sarahbird spins

(and does other stuff, too)

Pizza and Flowers! May 26, 2009

Filed under: food,Gardening,Recipes,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 10:15 pm
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I have been super domestic the past few weeks – I’ve been spending my time cooking, baking, gardening, and spinning. I actually have two super delicious pizza recipes that I want to share with you.

1.) Homemade pizza! This is seriously one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made. I like to top it with roasted garlic, olive oil, spinach, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese (no tomato sauce!). I also made a version with pepperoni and green peppers in place of the spinach and mushrooms that was really good too. The recipe is really simple – it just takes a few minutes to mix up the dough. Then you leave it alone to rise for an hour or two and roll it out and add toppings, and bake it for just 10 minutes! I have a feeling I’ll be making this a lot in the future – I LOVE pizza!

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Recipe from foodjunta.

2.) Vegetable pizza. This isn’t really pizza in the traditional sense. It’s actually a base of croissant dough, which is topped with ranch-flavored cream cheese, chopped veggies, and shredded cheese. It is really simple to make, and amazingly yummy. I ate it for the first time when the cook in my sorority house made it for dinner, and I had to look up the recipe so I could make it at home!

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Recipe here.

In other news, I have successfully kept a plant alive for over six weeks! My aunt gave me a potted pansy for Easter, and I have taken such good care of it that not only is it alive, but it is actually blooming! This might not seem so impressive to some, but I have a horrible black thumb that keeps me from ever successfully growing anything. Plants wither and die as soon as I look at them. This flower is a triumph for me, and it makes me smile every time I walk past.

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As far as spinning goes, I have been working on a new yarn series that I have big plans for. There is more information to come later about this project, but for now I’ll leave you with this hint…

 

Supersize Me! May 6, 2009

Filed under: books,dyeing — sarahbird @ 3:14 pm

I have been buying some GIANT supplies lately! I was running out of Jacquard acid dyes, so I ordered some more from dharmatrading.com, and this time I decided to get a bigger size. When they came I was so surprised – the jars are practically the size of my head! They are enormous.

For comparison, here’s a picture of one of my tiny little old jars next to the mega-sized new jars.

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I also bought a HUGE spool of crochet thread the other day. I don’t know if you can tell how big it is from this picture, but it is gargantuan – it’s over a mile and a half of thread! That’s enough for a LOT of corespun yarns.

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Classes just ended for the semester, and I have a few days before finals, so I’ve had lots of free time lately, which has been really nice. I’ve been spending a lot of it reading, and I’m right in the middle of a really interesting book right now – Bonk by Mary Roach. The subtitle is “The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex”, which pretty much sums up what it’s about. It’s all about different experiments and research that scientists have done throughout the centuries to try to understand all different aspects of sex. It’s also got tons of strange sex facts – definitely interesting, although some of them are not for the squeamish! But overall it’s a really fascinating book, and it’s not dry or overly scientific at all. I definitely recommend that you check it out!

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As the weather gets warmer… April 26, 2009

Filed under: dyeing,etsy,handspun,knitting,roving,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 9:35 pm

…I’m more in the mood to work with wool! How strange is that?

I’ve been doing a ton of dyeing lately. It’s finally warm enough that I can dye my wool outside, then bake it in the oven to set and hang it out on the back porch. I love dyeing when it’s nice enough out to do it outside – no worrying about dye spills!

Here are some recent dye jobs. I am totally obsessed with the yellow and gray! That’s my new favorite color combo.

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I’ve also started knitting with some of my handspun. It’s kind of weird that I’ve never done this before, but ever since I started spinning I very rarely knit! I’m working on turning this yarn into a pair of handwarmers.

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As far as yarn goes, I’ve been spinning tons of soft, bulky singles lately. These yarns are some of my favorites because the colors always come out gorgeous, the spin up super fast, and since I can price them lower, they tend to sell faster too.

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I also spun up a really cool yarn the other day, called Fireworks. It’s super unique and I love it! I spun a single out of black superwash mill end merino wool while holding two of the metallic rainbow threads I bought a few weeks ago. The bright colors really stand out against the black, and one of the threads formed random loops that stick out of the yarn and really look like fireworks!

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Books! February 22, 2009

Filed under: books,etsy — sarahbird @ 11:16 pm

I’m currently working my way through this huge pile of books:

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This year, I’m trying to complete the “999 Challenge” from Library Thing. The challenge involves choosing 9 categories, then picking 9 books within each category and reading them all in 2009. That’s 81 books! My complete list can be found here, if you’re interested in looking.

Today I finished Howard’s End, which I was reading for my classics category. I really enjoyed it! I tried to read it a few years ago and just couldn’t get into it, but this time I really like it. I’m finding that happening more and more with classics lately, I had the exact same experience with Vanity Fair a few months ago.

In crafting news, I ordered a bunch of thread for plying with my handspuns.

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I don’t know if you can tell how big those are from the photo, but they are huge! The two bigger spools each have 4600 yards of thread on them!!

I’ve also started making some new yarn tags that I’m really happy with. I got a really nice stamp with my shop information from JLMould a few weeks ago, and I’ve been looking for an eco-friendly way to use it. For these tags, I reused a cardboard cereal box. I cut the panels of the box apart and glued them together, with the coated (outside) sides of the box on the inside, so each side of the tag is a natural cardboard brown color. Then I just stamped each one and hole punched the corners, and they’re ready to go!

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Back! February 16, 2009

Filed under: celebrations,dyeing,food,roving — sarahbird @ 5:40 pm
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It’s true, I’m back! I’ve actually been doing a lot lately, both fiber-related and otherwise, but I’ve been too busy to post about any of it! Don’t worry though, because I’m back now, and hopefully I’m here to stay!

I dyed some of the most gorgeous roving ever the other day. Here’s a picture I took of it, even though it looks much much better in real life. The colors are just so rich and deep – gold, royal purple, and navy. I’m planning to start spinning it up tonight – I can’t wait!

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I also bought some roasting pans from Target to use for dyeing roving. They were $11 each, but in the long run they are going to be so much cheaper (and more eco-friendly!) than using disposable aluminum pans. Plus, for some reason I find them really cute!

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This weekend I celebrated Valentine’s Day, which is one of my very favorite holidays. One of my pet peeves is when people claim that they don’t like Valentine’s Day because it’s a “Hallmark Holiday”. Sure, it commercialized and a little bit silly. But it’s fun, and a perfect day to celebrate love in all of its forms.

As a Valentine’s Day treat for my boyfriend, I whipped up a batch of these White Chocolate Oreo Balls, otherwise known as the easiest and most delicious dessert ever! Here’s the exterior view, which is not particularly impressive:

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And the interior view. Mmmmm:

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Here’s the super-simple recipe:

White Chocolate Oreo Balls

Ingredients:
1 package of Oreo cookies, crushed
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
2 bags of white chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Mix Oreos and cream cheese.
2. Form mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter, chill.
3. Melt white chocolate.
4. Roll Oreo/cream cheese balls in white chocolate.
5. Place finished balls on waxed paper, chill.
6. Eat! Yum.

 

Busy Busy… October 1, 2008

Filed under: celebrations,etsy,handspun,knitting,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 10:58 pm
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I’ve been knitting like crazy the past two days! My yarn for the Hooded Baby Blanket arrived on Tuesday, and my cousin’s baby shower is this Sunday. So that gives me five days to knit a whole baby blanket! I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish – so far I’ve got about six inches done.

Here are the colors I picked out. Both blankets are going to be pink, one with green edging and one with white.

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I’ve also been tossing around a few ideas for art yarns lately. I found some pretty fake flowers in the clearance aisle the other day, so I bought them and stripped the fabric flowers from the stems. I’m thinking about spinning them into a green yarn with little green felt or ribbon leaves.

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And last but not least, here are a few new yarns I’ve listed in my Etsy shop over the past couple of days.

Nice Melons (because it’s got all the colors of melons in it – gosh, get your mind out of the gutter!)

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Candy Girl (another bulky single ply)

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Keen (this one is my favorite!)

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Grapes of Math
(I know, it’s a dumb name. If you can think of a better one I’d love to hear it!)

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New Roving, yum! September 25, 2008

Filed under: dyeing,roving,yarn — sarahbird @ 11:06 am
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Tuesday was a dyeing day! It was much needed – I was down to my last 4 oz of dyed roving. I dyed another pound, half superwash merino mill ends and half just regular mill ends. I’m trying to get into a good fiber schedule, and I feel like Tuesday and Thursday will be good dyeing days because I can easily dye a pound or so in the morning before my 1:30 class.

Here are my two favorites, both in superwash merino –

Blue and brown, one of my favorite color combinations.

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You might not be able to tell from this picture, but this one came out GORGEOUS when it was dry. It’s sort of a mix of reddish-pink, olive green, and steely blue. I LOVE it!

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I’ve recently switched to using jacquard acid dyes, after using Wilton’s forever, and I think it’s forcing me to be a lot more creative with my color choices. I only have red, blue, yellow, brown, and black, so if I want purple, or orange, or turquoise, or whatever, I have to mix it myself. I almost never get the color I’m aiming for, which is perfect – unexpected colors are so much more fun!

It made me smile to see that on Tuesday morning someone was searching my blog for information on “dyeing roving in oven”. I think it’s cool that some stranger out there on the internet was reading my blog for information on dyeing roving at the exact same time that I was actually doing it! People find my blog by searching for the weirdest phrases sometimes – someone stumbled across my site while searching for “Marie Antionette’s lips” yesterday – I bet they were disappointed!

The other exciting news from this week is that my roommate adopted a cat! He’s super adorable, very friendly and loves attention – he’ll in front of you and meow until you let him sit on your lap and snuggle! His name is Edgar Allan Paw, which as far as I’m concerned is the best name for a cat ever.

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What a cutie!