Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Carrot Top Pot

It did not take me too long to jump into another natural dye pot.  This go round I dug around in the veggie bin and came up with a bundle of carrot tops!

I again used 200 grams or 7 ounces of yarn.  To mordant, I simmered it for about 2 hours with 20 grams of Alum and 10 grams of Cream of Tartar.  While the yarn was set to mordant, I had the carrot tops in another crock simmering their little green tops out while in a mesh bag.

Once the yarn was finished in the mordant, it was rinsed and then added to the crock with the simmering carrot tops.  This pot was simmered for about 3-4 hours to ensure the natural dyes were well and absorbed.  This time, I did not let it sit over night.

I am very happy with this pretty little pale yellow yarn that resulted from my second attempt at natural dying.   It is much, MUCH prettier than the grey from Monday's post;)

Miss Kitty had to get a piece of the action too!  She is all about being the center of attention when we are outside.  And who can blame her.  If I were that cute, I would demand to be the center of everyone's world too!
I know you like the pretty flower, but I'm here too!!  Meow!!

I pose pretty for you too!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hot Nachos

Finally the garden has given us some hot peppers!  And drum roll please for the hottest of them all.......

The Anaheim!  Of all the things, you would think the little Jalapeno's that have finally turned a fire engine red would be the show stoppers, but NOooo!  It is the long just turning red Anaheim's.  We are very thankful to have picked them right before they turned a hotter shade of red.  These babies would be too hot to handle otherwise.

Here is how we fix our nachos. Or rather, this is how Bill showed me to fix Nachos!
From front to back.  jalapeno on the first row, banana on the second and the fire alarm  anaheim on the last two rows.

Lay nacho chips on a foiled cookie sheet.  Top each nacho with a slice of pepper and finish that off with either sliced cheddar cheese or a mexican cheese mix.  Pop in the oven at 350 degrees f.  Remove when these cheese is melted.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Natural Dye - Attempt #1

I suppose it was destined that being a dyer I would eventual be drawn to trying natural dying methods with things I can easily find.  Yesterday, was my first attempt at Natural Dying.  I'm not very pleased with the results, but I vow to give it a second and probably third and fourth go round too;)  

Early in the AM, I set black beans to soak to pull all the dye goodness out of the beans.  I've read that the bean should soak over night, but in all honesty, I found that 12 hours was enough to get all the color out of the beans.  I know this because the beans are, 24+ hours later, still soaking in the tub and are no longer leaching color.  
For the mordant, I started by following a very basic mordant recipe using 10% Alum and  5% Cream of Tartar (sometimes referred to as COT in the natural dying community) of the fiber to be dyed's weight.  The yarn I used was a light fingering weight  and I used a total of 6 ounces or 200 grams.  That means I needed 20 grams of Alum, 10 grams of COT and enough water to completely cover the wool to be mordanted.  The mix with wool simmered for 2 hours.  Directions were for 90 minutes, but I can be absent minded at times.  I want to say right now, that next time I do this, it will be either in the garage or outside as it gave the house a slightly pungent aroma.

After the mordant, the yarn was rinsed and put in the dye bath.  From there it was simmered for about 3-4 hours.  I was so darn excited as the yarn was turning a beautiful dusty blue color and I had read in the Natural Dying forums on Ravelry that if you let it sit over night there would be more color take up.  So, I left the yarn to sit over night in the dye bath.  I really wish at this point I had take a picture of the yarn.  It was beautiful!

Naturally, I ran down stairs first thing this morning to check my yarn.  As I pulled off the lid with child-like anticipation, I was greeted with grey.  Not a rich grey, not a pale grey, just grey with a bare hint of green.  Really!?!  At what point in time did my little gremin hop up on the counter top and mess with what was supposed to be a lovely blue yarn.  Grey.  

I'm a bit disappointed, but I'm not giving up on natural dying just yet.  I have some carrot tops in the fridge just begging to be thrown in the dye pot for the next go round!  Keep your fingers crossed we get a color other than grey.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair

The week end of August 20-21 found the LunabudKnits booth at the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair in Newark Ohio.  The setting was absolutely wonderful.  All of the vendors were indoors in the Reese Center on OSU's/Central Ohio Tech Campus; completely air conditioned and out of the rain!

It just wouldn't be right if our fun little handpainted Louet S17 wasn't there to say hello to everyone:)  Of course it is cushioned with a few of the art batts!

For a first year festival, there were a ton of great vendors there as well as a very good little crowd.  I had a ton of fun getting to know the customers, other vendors and playing with the Strauch Mad Batt'r as a demonstration.

It was pure joy to meet the gals from the Ohio Natural Fiber Network.  I especially had fun with the girls from That'll do Farm picking out colors, fibers and things that glitter for their first go round of art batts!  What fun!!
The tidy side of my booth.

The messy side of the booth.  One would think by now, I would have learned to hide my hot pink bins BEFORE taking the picture!

Spun and knit sample of the Baby Camel and Merino blend.

Handspun yarns.

A few of the new hand dyed colorways from left to right:  Acerbitas(dark reds), Orsus (blues and purples), Chronos(browns/grey), Thanatos(purple/black), Euryale(gold, blues, browns, touches of green, etc)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Peach Cobbler

The thought would never cross my mind to take a picture of my peach cobbler before we have eaten several extra-large chunks!  Or for that matter, as I am preparing it!

Week before last, Bill's Mom sent him home with a bit of cobbler and a bag of peaches.  The cobbler of course lasted all of 10 seconds after being pulled from the bag.  Lucky we still had the peaches for the next night to make another cobbler to satisfy our sweet tooth's again!

The recipe for those of you interested is:

1 cup of Self-rising Flour
1 cup of Milk
1 cup of Sugar
1/2 stick of butter
and 1 square glass baking dish (about 1/2 the size of the rectangular ones)
4-5 fresh peaches peeled and sliced/cubed

Pre-heat the oven to 375 f.  While the oven is pre heating, put the butter in the glass dish and put it in the oven to heat too.  

Sift together flour & sugar.  Add milk, mixing well with a whisk.  

When oven is completely preheated and butter is starting to bubble a little, take the dish out of the oven.  Please be mindful of not spilling the scalding hot butter when removing the dish.  

Pour the batter into the center of the dish.  Drop in peach pieces until you know you can fit (cram) no more.

Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes.  The cobbler is ready when the top is a golden brown.

Great thing about this recipe, you can substitute other fresh fruits such as, black berries, blue berries, raspberries, etc.  Why not go a little wild and mix a few berries for a taste of the wild side.  Some folks like to mix the berries with sugar before mixing them in for added sweetness.  I like to pretend I am being a wee bit healthy by not 'over sugaring' the sweets! ha!

PS:  There is absolutely nothing healthy about this desert.  It is lip smacking sugary goodness. And so darn easy to boot!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

A pepper a day

A pepper a day keeps us pretty darn happy.  This year we have one plant each of the following peppers:  Anaheim, Banana, Bell, Cubanelle, and Habanero.  Almost every evening, you can find us filling an aluminum covered baking sheet with tortilla chips, sliced peppers and various cheeses.  Sometimes we feel a little sweet and use the Cubanelle.  Sometimes, we are in the mood for a little something hot and use the Anaheim.

Note to readers.  Our Anaheims are not red hot yet, so we spend a dollar at the roadside stand to buy 3 or 4 that last us through the week.  The Habanero's are not ripe yet either but we are eagerly waiting to see a spot of red!  We can barely wait until our hotties are red-hot-n-ready;)

Anaheim Pepper

Banana Peppers

Bell Peppers

Cubanelle Peppers

Habenero Pepper

Friday, August 05, 2011

Garden News....

Monkey Grass
My oh my how my garden doth grow!    I have quite a few plants that I still need to take pictures of like the peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and head lettuce which is starting to seed out.  It sure has been a fun little garden this year.

Of course, it would not be Kentucky with out quite a bit of hot muggy weather.  The heat index has been well over 100 deg f. for several weeks now.  All I have to say about that is, 'Thank Goodness I don't live in Nashville anymore!'. I can only imagine how hot they have it!  I loved it in the winter, but summers there were brutal!  We did have a few nights where it cooled down enough we could sit on the deck at midnight and have a cuddle session with Miss Kitty, so it's not all bad!

I really need to get a few snap shots of the crazy sweet potatoes I planted by the tomatoes!  They are insane and I can't wait to eat them up this fall!!!  And I really need to remember in the mornings when I go to check on the tomatoes and peppers to bring my camera to snap a few shots of the Brandywines, Good Reds & Mystery tomatoes before I pick them;)

Basil has since been topped.

Hope we have cauliflower real soon!

Pretty in pink Dianthus

Young Grasshopper munching on my Monkey Grass.

Lettuce & Spinach about to go to head.

Miss Kitty enjoying my lap on an abnormally cool evening:)

close up of the Monkey Grass Blossoms

Did I mention I have a new truck!?!  How exciting is this!  The tundra was going on 11 years old and was in need of a few repairs.  My Dad surprised me with a 2007 Ford F150!  Do I have the best Dad in the world or what!?!

Other Fun Facts..................

I taught myself to knit by watching a woman while on a flight from Scotland to the USA in 1996.

I taught myself how to spin yarn Feb 15th, 2007. I think I've done fairly well:)

'Lunabud' is a combination of two dogs' names I was loved by, Buddy and Luna:)