Keeping Things Sweet

Halloween is here, which means the rest of the holidays are not far behind. To celebrate the start of the holiday season of thankfulness, I’ve decided that every Sweet Sheep order placed during the month of November with a subtotal greater than $10.00 will receive a free sample-sized lotion bar as a gift!

Woolen Diversions

Free sample-sized lotion bar with every order over $10.00!

This is just one way for me to say a heartfelt THANK YOU for being a customer! I will send a scent at random but if you have allergies or know that you ‘hate fruit scents’ or something like that, feel free to indicate that in an order note and I will try to accommodate you. The sample will be a fun way to try a new scent, or share it with a friend to spread the sheep-y goodness! Since the gift-giving season is nearly upon us, I’d appreciate as much exposure as we can muster: follow Sweet Sheep on facebook, sign up for the newsletter, and tell your friends! Everyone should have a handmade holiday, yes?

Woolen Diversions

Homemade pepita brittle.

I hope you’re all having a lovely Halloween! I’m usually a bit of a Halloween humbug since I hate dressing up and really can’t afford to eat candy (physically speaking), but I’m trying to get in the spirit a bit this year. I woke up about 2 hours earlier than I had intended and couldn’t fall back asleep so I figured, what the hell, let’s make candy.

I followed Smitten Kitchen’s pepita brittle recipe and it was super easy! I had never made candy before and wasn’t sure if I was doing it right, but it tastes fine so no harm done. The transformation from sugar, (an alarming amount of) butter, water, and corn syrup to finished candy was interesting to watch. There was a lot of foaming involved, and the addition of baking soda and salt caused more. I kept waiting for it to turn a deep brown color like in the blog photos but once it began sticking to my spatula like taffy I figured it was time to mix in the pumpkin seeds and spread it out to cool. The resulting candy is VERY buttery tasting, which surprised me, but is also delicious, so yay for that.

What’s the most recent new thing you’ve tried, just for the heck of it? How do you celebrate Halloween?


Dye Results

It appears that yarn dyeing, like yoga, is one of those exercises designed to teach me patience, acceptance, and observation without judgement. (These, by the way, are not easy things for me.) It frustrates me when I have a vision of what I want and can’t predict the best way to achieve that vision. At the same time, it’s kind of fun to say “screw it!” and just see what happens. That’s what went on in my kitchen this weekend.

Dye Results | Woolen Diversions

I call this Splattered Turquoise.

If you remember from Friday’s post, I dyed this skein twisted up in the hank, more or less just to see what would happen. When I took it out of the pot, the whole thing was bright blue and I thought my little experiment had failed. But, when I unwound the hank, the undyed bits of natural grey/brown yak/silk were visible.

Dye Results | Woolen Diversions

Glamor shot.

I had been hoping to use this technique to achieve a gently variegated, speckled look… which I did not achieve. The turquoise was far brighter than I had anticipated (even at a depth-of-shade of only .25) and the variegation is not subtle at all. I think I will eventually overdye this with a pale green or a solid blue to get a lower contrast variegation and use it in a cowl or hat or something. Still not sure what I’ll do with the rest of the sweater quantity, perhaps just a DOS 0.10 solid overdye to give it some color, we’ll see.

Dye Results | Woolen Diversions

Silver Grey overdye… barely changed it at all.

My next plan was to overdye 2 skeins of BMFA Twisted (2 plies of Merino wool plied with 1 of superwash Merino (the darker strand)) to achieve a more subtle variegation for use in a sweater. The photo above shows a skein after using up my entire stock of Silver Grey. It barely made a difference! In fact, it really only seemed to affect the superwash strand strongly (superwash yarns take up dye at a faster rate than non-superwash). Turns out that a DOS of 1.5 is not very strong for such a light color dye.

Dye Results | Woolen Diversions

Back in the dyepot…

Back in the pot it went, this time with Midnight Black at a DOS of 0.25. I was hesitant to use a LOT of dye at once, because you can’t undye things, so the process took forever as I tried something, added more dye, checked results, added more dye, etc. The poor Faisco was getting a headache from suffering through basically an entire dye of vinegar/citric acid/dye mixtures simmering away on the stove.

Dye Results | Woolen Diversions

Dye results with DOS 0.25 black.

I think I’m happy enough with these results. The initial overdye with Silver Grey sort of dampened the colors a bit and changed their tone, and then the Midnight Black darkened them up overall. The yarn is still quite variegated, you can see the green/purple/pink/blue sections fairly clearly, but I think the overdye did make them more cohesive and hopefully more garment-appropriate. I don’t want to subject these skeins to any more dye, a couple strands are already starting to felt up a bit from all the boiling, so hopefully I’ll like it well enough when I swatch!

Have you tried dyeing your own yarn? How do you get to what you envision, or do you just throw caution to the wind and see what happens?

IS #78: Good Clean Fun

Today’s Inspiration Saturday post veers away from the realm of yarn and knitting, and towards a newer obsession that’s been piquing my interest lately thanks to Sweet Sheep: handmade personal care products. Specifically, handmade soap.


Champagne soap by Calise Soapworks & Such. Click for Etsy shop.

Soap is made by an interesting chemical reaction (called “saponification“) that occurs when you mix together fats/tallows/oils and lye in certain quantities. There are a few benefits to using handmade soap. Firstly, handmade soap retains all the natural glycerin that is produced during the saponification process so it is extra moisturizing.

IS #78: Good Clean Fun | Woolen Diversions

Salt soap by e.l.m tree suds. Click for Etsy shop.

Secondly, one can custom blend the types of oils used to produce specific results (such as using olive oil for a harder bar, sea salt for extra minerals, or shea butter for additional moisturizing properties). Of course this also means one can control whether they use soap made with organic ingredients or particular fragrances and colorants.

IS #78: Good Clean Fun | Woolen Diversions

Sweet Lemon Creme soap by Royalty Soaps. Click for Etsy shop.

Thirdly, they’re really beautiful! The prettiness factor can’t be ignored. You will never find a mass-produced bar of soap that looks so delicious. You likely won’t find any that feel or smell nearly as good, either.

IS #78: Good Clean Fun | Woolen Diversions

Peach Pie Soap by Toil and Trouble Bath. Click for Etsy shop.

Finally, and most importantly, I love the creative aspect of handmade soaps. Some soaps (as proven above) seem practically edible! I think there’s something really special about taking a humble and unassuming bar of soap and turning it into something delightful and extraordinary. Why not add a little whimsy to your day, amIright? Speaking of extraordinary: that pie soap was made by an 11 year old kid, and he donates half his proceeds to a supportive housing coalition! You can check out his story on the Soap Queen blog. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is!

Within the last 6 months or so, I’ve gone from a plastic-poof-and-body-wash kinda gal to an artisan bar soap user, all the way. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll venture into cold process soapmaking territory quite yet (there’s a fair bit of equipment involved and lye is pretty nasty stuff to work with) but there are some amazingly creative things you can do with pre-made soap bases, which I’m hoping to explore soon. What kind of soap do you use? Had you ever thought about handmade soaps before? What’s been inspiring you, lately? Share with us and link up you post in the comments!



Back in the Saddle

It feels like it has been quite some time since I’ve made any lotion bars, what with June and July being consumed by the wedding and honeymoon. However, it’s about to be All Sweet Sheep, All The Time around here and I got the ball rolling this past weekend whipping up a few batches of scents that had sold out.

Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe Coconut Lime Lotion Bar

Coconut Lime – get it while it’s hot!

I spent much of Sunday brainstorming new scents to develop for a fall lineup. I’ve decided to split the year up into three scent seasons: January – April (late winter and spring), May – August (spring and summer), and September – December (fall and winter). This means that I’ll soon be phasing out some of my more summery scents (keep an eye out for sale info soon). And I’m starting to get super excited about cooking up batches of lotion bars with names like Apple Butter, Autumn Fig, and Gingersnap (to name a few).

Vending on August 17th in Swansea, MA.

Vending on August 17th in Swansea, MA.

We have not one, but TWO vending opportunities this month. The first is this Sunday, August 17th, from 10 am – 4 pm at Venus de Milo in Swansea, MA. This craft fair is a fundraising benefit to help a young woman go on a mission trip. (If you wish, you can donate directly to her cause here.) I hear that kiddos will also have a chance to get their photos taken with Queen Elsa from Frozen, so that’s pretty awesome.

Coventry Regional Farmer's Market

Logo snipped from their webpage.

Our second vending opportunity will be the following week during the Honeybee Hullaballoo at the famous Coventry Farmer’s Market. This event runs from 11 am – 2 pm on Sunday, August 24th in Coventry, CT. The Fiasco and I used to live right down the road from this market and we dearly miss it, so we’re super excited to be vending there! Please do come by and visit Sweet Sheep in the wild, we’d love the chance to meet you and help you find just the right lotion bar fragrance.

What’s your favorite autumn or winter fragrance? What scent gives you that cozy, cooler weather, holidays-on-the-horizon feeling?

FOFri #30: The Things We Do For Friends

I had the hardest time figuring out what to make for gifts for my bridesmaids. My initial thought was shawls, but, well, there were 6 of them and even though I got engaged waaaaaay back in 2011 and therefore theoretically could have knit 6 shawls in that timeframe, I didn’t know how long our engagement was going to be but I did know that my fortitude for non-selfish gift knitting tends to be limited, so it was not likely to happen.

Copyright Eskimimi. Click for pattern page.

Then I saw this cute little coin purse and thought oooh! I could make this bigger, get a fancier purse frame, and make little clutches! The thought of all that linen stitch was a little daunting, so I figured I could perhaps make squares on my Zoom Loom and make patchwork bags. Then I hurt my wrist back in March and using the loom was a little too painful.

Copyright kateclysm. Click for pattern page.

So then, I was thinking I’d maybe make these cute little bangle bags, which would still require sewing a lining onto the back of knitted fabric (which worried me) but at least wouldn’t involve sewing into a purse frame. But still, I wasn’t totally thrilled by the idea and didn’t really know where to get the bangles.

Copyright Lion Brand Yarn. Click for pattern page.

I finally stumbled across this quilted lattice jewlery frame, and knew this would be perfect! Since I had already ordered purse frames I went back and forth debating for a while. It was a difficult debate since most of the people I usually consult for knitting advice were in the bridal party! I had to rely on my friend Jeremie, who was not particularly interested in either purses or jewelry frames. I kept coming back to the frames, though, and decided to go for them.

IMG_6701I finally started knitting them at the end of May, and finished them up in the first week of July. So, I had to knit one of these each week. I used my swatch to determine how many to cast on to fit in an 8×10 frame. It’s a good idea to underestimate how many stitches you need as your yarn will likely stretch and you want the fabric to be taught. I used a totally luscious yarn for this: BMFA Marine Silk Sport, colorway Oceana.

IMG_6702The frame requires a little work before you attach the knitting. We (I say we, since the FiascoHubs helped) used the matting from the frame as a base, then cut out quilt batting to the same size and plain fabric about an inch larger. Then you make a little batting sandwich and use double-sided tape to fold the fabric over and secure it to the back of the matting.

IMG_6703Finally, you do the utterly unthinkable and take a stapler to your silky, luxurious knitted fabric. You carefully staple all around the edges of the piece to secure the knitted fabric to the fabric backing. Not gonna lie, this part was painful.

IMG_6709But the results were so worth it! I love how these little frames turned out and I know at least one of my friends is already using hers. I didn’t want to just give these frames, however, so I also made some earrings to go with it (no, I don’t know what came over me).

IMG_6694These things came out better than I had expected and were surprisingly easy to make! Here is the super helpful tutorial I followed. I was so encouraged by my success with these earrings that I decided to make my own wedding jewelry.

I looked at a few wire jewelry photos for inspiration but basically just winged these designs and am really thrilled with how they came out. I love the little pop of color they added to my wedding ensemble, too. That’s the last of my crazy wedding crafting! I’m making one more frame for myself right now but then it’s back to knitting whatever-the-heck I want! Have you ever surprised yourself with your own crafting abilities or been suddenly struck by the desire to make something that you couldn’t quite explain?

Check out more FOs at Tamis Amis.

Wedding Whirlwind

Thank you so much for all of your well wishes! Our wedding weekend was absolutely fantastic. It was certainly busy and a little bit stressful at times (so much to keep track of!) but we had a ton of help from our incredible families and friends and everything worked out even more wonderfully than I had hoped.

Our (amazing!) photographer won’t get most of our photos back until next month but she sent a little preview to tide us over and I thought you all would appreciate this one, especially:

alicia+rich_preview_07Oh yeah, that’s a bride knitting a sock. I just couldn’t resist. Even though nothing very ‘big’ was DIY (we didn’t cater the thing ourselves, for example) crafting still played an important role in the day.

alicia+rich_preview_12Here’s where we sealed the deal with a kiss! Note, if you will, the crocheted doily under the unity candle (thanks, Mom!) and the presence of the previously-featured, handmade, hula hoop ribbon thing.

alicia+rich_preview_16Here you can kinda see the jewelry I made for myself: necklace, earrings, and bracelet. I decided to make jewelry for myself since I made a bunch of earrings as part of my bridesmaids’ gifts, but I’ll talk more about those later this week on FO Friday since they also involved some knitting!

IMG_6764We kept our table decorations simple with basic table runners, some color-coordinated votive candles, and beribboned mason jars full of glass gems and flowers. The Fiasco (or should I say, my new husband!) wrote, printed, and hand-cut Mad Libs for each table, as well!

IMG_6753 I did not actually make anything on this table, but other people did! One of my best and oldest friends crocheted amazing bride and groom horseshoe crabs as a shower gift, which obviously had to make a wedding appearance. (The Fiasco and I met when I hired him as an assistant for my horseshoe crab research.) Our adorable little horseshoe crab cake toppers and the polka-dot paper garland were handmade and came from shops on Etsy.

IMG_6735Our biggest DIY project was putting together all of the flowers for the bouquets and centerpieces. I ordered wholesale flowers from Blooms By The Box and then we trimmed, hydrated, and arranged them under the guidance of my aunt (who fortuitously had taken a flower-arranging class at some point in her past), and with the help of my cousin (both pictured above) and the rest of my bridesmaids. Even though the arrangements were fairly straightforward (blue hydrangeas, mini green hydrangeas, white roses, green carnations, ferns, baby’s breath) it was no small task to put everything together. However, the flowers came out absolutely beautifully and I loved them a stupid amount.

I’m sure you’ll hear lots more about the wedding than you will ever want to know, but I think for now I’ll leave off with one of my absolute favorite preview shots that makes the entire day feel like a fairy tale (and makes us look like we can actually dance):




First Show Success!

Yesterday was Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe’s first time vending at a festival, and it went really well! It started off less-than-promising… with a scant 4 hours of sleep, the Fiasco and I were up at the crack-o’-dawn, loading the car in a torential downpour. But then! The skies cleared, the booth set up smoothly, and the customers were lovely.


I felt like a ‘TA – DAAA!!!’ was in order.

I took a ridiculous amount of pleasure in arranging our table. Everything was in its place, each with its own little sign (that kept flopping over in the wind), everything was color-coordinated… so fun. We received a lot of great feedback on the booth, as well, which was so nice to hear what with being newbies and all.


My awesome Fiasco.

The Fiasco and I made a really great team. Even though he’s generally had an aversion to lotion his entire life, he was demonstrating how to use a lotion bar like a pro. (And, it turns out, these bars are ‘not that bad’ as far as lotion goes. Ha!) I don’t know how people run a booth on their own, we definitely needed both of us there, and this wasn’t even a very big festival.


My view for much of the day.

I couldn’t believe how quickly the day flew by. One minute we were setting up, the next we were kind of sitting-around-waiting for people to arrive, and then all of a sudden it was 5pm and we were packing up. It was kind of incredible. I barely had a chance to walk around and see the festival for myself.


Shearing happened.

I missed all the shearing, only saw the evidence that it had happened, and heard the claps and cheers whenever a sheep was finished.


Stinky cows.

I didn’t see this pair much since they were directly behind our booth but OH BOY did I smell them. Depending on which way the wind was blowing, it was sometimes difficult to sell the delicate floral fragrance of Sea Moss (for example) when all one could smell was Eau de Manure.


Festival loot!

I did manage to scurry out and quickly snag a little festival loot. I would’ve liked to shop around some more and visit other booths, but there’s always next time and I love the the items I came home with. The bag is a lovely cotton/linen creation by Honey Bee Handmade. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find any sort of website for the maker. That gorgeous skein of purple yarn was dyed by Elizabeth Brown of Bay Ridge Dye Works. It’s a pretty, superwash Merino fingering-weight that will make a great scarf or shawl. It’s also really cool that a portion of each sale gets donated to a charity. For this skein, it was the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. And finally, that lovely braid of Merino/silk is Faerie Circle from June Pryce Fiber Arts. June Pryce is a team of sisters, Cheryl and Jenn, who dye gorgeous yarn and fibers and make lovely bags and stitch markers. They’re also super sweet and partially responsible for us doing this show to begin with! (Thanks for all your encouragement!)

All told, it was such a fun and exciting day, that I was in bed asleep by 8pm. Today the Fiasco and I will do a little relaxing and gallivanting before returning home to clean up the house, which looks like it’s been hit with a vengeful, crafty tornado. Later…

WIPWed #54: Sweet Sheep, Open for Business!

FINALLY, after months of preparation, my Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe is now open for business!

grandopeningYou might remember from a while back my request for lotion bar testers. Well, with their helpful feedback, I’ve finally perfected my custom combination of beeswax, mango butter, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, meadowfoam oil, vitamin E oil, and lanolin! I think it now has just the right consistency and moisturizing effect that I wanted out of a solid bar. It is truly a lotion bar made by a knitter, for knitters (and anyone else who wants nice, soft hands). I currently have 10 different scented lotion bar options, 2 unscented options, and 1 custom order option available in the shop. Custom orders will take a couple of weeks to produce before I can ship out as I’m currently waiting on more supplies to arrive. The shop is certainly a work-in-progress as there are several scents I’m planning to add (lemon cake! green tea! cinnamon chai!) as well as sample sized bars and lip balms when I get the packaging for those little guys sorted out. I just didn’t want to wait any longer!

My favorite scent at the moment is Turkish Mocha:

turkishmocha1Does that not look delightful? It’s a warm, spiced scent of coffee and cinnamon with chocolate-y undertones from the non-deoderized cocoa butter used for these bars.

Although a close second is Spring Meadow:

springmeadow1It’s a completely different kind of fragrance: a sweet, light floral that smells exactly like a field of flowers blooming in the sun. For all of the non-chocolate-y bars I used deodorized cocoa butter so the fragrance wouldn’t be compromised by the natural scent of the butter.

As a special thank you to all of my blog readers, I’m offering a 10% discount with the coupon code BLOGLOVE. The code is good through the end of April. Just add what you’d like to the cart, enter the code in the appropriate place, and it should automatically deduct! Please let me know if you encounter any problems or see anything on the site that’s confusing or unclear as this is my first Etsy rodeo and there could’ve been some fumbles during setup. Now, back to knitting…

Kelp-y Kelpie:


Brooklyn Tweed Loft, colorway Sweatshirt. Click for project page.

After a few weeks of avoiding working on this due to a dislike of the metal needles I was using, I’m happy to report that after switching to the Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles that I’m testing out for an upcoming review, my progress became quite speedy and comfortable! I hesitated to switch because I thought that such a grippy yarn like the woolen-spun Loft would work best on metal needles, but the stitches slide along just fine on the Karbonz and I’m thinking the metal tips probably help things go smoothly. Huzzah for progress!

Blue Loasa:


BMFA Socks that Rock Mediumweight, colorway Blue Moonstone. Click for project page.

Despite all the preparation going on, I’ve made some decent progress on my Loasa lateritia sock. I zoomed through the lace cuff (which doesn’t look like much in the photo above since it is inside out) and am now about ready to start the heel. I’m really loving this color, Blue Moonstone, right now. It feels so bright and cheery for spring!

That’s it from me this week. Check out more WIPs at Tamis Amis.

WIPWed #53: Now We’re Zooming!

I started going to physical therapy for my wrist last week and already I feel a vast improvement. I tell you, those PT people know what they are doing. I’m still not overdoing it knitting-wise, but at least I feel like I’ve made a bit of progress this week!

Stitch Block Blues:


Quince & Co. Osprey, colorways Glacier and Peacock. Click for project page.

As you can see, my Stitch Block Cowl has been growing. This was languishing a little because all of the fancy ‘knit one into the row below’ stitches that make such a delightful, cushy fabric were killing my wrist. However, right where you see that little purple stitchmarker I changed needles from the KnitPicks Harmony I always use to a new set of Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles that I’m trying out, and it made a world of difference. (You’ll hear more about those needles in a full review soon!) I don’t know if the carbon material gave me a better grip or if the metal tips helped manipulate the thicker stitches more smoothly but the project has been much easier to knit since I switched and there were no glaring changes in gauge, either (hence the stitch marker and lifeline, in case I needed to rip back). So yay!

Something Blue:


Blue Moon Fiber Arts Marine Silk Sport, colorway Ramalaba. Click for project page.

A while back, I saw a cute little linen stitch coin purse knit with silk yarn and thought it would look lovely upsized to a clutch for my wedding day. (When else would it be appropriate to carry a silk clutch, right?) However, the thought of knitting a bunch of linen stitch isn’t super appealing at the moment so I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to give my Zoom Loom skills a workout. I’m picturing weaving 6 of these little squares and sewing them in a 2×3 grid to make a bag that is approximately 8″ across the top and 6″ deep when all sewn up. Woven fabric is great for a bag since it doesn’t stretch like knitted fabric would, but I will probably still line the bag. Since I haven’t sewn anything since home ec class in middle school, this should get interesting. Luckily, I have my quilting Fiasco around if help is needed.


The helpful man in question.

I have to say, I adore the varied and surprising skills my Fiasco possesses. This weekend we discovered that he is a genius at arranging lotion bars for product photos. Here was my attempt at making the mango-scented lotion bars look appealing:


Hi. I’m a mango and this is my friend, lotion bar. We are appealing. You are impressed, RIGHT?! (Awkward.)

And here’s the same concept executed with infinitely more skill and patience, set up by the Fiasco:


Ooooh yeah. It’s a mango-scented lotion bar party. Don’t you want to join in?

So yeah. He has now signed himself up to be my official product arranger and marketing consultant because the man has a gift that manifests beautifully through appealing mango placement. I was impressed (and ever so grateful). If you haven’t been following along at home, all of this is in preparation for the opening of my soon-to-be Etsy shop which will feature handmade lotion bars and lip balms containing lanolin (and yummy scents). You can read more info on the blog here or even ‘like’ the Facebook page if you’re so inclined, here. I’m hoping to open up shop by the end of this weekend with the bars I have already made, and will be adding lip balms and other scents as I obtain more supplies and create more stock. I’m getting super excited! The photoshoot made it all feel real.

Oh! If you haven’t entered already, I have a Eucalan wool wash giveaway going on that ends this week. You can enter until 11:59 Eastern time on Thursday 4/10 and I will choose and announce a winner on Friday. Good luck!

Check out more WIPs at Tamis Amis.

Me, Me, Me (and You!)

As you might remember, I am one of the slackers unlucky knitters still finishing up holiday gifts for their needy, grabby-handed, wonderful loved ones. I finished up the scarf for my mom (pics on FO Friday) but the Fiasco’s mitts are still in progress. Despite that, I desperately achingly needed to cast on something for myself. Something new. Something that wasn’t all plain ribbing or stockinette or garter stitch. Something with some oomph.


Blue Moon Fiber Arts De-Vine, colorway Pond Scum. Click for project page.

Ladies and gentlemen, if that chunky, lacy, acid-green mini-shawl doesn’t have oomph, I don’t know what does. The yarn absolutely lives up to its name, it is delicious in my fingers, and the pattern (Cedar Grove Shawl by Judy Marples) is one I’ve been meaning to knit for an entire year. It was featured in my second ever Inspiration Saturday post in December of 2012, in fact. I say it’s high time.


What up, new logo?

Speaking of me, me, me, I’ve been working with my co-worker, Lisa Kinloch (who is also a fabulous graphic designer) to come up with a logo and pattern layout that represents the feel of my blog and my patterns. How do you like it? Lisa gave me a ton of options to choose from, all of which I loved, but this one was my favorite. She couldn’t find a font that represented ‘woolen’ so instead she hand-drew what the letters would look like if spelled out in yarn. How cool is that? I absolutely love it. I am working on updating my existing patterns with the new brighter, cleaner layout in the near future.


Coming to an Etsy shop near you!

Lisa also developed a logo for my newest creative venture: handmade lotion bars. Over the last couple of months I’ve been really inspired by the idea of making my own beauty products. I bought some solid hand lotion at Stitches East and love using it. Then I found this blog post and this one about making your own. I tried it, made a bunch for Christmas gifts, and loved it but wanted to tweak the recipe and add one very special moisturizing agent: lanolin (get it? sweet sheep?). I’ve been experimenting with ingredients and have come up with a couple different formulas I like.

As a responsible creator and compulsive researcher, I’d love to do a little product testing and see which formula people prefer. If you are able to help me out, I will mail you a few small samples and e-mail you a short questionnaire asking about your impressions of the lotion, which you would then fill in and e-mail back. When I receive your answers, in return for being awesome, I will send you a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for the full-sized product as well as a coupon code for one of my knitting patterns, if so desired. Full disclosure: I am aiming to stock and open the Etsy shop before March 1st, so the coupon would not be usable until around then. Also, all of the samples will be unscented (they will have no fragrance oil added) but the use of cocoa butter will impart a chocolate-y smell to varying degrees.

So! If you’re interested, please send an e-mail to alicia at woolendiversions dot com. Feel free to send questions or ask in the comments below. I’m really excited about this project!