Sweet Sheep Featured Flavor: Lemon Lime

In the interest of fighting the rainy-day blues, I’ve decided to extend the 15% off sale I’ve had running for Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe. (Are you part of my mailing list? I occasionally run sales that I only announce there, and this was one of them. Do sign up if you haven’t already, I send out news only about once a month!) But, since it’s rainy and gross and I’m wishing for the sun, the spring sale will now run through April 8th. Enter SPRINGSPRUNG at checkout to earn 15% off your purchase! This week I’m featuring the sunniest of lip balm flavors that I make: Lemon Lime.

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Lemon Lime lip balm

Why I love it: This lip balm tastes/smells like sunshine in stick form. It’s bright and energizing, summery and sweet. I admit to always loving lemon/lime flavors, as a kid I consistently chose Sprite over Coke and would eat all the yellow Starburst candies if I had my way. Both the lemon and lime flavors come through here for a fun, vibrant lip balm.

What it pairs well with: I don’t have nearly enough citrus scents in stock right now, but the Lemon Cake lotion bar would make a nice little gift set with the Lemon Lime lip balm and Lemon Cake soap. The Kumquat lotion bar is another energizing citrus that I can guarantee you’ll love if you’re drawn to Lemon Lime.

What’s your favorite sunny, springtime scent?

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Sweet Sheep Featured Fragrance: Lavender EO

This week’s featured lotion bar fragrance is a very love it or hate it type of scent: Lavender EO. The ‘EO’ in the name indicates that the bar is scented with the botanically-derived essential oil (rather than a man-made fragrance oil). My mom is allergic to lavender, so I was never really exposed to the scent while growing up and didn’t particularly care for it. My favorite aunt, on the other hand, is a lavender junkie who hits me up for more lotion bars and lip balms every time I go back home. Now that I am constantly making lavender-scented products, it’s really grown on me. I even keep bar by my bed to put on before I go to sleep as the essential oil is known to have a soothing, calming, and restful effect (and I’ll take all the help I can get shutting off my brain at night).

Lavender EO lotion bars

Lavender EO lotion bars

Why I love it: As far as florals go, Lavender is not cloying at all. It’s more herbal and earthy than it is flowery and sweet. Its herbaceous nature is what I think turns some people off of it, but it’s also exactly what I love about it. For the record, lavender buds are edible and add a delicious spicy/floral note to tea, mixed drinks (try a lavender-infused simple syrup mixed with lemon juice and gin!), and even chocolate cookies (which I’m dying to make).

What it pairs well with: I’ve included Lavender EO in the All Natural gift set alongside Spearmint EO and Unscented Cocoa, all of which are scented with essential oils or the natural chocolate fragrance of cocoa butter. It pairs well with citrus scents (like Kumquat) or the gently floral/citrus tea scent of Chamomile Bergamot.

Summer Fields handmade soap

Summer Fields handmade soap

I’ve also embedded bits of Lavender and Vanille soap in an aloe vera gel base that I call Summer Fields. The earthy Lavender pairs well with the sweetness of the Vanilla and the freshly-mown grass scent used in the base. I’ve been showering with this soap daily and it’s like a little burst of summertime happiness every morning.

What about you, do you like Lavender? Are you in the love it or hate it camp? Do you use the essential oil for any of its therapeutic properties?

WIPWed #98: Stealth Socks and Sheep-Shaped Soap

There are three things I’ve confirmed recently:

  1. I really love slipped stitch sock patterns,
  2. Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts is the queen of teal colorways, and
  3. sheep-shaped soap is just about the cutest thing ever.

My Favorite Socks Ever:

WIPWed #98: Stealth Socks and Sheep-Shaped Soap

BMFA Socks that Rock LW, colorway Gran’s Kitchen. Click for project page.

Still rockin’ this pair of socks, and still absolutely loving them. Loving them so much, in fact, that I’ve cast on ANOTHER PAIR.

Stealth Socks:

WIPWed #98: Stealth Socks and Sheep-Shaped Soap | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Socks That Rock HW, colorway Grimm. Click for project page.

The pic is blurry but the colorway, Grimm, is absolutely glorious. Tina really knows her way around teals, man, and the pooling is pretty fun on this pair. These are stealth socks because I’m trying to knit them quickly (by the end of the month) and on the sneak, for a certain someone-whom-I-live-with’s birthday. (Here’s hoping his eyes just glaze over when I go on and on about socks and won’t realize these are for him.)

Sheep-Shaped Soap:

In exciting news, I’ve added some new soap to the shop that I’m absolutely in love with. Blackberry Crumble is a goat milk soap scented with blackberry, sage, and a touch of gingersnap fragrance oils that is juicy and bright. I got a little more creative with the Peaches & Cream soap, which consists of white and peach-colored layers of goat milk soap and is scented with southern peach and cream cheese frosting fragrance oils. It smells just like a sweet, decadent, summertime dessert and is finished off with a sprinkling of red and white jojoba beads on the bottom. These soaps are so cute, I honestly can’t stand it.

That’s all from me this week! As for reading, I sped through the Outlander novella “A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” which gives a little insight into Roger’s parents’ past and am looking for my next read. Any suggestions? Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday.

Sweet Sheep In Da House

I realized when I posted a picture on Instagram of a nearly-finished lotion bar, that I’ve been in business for over a year and have only one other time actually finished a bar. The first scent I ever made, Sweet Almond, is the only one I’ve completely finished using up. Why is that? Yeah, the bars are really long-lasting because you only use a tiny bit at a time, but it’s also because I literally have lotion bars in different scents all over the house.

I keep a sample-sized bar at work (Pumpkin Spice), in my purse (Kumquat), in the desk in my office (Coconut LIme), in the yarn bowl in my knitting corner (Basmati Rice), and on my bedside table (Lavender EO). When I tell shoppers at fairs and festivals that it’s handy to have one in multiple places, I’m not just selling them a line,  I mean it, I live it! That old adage of the shoemaker’s family going barefoot apparently doesn’t extend to handmade body products, because my skin is never, ever dry. 🙂

In addition to that silliness above, I wanted to let you know that I’ve restocked some soap!

First, I’ve made more of my popular Lavendar Vanilla soap. This version is made with a honey soap base (purple) and topped with whipped goat’s milk and castille (olive oil) soap (white). These went quickly at my last market so I was eager to make some more!

And second, I used slivers from the edges of the Lavender Vanilla soap as embedded pieces in my new Summer Fields soap. This contains the honey and goat’s milk goodness of the Lavender Vanilla soap within an aloe vera gel soap base. It’s scented with a new-to-me fragrance oil that I can’t get enough of called Grass Stain. I know, the name sounds crazy, but this fragrance is totally delightful. It’s herbal and sweetly floral, while being refreshing and not overwhelming in the slightest. It reminds me of rolling around in the grass on a warm, sunny summer day.

I have so many more soap plans rolling around in my head but only limited time to make them lately so that’s all I have for now. What’s your favorite summer scent?

Sweet Sheep Featured Fragrance: Lemon Cake

Man, am I glad this work week is nearly over. I need the weekend, STAT! Luckily, this Saturday (May 16) is the RI Wool and Fiber Festival at Coggeshall Farm in Bristol, RI. Not only does this mean that I’ll get to see my spinning friends and pet some sheep, but I’ll also be vending my Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe products from 9am – 4pm, so if you’re in the RI/CT/MA area, you should come on over and say hi! Let’s feature a different fragrance this week, shall we? Lemon Cake!

Lemon Cake solid lotion bar

Why I love it: Lemon Cake is by far one of my favorite lotion bar fragrances. It’s delectably sweet, almost buttery in its cake-yness, with a bright, refreshing lemon note on top. It’s pleasing to just about everyone and I love seeing the look of greedy delight in customer’s eyes when they smell it for the first time. The Fiasco even keeps a tin of Lemon Cake on his desk at school, just to sniff from time to time because it makes him happy (he doesn’t really use lotion). It’s that good.

What it pairs well with: I include Lemon Cake in my Coffeehouse Specials gift set, which also includes Cinnamon Chai (warm and spicy) and Turkish Mocha (coffeehouse delight), two other deliciously dessert-like scents. If you wanted to create your own mix pack, I’d suggest pairing it with Kumquat  (tangy and bright) or Honey Beeswax (rich and warm) to play off the summery, citrus notes.

Frosted Lemon Cake handmade soap

And of course, now you can get the same Lemon Cake fragrance mixed with Cream Cheese Frosting in my new, handmade Frosted Lemon Cake honey base soap!

Hope to see you all at the fiber festival tomorrow. If you do come, let me know that you follow this blog and I’ll give you 10% off your order! Happy Friday!

Soap for Sale!

I was super surprised (and excited!) to see all the love for handmade soap that my Sweet Sheep product survey results reported. I thought I was one of the odd ones who got excited over soap-y goodness, but I’m thrilled that I’m not alone. I’ve had lots of fun experimenting with a variety of soap bases and have created three new soaps for sale. I was inspired by the recent cheery spring weather we’re having here in RI (finally!) and I think these beauties reflect that!

Lavender Vanilla Shea Butter Soap:

The first soap is comprised of Lavender Essential Oil-scented soap (purple) layered with Vanilla Bean-scented shea butter soap (white). The top layer is shea butter and castille (natural, olive oil-based) soap whipped into frothy goodness. Whipped soap has a great spongy texture and makes a luxurious lather. The whole thing is topped off with a sprinkling of jojoba beads and culinary-grade lavender buds.

Frosted Lemon Cake Honey Soap:

This second soap looks (and smells!) good enough to eat! It’s comprised of a Lemon Cake-scented honey soap base (yellow) layered with Cream Cheese Frosting-scented white soap. Like the lavender soap above, the top layer is a whipped soap mixture sprinkled with colorful jojoba beads.

Citrus Surprise Hemp Seed Oil Soap:

Last but not least, this soap is a fun mix of soap bases and fragrances. It contains slivers of the Frosted Lemon Cake soap engulfed in orange-tinted, Kumquat-scented hemp seed oil soap. The orange has a bit of a shimmer to it, and the combination of bright citrus and sweet frosting scents is delectable. And I must admit, I love the way the embedded soap peaks out from the surrounding base!

If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll give handmade soap a try. Are you a fan of unique soap? What does your favorite bar of soap look/smell/feel like?

Sweet Sheep Featured Fragrance: Honey Beeswax

Before I jump straight into the featured lotion bar fragrance, I wanted to let you know that the Fiasco and I will be vending Sweet Sheep products TOMORROW (Saturday 4/18) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mount Hope Farmer’s Market in Bristol, RI. Stop by and say hi! And sorry for the late notice, between deadlines and a conference I’ve worked 10+ hours every day this week and have not had a moment to breathe, let alone blog (and we’ll all be lucky if I’m not slumped face-first in the lip balms by noon tomorrow). Altough now that I check, I don’t see our name on the vendor list… so, err, hopefully we’ll be at the market and if not, we’ll be selling out of the back of our car, because we’re not waking up at the crack of dawn for nothing! #spaz #indiebizfail

Onwards and upwards, this week I’m featuring our Honey Beeswax scent!

Sweet Sheep Featured Fragrance: Honey Beeswax | Woolen Diversions

Sweet Sheep Featured Fragrance: Honey Beeswax

Why I love it: This fragrance is the one I recommend when people ask advice for gift-giving but have no idea what the recipient might like. It’s an all-around appealing scent that not a single person has ever said “Ugh!” to when they smell it (I’m endlessly fascinated by the reactions people have to different scents). Most people respond with “oh, that’s nice!” in a slightly surprised tone. It’s a subtle scent, not overpowering, a little bit sweet, and a little bit sultry. It smells… warm. Like a summer day.

What it pairs well with: I include Honey Beeswax in a Sweet Treats gift set along with Sweet Almond and Chipotle Caramel. However, it’s not particularly candy-like and would work equally well with floral scents. If you were interested in building your own custom mix pack, I think it would mix nicely with Spring Meadow (a light floral) or Chamomile Bergamot (a fresh new tea fragrance that I have not yet added to the shop due to lack of photos).

So that’s Honey Beeswax in a nutshell: a rich, warm scent that plays well with others.

I’ll be at Mount Hope again on Sunday (just as a spectator) to celebrate the Great Rhody Yarn Crawl and buy stuff from awesome vendors, so if you don’t make it Saturday, perhaps I’ll see you Sunday! I’ll be the one spinning (haha that’s a joke because there will be so many spinners). #sotired #lamejokes #delirium #fortheloveofallthatisholystophashtagging

Sweet Sheep’s First Soap!

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely already had some glimpses into my recent soap-making experiment.

Sweet Sheep's First Soap! | Woolen Diversions

Whipped soap!

I had a ton of fun playing around with a few high quality melt and pour bases, and created a perfectly delightful batch of soap that I think you’ll love.

This first batch is composed of a green-tinted aloe vera gel base and topped with a soft, creamy layer of whipped goat milk soap, all finished off with a sprinkling of fine jojoba beads. The bright, herbal, Green Tea fragrance of the base mixes beautifully with the softly sweet, citrus scent of Lemongrass essential oil in the topping. Whipped goat milk soap has a light, spongy texture and creates a lovely lather. It will dissolve more quickly than the aloe vera base, allowing the Green Tea scent to emerge from the more dominant Lemongrass over time. The color and scents are perfect for spring (and incidentally, St. Patrick’s Day)! As a bonus, this first batch is offered at a discount, as I plan to make my bars a little bigger in the future, so snag them while you can!

Sweet Sheep Featured Fragrance: Basmati Rice

It’s time to highlight another of my favorite Sweet Sheep lotion bar scents in a featured fragrance post. This time, I’d like to gush about the mysterious and alluring Basmati Rice.

Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe Basmati Rice

Basmati Rice lotion bar by Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe

When I first came across this fragrance oil on Brambleberry, I didn’t know what to make of it. I believe my first thought was “Rice? Really?” but I was hooked by their description of it as “a mix of fruity florals and cedarwood” and became quite curious. I’m glad I gave it a try because it’s become one of my favorite scents.

Why I love it: This fragrance is the perfect representation of what I think of when I hear the word ‘exotic’. It somehow combines floral top notes with fruity middle notes over a wonderfully creamy, vanilla-y, woodsy base. That sounds like an impossible mix of just too many things, but I promise, it works. Subtly sweet and gently perfumed, it manages to captivate without overwhelming.

What it pairs well with: I include Basmati Rice in the Exotica gift/sample set, along with Down by the Bay (a bright, tangy, earthy scent) and Sandalwood Vanilla (another woodsy/vanilla/floral favorite). If you were interested in building your own custom mix pack, I think it would mix quite well with more complex foodie scents like Turkish Mocha (mmmmm chocolatey/coffee goodness) and Cinnamon Chai (spicy & sweet forever).

Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe survey

Take a survey, get a coupon, enter to win a prize!

While we’re on the topic of Sweet Sheep, I’d like to do a little market research about other body care products (besides lotion bars and lip balms) you’d like to see in the shop. I’m working on producing a variety of things, and in truth, I have so many ideas that I’m not sure where to start! Since it would not be cost effective to make all the things at once I’d love some input into the kinds of products and scents you’d most like offered in the near future. Please follow this link to take a 10 question survey about Sweet Sheep. I’ll send a coupon code to everyone who participates, and by April 5th I’ll draw 10 names from the participants to receive a free, sample size lotion bar. Thank you in advance for your help, and please spread the word!

Finally, Some Light

Despite all the snow on the ground, I can feel the winter starting to fade. Birds are singing in the morning, the temps are forecast to be above freezing this week, and the sun is a welcome friend returned. Not only for its warmth, but for its light… because I can finally take some decent FO pictures. (Priorities!)

Finally, Some Light | Woolen Diversions

Deep Dark Stellaria, click for project page.

When I first finished knitting the Stellaria shawl, designed by Susanna IC, I was a little bit dismayed. I had modified the shawl to be deeper/taller (by leaving fewer stitches between short row wraps) but I had not fully appreciated how long this sucker was. It’s a really big shawl, and I was concerned about its wearability.

At first I thought the shawl would only look ‘appropriate’ worn with a fancy dress to a winter wedding or gothic gala of some sort. But after a few weeks of wearing it as depicted in the second photo above, I’ve decided it works. It’s a bit larger than other shawls I wear kerchief-style, but the layers of garter and lace wrapped the neck around make for a nice cascading effect (plus, they’re super warm). I won’t be wearing this shawl much into the spring, but for the winter, its coziness is much appreciated.

Finally, Some Light | Woolen Diversions

Garnet Tonic cowl. Click for project page.

After my quick blocking of this Tonic Water cowl, designed by Thea Coleman, I decided that it definitely needed another repeat. I was tempted to leave it be, but the extra repeat was totally necessary.

With 8 repeats, the cowl falls to a nice length worn open, and just barely fits comfortably doubled up since it’s such a wide piece of knitting. I love that contrasting stripe (and the way it coordinates with my Lucy hat!) more than I can say, but it gave me the devil of a time. When I first saw the design, I thought Thea had done something really clever with beginning and ending the cowl in the contrast color and invisibly joining in garter stitch somehow. Instead, the directions were much simpler, and just involved adding the contrast color at the end and seaming the edges together using the main color. Since I dislike seaming and was feeling lazy, I decided to finagle a different way to close the cowl. I spent an entire hour messing around with it, trying and abandoning ideas like knitting the edges together or doing a three needle bind-off. Eventually, I settled on doing a garter-based kitchener stitch using the contrast color. You can see the contrast color poking through a little on one side of the join, but trust me, it’s much better than it was. And truthfully, I’m so in love with this cowl that it doesn’t even matter.

Finally, Some Light | Woolen Diversions

The Verdant Gryphon Zaftig, colorway Winter Slant of Light

While I’m thrilled about spring, I couldn’t help but fall in love with this winter colorway from The Verdant Gryphon. Blues! Greens! Greys! All of my favorite things! And since I love my newly finished cowl in the same worsted weight MCN base so much, I think these skeins are destined to become a cowl, as well. Now to find the perfect pattern…

Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe on Etsy

New lip balm flavor: French Macaron!

Spring scents are popping up over at Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe, too! I’ve just added a brand new lip balm flavor, French Macaron. It’s delightfully sweet, sophisticated, and indulgent. I’ve also restocked a good number of my other lip balm flavors that had sold out (Toasted Coconut, Lavender, Lemon Lime, Winter Clementine, and Vanilla Mint) and added Spring Meadow and Sea Moss lotion bars back into the rotation.

What would you knit with just under 400 yards of dense and colorful worsted weight yarn? Is spring popping up in your part of the world?