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My people

The day after I made my last post, my uncle died.

It was a sudden onset of something that was serious, but should have been survivable.

So, now my close blood relations are down to three bachelor uncles in their late 50s to mid 60s.  Go watch the movie Secondhand Lions and you’ll get a flavor of these guys.  I do adore them for all their quirkiness, and I hope it’s a very long time before I have to say goodbye to another one of them.  Two deaths in less than two years has left me rather broken.

But, cracked up and all, life goes on.  I’m trying to take a lesson from this and live life like there are no guarantees because that’s exactly how it is.  Ragged and I will be heading to a local fiber festival soon.  This year, it’s not so much about the yarn as it is about the experience.  I still haven’t bought any yarn in 2014.  I know that will change with this festival (I mean, c’mon, it’s Briar Rose.), but it is more about getting to spend time with my friend (our other partner in crime is unable to attend for very, very happy reasons), see people I only get to see once or maybe twice a year, and just be among people that get me.  I can’t describe being in a crowd of people that may not be exactly like you, but at least in one way, understand you perfectly.

In this area, that’s pretty rare.

Shampoo bars - lavender, vanilla, and patchouli

Shampoo bars – lavender, vanilla, and patchouli

Yes, even more soap.  These, as you can see in the caption, are shampoo bars.  They’re made with olive, avocado, castor, and sunflower oils.  Who would have ever thought that much oil would be good for your hair?  Of course, the saponification has a lot to do with that.  This recipe was superfatted (more oil than what is required to balance the lye) at 7-8%.  That ensures a good moisturizing shampoo.

Much like some of the popular ‘no poo’ products, they do warn that a detoxifying period is necessary that may mean a few bad hair days.  Just another of the perks of working from home – it doesn’t really matter.

Today, I tackled a portion of the yarn room.  I know that I do not have anywhere near my full stash listed on Ravelry, and I know if I don’t have it listed, I really don’t have an accurate idea of just exactly what I have (other than a vague idea that there’s a ton of sock yarn).  Something that may come as a surprise is that I have not bought any yarn in 2014.  It’s not that I’m making myself not buy it, but for the most part, I’ve realized what I have is crazy.  So, I’ll use what I have because after all I was in love with it enough to buy it at the time.

The irony of trying to not buy yarn and instead buying a loom and soapmaking supplies is not lost on me.  The Universe always seeks a balance.

Moar soap!

Lemongrass grapeseed bars

This is a batch of grapeseed and other oils scented with lemongrass essential oil.  It smells just like lemon bars.  I may have to bake some actual lemon bars to avoid gnawing on these, which sadly would taste nothing like lemon bars.

Lest you think I’ve forsaken knitting in favor of all things soap, fear not!

Frillibet in Malabrigo Sock "Light of Love"

Frillibet in Malabrigo Sock “Light of Love”

Breakwater in Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in "Crystal Storm"

Breakwater in Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in “Crystal Storm”

I’ve also been watching my Craftsy class on floor loom weaving.  This week is spring break, and despite online classes not really needing to observe spring break, I’ve given us all a much deserved break.  My goal is a woven thing in the next two weeks.  Note that I didn’t give any parameters to what the woven thing might be.  The class walks through weaving pillow covers, but something tells me that won’t be my first project.  Not with all the tempting weaving drafts on Pinterest.

No, I have not been off learning cheese-making; although, how awesome would it be if I had?  Mmmm . . . cheese.

Nope – more soap!

First batch at home

 

Ramblin and I had gone in search of stuff since my order from New Directions Aromatics wasn’t scheduled to arrive until March 6.  I knew I couldn’t wait that long to make soap.   We had a very successful haul of soap-making equipment from second-hand shops in the area.  Then with a few basic ingredients, we made a batch of lavender and one of sandalwood.

Today, two days earlier than expected, I received my order.

New Directions Aromatics first order

Two soap molds, shea butter, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, vitamin E, and all kinds of good scents.  The minimum order is a bit pricey, but after comparing the price of products, it wasn’t worth it to me to place a smaller order elsewhere that would be so much cheaper as part of a bigger order from NDA.

As you can see, I’ve kind of dove into this new hobby with both feet.

Soap ingredient inventory

I can’t even explain it.  It’s almost as if I’m being carried along by an outside volition.

Carry on, Universe, carry on.

 

Slicing day

Whoops, didn’t mean to keep anyone in suspense:

bars o' soap

 

Just looking at this picture, it reminds me of cheese.  Mmmm, cheese.

Off to look up cheese-making . . .

block o' soap

Today was unmolding day.  Tomorrow will be slicing day.  Then 10 days later, it will be using day.

I wish the blog came with smell-o-vision because it smells awesome.

In my last post, it should be pretty obvious that one of these days, I’m going to have a new hobby.  Well, it may not be the only one.

I went to a soap-making class today.

The makings for soap

 

The workshop was held at The New Harmony Soap Company.  We got a quick history on soap-making and a rundown of the process, then we went into the basement and commenced the saponification.  At the end, we had a two-pound batch of sweet-smelling soap.  Mine is a lavender/vanilla/patchouli blend.

It’s the perfect mix of chemistry and creativity.   I love it.

A loom in January, a soap class in February – wonder what will March bring?

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