and solstice sweater
i finished up that baby sweater i've been showing off! (ravelry link here, and lots more ravelry links to follow). and i will show you a finer picture of it modeled in not too long. in the meantime, i also knit this little newborn pixie hat, modeled by the rocking horse.
golden pixie hood
this reminded me that i wanted to knit colden that stella pixie hat. but even more, i remembered all of waldorf mama's gorgeous gnomey hats. i love this even more - it is a scarf and hat in one. plus, it is easy for him to put on himself, with no ties to mess with. the pattern was not too far off the newborn version i just made. i used blue sky alpaca's silk/alpaca blend, which was a dream. it is perfectly soft for a child and such a close fitting hat. it is terribly cute with the knit hoodie.
otter and decaf
i had a wonderful time at the craft fair, and sold two of everything, just about. isn't that funny? i also made (and sold) a last minute otter. i've made another one of those and i'm crafting away for the upcoming cedarwood faire this weekend. saturday, december 4th, 10 am - 4 pm, cedarwood waldorf school 3030 sw 2nd avenue, portland oregon 97201.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

cinnamon bread

cinnamon bread
my gramma and my mom are big bakers. this isn't a thanksgiving recipe per se, but if my gramma was in town for thanksgiving, this bread would probably be there too. my grandmother copied her favorite recipes into a small binder as a gift to me for my wedding. well, her favorites, and her mother's and my mother's, so a whole traditional little cookbook.

gramma's original
cinnamon bread

1/2 c. oil
2 c. sugar
2 eggs + 1 yolk
2 c. buttermilk
2 tsp. soda
4c. flour

mix in separate small bowl:
3/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

blend first six ingredients. divide batter between two loaf pans. sprinkle generous sugar mixture over batter. cut in with a knife. if you run out of sugar mixture, make more.

bake at 350, 50 minutes

1/2 c. coconut oil
3/4 c. honey
1/2 c. sucanat
3 eggs
1 banana
1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tsp. soda*
4 c. flour mix**

3 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sucanat

(i baked for closer to 80 min, but my oven runs a little cool i think.)

*i used extra soda because of the honey, i've read you should use 1 tsp. extra per cup of honey.
**we've been mixing an 'all-purpose' blend according to shauna's instructions here that say to make a blend of 60:40 - starch:whole grains, by weight. i used a mix of tapioca, arrowroot, and corn starch for starches. plus some white rice flour. then i used an equal mix of sorghum and brown rice flour for the 'grain portion'. then i used 20 oz. of this mixture (@ 5 oz./cup flour). i hope that makes sense! you can just as easily substitute your favorite blend.

Friday, November 19, 2010

a little craft fairing

first little craft fair
i almost literally have six of each: mice, mistletoe, jingle balls, gnomes and trees. okay, seven on those last two. i'm scootching in on some table space of a friend tomorrow at the village school craft fair from 10-3 (7654 n. delaware avenue for locals!). i'll put my etsy shop on vacation mode while i'm there and those four little birds will come along too. maybe i'll even have six by this evening.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

zippers and woolly worms

zipper bag
after i asked about wool sources in portland, i got a lovely e-mail suggesting i check out the mill end store annex. they didn't have any wool, but they are located very close to the pendleton woolen mill store. now this, this was literally a kid in a candy store scenario. they had a huge rolling bin full of zippers for $1/bag! colden played in the bin and helped me pick out some good ones.
like, a hundred good ones. i inquired about wool for stuffing and they brought out some tufted, cloud-like, gorgeous wool for $3/oz. (yipes!). i balked at the price, and was led to their favorite stuffing material: woolly worms. 50 cents/lb. i bought almost 5 pounds.
woolly worms
colden didn't play in that bin, but i did! as you may have guessed from seeing my last post, these woolly worms were not destined for stuffing. something took hold of me, and i had to crochet them immediately. and now we have the perfect rug for in front of the sink! so, i guess i have to go back to the pendleton store for more! oh, twist my arm!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

yarn along - crochet

yarn along - crochet
i hope to share more about this project later, maybe even tomorrow! but for today, i wanted to make sure i actually joined in the yarn along properly!

Monday, November 15, 2010

naturally dyed playsilks and a woolly gnome

naturally dyed playsilks
i've been wanting to make my own naturally dyed playsilks for a long while, and i finally seized the moment this weekend! marc helped me too, and he took these play silk photos. i used alum as a mordant and weighed the five playsilks i bought, plus some felted wool balls for another project. it was around 8 oz., so i used 2 oz. of alum (i read here to use a 25% ratio). after dissolving in hot water, i put my materials in the pot and left it to soak overnight. for the dyes, marc helped, and we didn't keep track of measurements. the dyestuffs simmered for probably around half an hour each, and then the silks soaked in the pots for a long while too. from left to right in the above photo are: beet (homegrown), onion skins (collected from many months of eating), marigold (homegrown), turmeric (purchased), and oregon grape berry (harvested this summer and frozen). i put them in these jars of vinegar to soak overnight.
naturally dyed playsilks on the line
i just love how they turned out! left to right: oregon grape berries, beet, onion skins, turmeric, and marigold. i am very excited to get our indigo pot going again and try some overdying for blue + yellow = green combinations! (it's probably not a huge deal, but indigo isn't really suited to pregnancy, and since our pot fizzled, we're just waiting til later to get one going again.)
woolly finger puppet gnome
so, what became of those felted balls you ask? a light dip in the beet dye juices, and some recycled sweater adornment, plus a little beard. this little guy is a finger puppet...
standing woolly gnome
and he can stand on his own too! more of these to come! our handmade holidays are underway! what are you working on?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

belated yarn along

yarn along - baby sweater
almost finished with the baby sweater! nothing like a yarn along, to keep me at it! of course the finishing always takes the longest...

p.s. a very big thank you to amy of magpie patterns for the giveaway of handmade home!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

pricing rainbows

still sewing away, and finishing all sorts of little projects. i'm excited about selling some of my crafts at the annual winter faire held at cedarwood. just one hurdle. pricing.

rainbow ball
here are some formulas i've seen lately:


Cost Price (Labor + Materials Cost) x 2 = Your Wholesale Price

Wholesale Price x 2 = Retail Price

rainbow jingle balls

i timed myself making these rainbow jingle ball and it took 40 minutes per ball. using $12.75 as an hourly wage based on the guidelines for trillium artisans, i'd charge $8.50 for labor. then, i used .50 worth of yarn (but i guess i didn't include the cost of jingles or wool - maybe another .50?). so, for just labor + materials, the ball would be $9.50. that's without, um, "overhead" and "profit". one of these formulas suggests my wholesale price should be $19.00. or the other, perhaps $38.00 "retail"? i can't see anyone paying that much for a jingle ball! i'd love outside input, if you have any thoughts. they'll be in my etsy shop and on my craft show table, as soon as i can figure out what to charge.

Friday, November 5, 2010

currently sewing

sewing - an otter and trees
i've been sewing this week - here's a peek: trees and an otter.
here's a closer look at a couple finished trees. i blanket-stitched the bottoms on, after stuffing them with wool scrap. i think these would be adorable perched on little 'trunk' building blocks to create a forest playscape.
i've promised to make colden a stuffed friend, and he has requested a fox. i'm still working on that one. but i got the sudden inspiration for an otter.
otter with parts
here you can see his legs a bit better. now i just need to find a good source for cheap wool or cotton stuffing. any ideas?

p.s. some pages changes for those of you on readers: i added a list of links i've recently starred in my google reader in the sidebar. and i've added some bird ornaments to my etsy shop, also seen on the sidebar.