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.


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."

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.
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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: or my website at: or my Etsy shop at:

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.

Update:  The soap cured fine, except there were a few hairline cracks, mostly toward the bottom of the soap.  Other than that, drastically messing up on the water did not hurt the soap.

I hope your week is going well!  Dawnie

PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: or my website at: or my Etsy shop at:

 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.

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!

I recently made a washcloth/dishcloth in a basket weave pattern.

What have you made lately??? 
Have a great week!
PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: or my website at: or my Etsy shop at:
Thanks for viewing!  Dawnie