Thursday
Aug172017

A bit of woods

This week has been tough.  Tough just to get through.  I did take myself to a state park and go for a walk in the woods.  It might not been my favorite woods.  It may have been hot.  But it was the woods.  It was cooler there then it would have been in the city.  The gallivanting included lunch watching a lake.  The breeze was nice.

I have been spending a bit of time each day spinning which seems to help with the air for me.  

I keep wanting to sit at my sewing machine.  Even though I do, I seem not to spend enough time there.  Maybe soon.  Part of me just wishes to make quilts all the time.  

Tuesday
Aug152017

doing something that makes me happy

I sat in my parlor and laid out a quilt.

So far the quilts have not sold but I need to make them.  The making makes me happy.  It is a good thing.  Especially when events in the United States were what they were this weekend.  I was horrified.  Distressed.  Appalled.  

I listen to a lot of audiobooks when I am working and I have been currently listening to two books about resistance in World War II.  I needed to put them away and listen to something else.  It is much to close to home.  One of the books I was listening to is The Zookeeper's Wife.  It is a biography the Warsaw zookeepers and the choices they made.  Choices that saved lives and resisted.  

I told my Beloved that every time I like something on social media, comment, or post, I wonder now if it will mean someone knocking on my door.  Gestapo like.  I can see it coming.  But I know where I sit.  

Saturday
Aug122017

Dyeing with Western hemlock

When we were at the mountain last, I brought back branches of Western hemlock for dyeing.  It was easy because if any branch hit me in the head or caught me down one of our roads, I cut it back.  I am very deadly with a pair of lopers.  But then, I keep meaning to do it down the path I walk most often in the city and have not yet.  Soon.  Maybe when it cools down a bit.

I put these needles on the stove and let them bubble away.  It smelled like Christmas or home.  I really did not wish to take the pot off the stove!

But I did.  I added silk and let it sit for a week.  The fabric came out a golden tan.  Not very exciting.  I took half of it and put it in an iron bath.

The fabric became this chocolate brown with a lot of variation in it.  There are even portions that look copper.  I did not get a picture of it blowing in the breeze because the sun was too bright every time I tried.  It is another colour where I may have to make some just for myself for slips.  Or dye silk for a carpenter dress.  I just had that thought!  That would be amazing.  It would be very interesting to see what the cotton silk fabric dyes like with hemlock and iron.  I feel myself plotting and mulling!

I put the ribbons up on my Etsy shop.  It is where I usually put my ribbon experiments.  

I have another piece of silk with the same combination sitting.  I will take it out of the iron bath on Monday.  The iron water was not as dark for that piece of fabric so it will be very interesting what will happen.  Part of me wishes to head back to the mountain and do more gathering.  I had a field of daisies.  Maybe soon.

Thursday
Aug102017

Carpenter dress

When I am traveling, especially driving, I have been wearing overalls lately.  Part of that is that Koda Bear and I match.  The other part is that most of my dresses do not have pockets and the pockets in the overalls make life just a little bit easier.  It was suggested to me that maybe I should put the pockets I like on one of my dresses.

I mostly like the pockets that are lower on the leg best.  Not the bib pocket.  And I do not need two butt pockets.  I find the lower leg ones are perfect for my phone and possibly a key.  I do not sit on things in those pockets and they are easily to hand.

I took out my Carhartts and used them as a go by for both position and size.  I still needed to fit a phone.  I played with a piece of fabric that I really liked but also was not so expensive that I would worry about screwing it up.  It is a mid to heavy weight cotton.

Can I say I was pleased?  First, I did take the dress in a tatch.  It might look a bit tight in some of these pictures but it is not tight at all.  I put short sleeves on it instead of three quarter length sleeves.  I kept the neckline high and added two inches to the hem.  The dress itself is a better version of the sheaths I have been wearing.  I still do not need to put a zipper in it because it can go over my head and that still helps my shoulders.  I have days.

But the pockets!  The pockets!  This is going to be one of those dresses that gets washed and it is one of the first that I put back on.  Which also means it will wear out faster.  It is a difficult catch 22 but this dress is a winner.  I was thinking I might start looking for a light twill to make some more in.  A fabric just a little bit heavier so it my last longer with the washing.

I am pleased!

Tuesday
Aug082017

yeasted pasta

Talking to a Chef awhile back, I was told that there is a very traditional pasta from one region of Italy that is yeasted.  This was a Chef that told me that my hand kneaded pasta was better then his because I am a baker.  I knead bread so often that I was not surprised.  Last week, bread was made at least four times and I am not counting this pasta!

I did a bit of research and found out that this pasta was actually made on baking day.  That way you did not have two doughs going.  I read the recipe for this pasta a year ago and decided that I did not wish to go through the process of getting the book from the library and using it as a go by.  I

know how to make bread.  I know how to make pasta.  I know how pasta dough should feel.  My Beloved asked for sourdough pasta so why not!

The taste of this is similar to a non-yeasted pasta. There is more flavor.  It rolled easier.  Which is a plus.  And if I am making a simple bread, I would put a bit of dough aside to make into pasta.  It just need tweaking.

yeasted pasta dough

Note:  I started this from scratch.  If you have a French dough, Italian dough, or a baguette dough, just knead in flour until you have a VERY stiff dough and go from the resting point of these directions.

sourdough starter

100 grams water

100 grams white whole wheat flour

2 eggs

a pinch of salt

1 1/2 to 2 cups flour

Eight to fourteen hours before, refresh your starter with 100 grams of water and 100 grams of flour.  Cover and let it get bubbly.  I have been finding that cling wrap works very well for this step but I want to make some of the coated linen to try.  

When the starter is bubbly, remove a bit for next time.  A bit is a couple tablespoons.

Mix in two eggs.

Mix in the flour.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead.  You want a very stiff dough.  Wrap and let sit.  I would have liked it to sit for more then the couple hours it did but I kept forgetting what I was doing on Saturday.  That was because I was mostly sleeping.

Unwrap the dough.  It will be a bit puffy.  Divide in half and roll out into a thin sheet.

Cut and place on a floured baking sheet.  Dust with more flour as more pasta is sliced.

Put the pasta into salted boiling water.  Cook for about three minutes.  A few more if you did not roll the dough very thin.

Serve with any sauce you wish.  One of the reasons I wanted eggs in the pasta was I knew I was going to serve it with a vegetarian sauce.  It was a day of sleep and looking for calories.  In another words, a weekend of healing and not traveling.  Guess what I wanted it be doing!

I will be making more of this.  It makes my life easy because I just have to knead extra flour into a bread dough and I have pasta for dinner.  Talk about frugality!