Thursday, October 28, 2010


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Today some of my silkworm eggs have finally hatched! I have about 20 little, bitty silkworm babies! I am feeding them cherry plum tree leaves instead of the recommended mulberry tree leaves because I don't have access to a mulberry tree. I think they are eating the leaves I gave them. Fingers crossed that they do. If they won't, then I will have to pay money and have some 'silkworm chow' delivered, which I do not want to do.

My goal is to supply myself with enough of my own homegrown silk to spin and then of course to knit or crochet. It's all a very exciting experiment.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Knitting - Waffle Dishcloths

Monday, October 25, 2010

One of my new addictions is to knit and crochet dishcloths and washcloths. I had to replace my old & unhealthy addictions: Diet Pepsi; cigarettes; and drastically reduced my wine consumption. :-}

Every now and again, I will knit a little project just so I won't lose the ability and know how. Although, my knitting skills can still be classified as 'beginner'. I just do not have the patience with knitting as I do with crochet. Whenever I knit, for some reason, I either add stitches, lose stitches or both. Trying to correct a mistake in knitting is not as forgiving and easy as it is in crochet. I do like the look of knitted garments and will one day hopefully, graduate to the 'intermediate' class of knitters. :-}

Below, is how I spent my Sunday. The pattern is from: Homespun Living
It is quite easy and passes my test: Must be a pattern that I can do while watching TV, without using my brain too much. LOL! It knits up rather quickly, even for this slow knitter. Therefore, gratification is delivered swiftly. Plus, I loved the challenge of adding a second color.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Soapmaking Success!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Here are eight bars of soap! Not too bad for a first timer. They have to dry out for six weeks before I can use them. I will turn them over every day or so until then.

The big chunk in the margarine container will be grated down to use as laundry soap, dish washing soap and liquid hand soap.

I will purchase some more soap molds for the next time. Also, I realized that I had the caustic soda at too high of a temp. I should have put the bowl in the sink that was filled with ice to cool it down to the same temp as the oils. That is why the mixture rose in the molds and then deflated and looked an awful mess.

I am very happy with the results! I didn't have to throw anything out & there were no trips to hospital. I can't wait to actually use it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Soapmaking at the Cottage

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Today, I thought I would finally make my own soap. I am using the recipe from the 'Down to Earth' blog: Soap Making

Olive oil, rice bran oil &
coconut oil (Copha) melting together
I have had the ingredients for ages, but I have been quite terrified of using caustic soda. Today I faced my fear! My husband helped me with the caustic soda: I asked him to pour the caustic soda into the water and the caustic mixture into the oils. LOL! I don't know what I was afraid of besides a foamy, hissy cloud of dangerous chemicals that was going to shorten my life by being near the stuff. Well, that didn't happen, thank goodness. The only mishap that happened was I didn't have enough molds! I do have a proper soap mold that makes 8 bars, but also had on stand-by a deli container that holds six cupcakes. Needless to say, the deli container did not work. LOL! The soap mixture was too hot for it! It was slowly melting and I had no other molds to transfer the mixture to quickly. So, I found an empty and clean margarine container and luckily, it all fit into that.

In the molds. What a mess!
One question I do have: is the soap mixture suppose to be rising in the molds, like a cake baking? I did not read about that happening anywhere and I am getting a bit frightened. LOL!

Left is the soap in the molds. The mixture has quit rising and this is what it looks like now. It doesn't look pretty! I will be able to take the soap out of the molds after 15 hours. Fingers crossed that it all stays together. Did I mention this is my first time making soap? LOL!

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Hosted Desktop