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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Zwartble Sheep

The one on the left is 4" tall.

Years ago I purchased some black raw Zwartble fleece.  It was pretty clean, but it had a strong sheep smell.  I spin a little with the wool, but I still have quite a bit left.  If you are unfamiliar with this breed, it would be normal.  The breed is not normally raised in Kansas.   Zwartble sheep originated in Holland.  It was considered to be a rare breed and has been slowly introduced into other countries.


"About The Breed

The Zwartbles name means Black with a White Blaze. A very noble yet elegant black sheep with a distinctive white blaze from poll to surround the muzzle, two to four white socks up to but not beyond the knees or hocks and undocked tails with a white tip. Like a short horn cow these sheep serve the dual purpose for meat and milk but have the addtion of a very fine thick fleece with plenty of crimp.

Wool

Zwartbles fleece is medium to fine with excellant crimp along the length of fibre. It's dense black to chocolate brown with sunbleached tips. There can be fine silver hairs dispersed throughout the wool which gives a lustre appearance but it is not a lustre fleece. Older ewes have white hairs on their quarters but this is not kemp."

http://zwartblesireland.com/zwartbles/


I spun some of this fleece.  I spin thin, so there will not be lumps in the yarn.  It is just easier for me to spin thin with most fleece. I made the two tiny hats above.  They are for decorating packages at Christmas.  I wanted to make small items to use the Zwartble yarn.  I plied the Zwartble with variegated blue, white, and red which happened to be on the spool.  The hat looks like I tried to make stripes on it, but it was accidental.

How was your weekend?  We had a little family time.  You have got to hold them now because they grow up fast!  Dawnie

Blue eyes and red hair?

Grand-baby #2.
PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: https://www.slipperywhenwetsoaps.com or my website at: https://www.custercottage.com or my Etsy shop at:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CusterCottage


Sunday, November 13, 2016

No pink?

What a beautiful fall weekend we have experienced.  I hope you were able to go out and enjoy it.  I made soap this past week and I planned to enter it in the Great Cakes Soap Works Making Contest.  They were making cyclone swirl soap.  This is basically made by placing various colors into a pitcher and pouring it into the mold.  Sometimes it helps the effect if you shake your hand while pouring the soap into the mold.  I tried this and it was fantastic!!!  Then Stupidity Set In.  I covered the top with plastic, which stuck and as I pulled it off, it took away the design.  Here is the design left after I messed up the top and after the cut and the soap set up:


I experimented with this to see what it looked like if I took a thin layer off the top of the soap.  The cyclone effect was there. 
 I sliced off a couple edges that were not perfect.  Aren't these ends pretty?
With the extra soap batter I made a re-batch soap type.  I add little shredded pieces of soap that I have from previous batches of soaps.  This is ugly pieces, end pieces, and edges from trimming, etc.  I mix these pieces into the batter real well, then I can add and additional colors or fragrance.  In this case, I left the fragrance as an Irish Spring copy.  It smells heavenly in the house with a predominant lavender fragrance.  I used the left over colors from the cyclone soap experiment and swirled them in.  If you add the shreds after you place the soap into the mold, gaps can form around the edges.  It only makes the soap less attractive, but it is still good soap.  Even when you mix the shreds in well, you can get gaps or holes in the soap. 
The front two are examples of gaps at the edges.

I put pink in most everything I make.  There are probably some pink shreds, but I didn't make pink soap.

PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: https://www.slipperywhenwetsoaps.com or my website at: https://www.custercottage.com or my Etsy shop at:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CusterCottage

Enjoy your week!!!  Dawnie 

Annie modeling a newly made scarf.  I enhanced the lips.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Honey Soap


I made a larger batch of honey soap.  I have a wholesale order.  After the soap was made and I sat down to make sure everything was recorded, I realized that I seriously misread the water required for the soap.  I put in way too little water.  Everything came together as it should have and nothing in the batter indicated I had made a mistake.  

After a few hours, the soap was harder, but not hard enough to get out of the mold.  I will leave them on the counter to set up as I go to work.  I am so curious about what will happen.  My original expectation was that they would set up very quickly and be too hard.  That didn't happen.


I bought small amounts of two fabrics with bees on them.  One is mostly yellow, gold, and black.  The other one is aqua with white/black/gold bees, along with silver scribbles in the background.  I want to place one of these pieces of fabric behind the soap for display and for photographing the soap.  I can't make up my mind which fabric I like best, but today it is aqua.  LOL


I also purchased yellow sacks, yellow and white baker's twine to tie around the sacks containing the soap, and a bee stamp on a heart honeycomb background.  I will stamp the sacks with black ink.  Since this is a wholesale order, I need to keep the wrapping cost low, but I can't wrap the soap in my usual manner.



The soap has honey, colloidal oats, kaolin clay, shea butter, sunflower oil, coconut oil, tallow, turmeric.... I added the turmeric for a little color since the soap will probably turn brownish from the use of honey.  Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey is the fragrance.  It is a mellow sweet smell that most men and women alike will enjoy. 

I didn't notice a difference in the soap due to the lack of water I should have used.  I think it will harden faster than other soap with the full water amounts used.

I hope your week is going well!  Dawnie

PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: https://www.slipperywhenwetsoaps.com or my website at: https://www.custercottage.com or my Etsy shop at:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CusterCottage
 
 Me a couple of years ago.

 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

New Stitches

I decided to learn new crochet stitches and patterns.  I will make smaller items such as dishcloths/washcloths using these new stitches.  One of the new stitches is the strawberry stitch.  I only placed one row of the strawberry stitches in this dishcloth/washcloth, but I think it sets it off very well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8lk8olVpck&t=79s



I also tried a type of a puff stitch.  It was a pain in the hiny and took a long time for me to complete the dishcloth/washcloth.  I edged it with an different type of edging called a block edging.
After I finished it, I washed it since the color was light and it looked a little more dull in color than it was when I started making the washcloth.  After it was almost dry, I realized that I made a mistake and added one too many stitches on one of the blocks.  Re-do time!
https://www.knitpicks.com/patterns/Citrine_Washcloth__D55562220.html
https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/08/5-crochet-edges-you-should-know/

I recently made a washcloth/dishcloth in a basket weave pattern.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_js6Ysmr-_Y

What have you made lately??? 
Have a great week!
 
PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: https://www.slipperywhenwetsoaps.com or my website at: https://www.custercottage.com or my Etsy shop at:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CusterCottage
 
Thanks for viewing!  Dawnie

Friday, October 28, 2016

Gift Sets

Waffle weave stitch washcloth/dishcloth.

Gift Sets---You may wish to put together could include a petticoat dishcloth/washcloth and a bar of soap in matching colors.





Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fall Festival



 This last weekend I was a vendor at the Haysville Fall Festival. Haysville is a suburb of Wichita.  It was a free event for anyone who wished to attend, unless you were a vendor.  Vendors paid $50.00 per space.  The event was outdoors in a large park.  The park is lovely.  Any resident of Haysville should be proud of the size and cleanliness of the park.  During the event, Live music was performed off and on, there was horse back riding, a carnival, various food vendors, a car show, etc.  Everything was well organized and planned out.  I took my big pink tent (My son dubbed it, "The Pink Panther").  It took me several hours to prepare for the event.  I only sold $16.00 in craft items., so I didn't even recoup my festival space payment.  I have participated in several events in the past; however, I have spent more time with family as of late (grand-babies), so it has been a couple of years since my last event.  I took a spinning wheel and demonstrated spinning yarn for the better part of a day and a half.  I was told many, many times that it was a dying art.  I was thanked many times for continuing this heritage craft, for demonstrating the craft,  and how lovely my work is.  I would guesstimate that 100 or more people entered my tent to observe and ask questions.  At least 100 more observers stood outside the tent and watched.  Along with those observers, many others walked slowly by and nudged fellow attendees to make sure they knew I was spinning.  In Kansas, we don't raise many sheep.  It is not unusual for someone to go his or her whole life without actually viewing anyone spinning, except in fairy tales and on TV.  I don't mind demonstrating my dying art, (spinning) but shouldn't someone support the arts before they dye out???  I have learned from this weekend Festival that free to attend festivals with many events will not attract someone to purchase like a craft fair or women's fair which will cost a few bucks admission and purchasing hand made items is the expectation of the people who attend the event.  If you want to view someone demonstrating a lost art, don't just tell him or her that they do good work.  Put your money where your mouth is please.  I guess I need a tip jar.  LOL   Am I disgruntled about not making any money--- maybe, but I think I am more tired than anything.  The items I had for sale were:  hand-spun yarn, items made from the hand-spun yarn and purchased yarn, pot holders, hotpads, trivets, hats, tea cozies, dishcloths, wash cloths baby bonnets, baby hats, baby bibs, and hand made soaps.

What else I learned:   I was making string on a Spinning Jenny and  Cashmere wool comes from Alaskan dogs. It is amazing what people think.  I was actually spinning on a Castle Spinning Wheel making yarn from wool.  Cashmere Wool comes from Cashmere Goats.

I am attaching a few pictures.  Have a great week!  Dawnie




My visiting model.  Ashley

 

PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: https://www.slipperywhenwetsoaps.com or my website at: https://www.custercottage.com or my Etsy shop at:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CusterCottage


 
PS  Someone stole my silver nuts hanging off the back of my car while it was parked at the festival.  While do people steal things???  Shame on them!!!  These were a gift to me.
Just for grins and giggles:
Yang after his bath.  Caption?  Check out that tongue.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

This Week

Child Hat



Sunflower Pot Holder/Hot Pad/Trivet --- aside for the button it is made from all cotton yarn.



Mammy Hot Pad/Trivet/Pot Holder---Aside from the buttons, it is made from cotton yarn.

Do not be offended by this hot pad.  It is a similar duplicate of one from the 50's.  My sister-in-law had a collection in her kitchen years ago.  I loved them.  Mostly due to the vibrant red next to the white and black back ground.  These are made as part of our American Heritage or Americana.  They are not to poke fun of or belittle any race.
Doll Hot Pad/Pot Holder Trivet---aside for the buttons, it is made with 100% cotton yarn. 






PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: https://www.slipperywhenwetsoaps.com or my website at: https://www.custercottage.com or my Etsy shop at:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CusterCottage
Thanks for viewing!  Dawnie