Sunday, January 29, 2006

Soap

My soap making supplies finally came on Friday. I was so excited, I made my first batch on Friday night and my second on Saturday. With all the cautions about working with lye, I made the lye solution in the basement (didn't want to endanger the cats). Hubby was a little concerned when he saw me with the goggles, smock and rubber gloves. Thought maybe soap making might be too dangerous. Later I explained the whole soapmaking process (I'm sure he was just thrilled to get that education) and how the base in lye reacts with the acid in oil to neutralize into soap. The end product is perfectly safe, but plain lye can cause a chemical burn. I didn't find it too hard to work with especially with the small 1 pound batches I was making. So here are the first fruits of my labors.

First is the "If you only make 1 batch of soap" recipe with almond fragrance and the other is the "Olive & Palm soap" with China Rain fragrance, both from Everything Soapmaking. Now I have to wait a day or so for it to setup, then I can cut it into bars to cure. That will take about 4 weeks. I've never been the most patient person, so this is going to be hard. But there's no cutting it short. Apparently it takes that long to be sure all of the lye has neutralized and for the bars to harden enough that they won't just dissolve away when they get in water.

At least I have plenty of knitting to keep me busy. I'm almost finished with the gusset on the Opal sock (I did take this one off the needles and tried it on to make sure it fits, it does and I love it!) I'm about 5 inches in on the CC Tunic. The Elann Siearra Aran is really wonderful to work with, so soft and the colors are gorgeous. I have a goal to finish the right side of the baby jacket by the end of the week. I got my letter from the library and the auction is March 25. Although I have plenty of time, I don't want to let this get away from me since I'm so easily distracted by other projects. Mom helped me pick out buttons at JoAnn's yesterday. She found some really cute little purple hippos. I also got some fabric to make new pillowcases while we were there so I'll be sewing this afternoon.

I purchased the pattern to make Eris from Girl from Auntie. Is this not an awesome sweater? Everyone talks about her other pattern, Rogue, and I agree, that one is pretty cool too. But hoodies just aren't my style. I am making myself finish the CC tunic before I even think about starting Eris, though. I've got too many big projects going already and really can't start another. Plus, there's that huge decision of what yarn to use. Suggestions?

And here's one of the newest visitors to our yard. Isn't he pretty?
You'll have to pardon the frying pan feeder. Something knocked the terracotta one off and broke it. Had to improvise. The birds don't seem to mind. Although, it's been so warm this month, they are hardly going through the feed. I guess they must be finding plenty of food in the wild.

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