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?

Advertisements

Handmade Holidays

Oh boy, could I use a break from holiday goings-on. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with different people every day but right around now I usually want nothing more than just to settle back into routine, nest a little, have some alone time. I like to prepare for the new year with a clean house, an organized life, and a list of goals for the upcoming year and I just haven’t had a chance to do any of that yet! (I’m insanely jealous of those who have off from work for the whole holiday period, I am not one of the lucky ones.) I can’t complain, though, as I was thoroughly spoiled in many fiber-y ways this Christmas.

IMG_5708

Yes, that is a veritable boat-load of yarn.

These are nearly all of my stash enhancements (not pictured is 15 oz of Romney wool roving). Clockwise from top left: unknown wool from a farm in New Hampshire, Cephalopod Yarns Traveller in Kalamazoo and Peaks of Otter, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Joy to the World, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Yaksi (a new yarn!) in Shoqua, Loop! Bullseye Bump in Kermit Coordinate, Black Trillium Pebble Sock Gradient Kit in Pease, Freia Yarns Ombre Worsted in Blue Velvet, and Countess Ablaze BFL/silk fiber in Petrol. I also received the light box that they’re pictured in, so the lighting in my blog photos should be much improved now! Oh, and my dear Fiasco totally surprised me with stitch markers he made, as well.

IMG_5711

Aren’t they pretty? Totally spoiled.

In addition to receiving many fiber-y gifts, all of the handknit gifts I gave were a big success. I finished most gifts just in time for them to be received. My cousin’s socks were given with needles still in the toe (my uncle got a kick out of that) and two project plans were scrapped entirely and replaced with purchased gifts (rainbow handwarmers and a not-even-started hat). Would you believe that after all that rushing around to finish, I actually forgot to bring NOT ONE, but TWO of the gifts with me? I forgot the vest for little Logan and the hat for my future father-in-law. No worries, though, the vest was mailed off and the hat is now accompanied by a matching cowl (photos soon), so I think I made up for it. The only people who got a little shafted with unfinished handknits this Christmas were the Fiasco (of course) and my mom, who really didn’t get that shafted since the Fiasco made her a beautiful quilt.

2013dec29-1

Some knits in action!

I love love love knitting for my little cousins because as soon as they open their gifts, they put them right on and wear them for the rest of the night. Pictured here are the stripey socks on Megan, a hat for Austin, and some cuffs on Olivia. The baby in the bottom right is Lyra, my friends’ little girl. Her gifts haven’t been on the blog yet, I made her a Little Flower Hat by Ewelina Murich and finagled some toddler-sized mittens to coordinate.

2013dec29-3

Handmade solid lotion bars.

I also made some lotion bars to give out with gifts. These consist of equal parts beeswax, coconut oil, and cocoa butter with some fragrance oil added. Since I’ve made these bars, I’ve acquired deoderized cocoa butter, mango butter, sweet almond oil, additional fragrances, and lanolin. I see lots of lotion experimenting in my future and when I find a recipe I really, really love, I’m planning to sell them in an etsy shop. All told (counting the lotion bars as one), I finished 16 projects for holiday gifts this year. Not too shabby!

2013dec29-2

The Fiasco and our nephew Logan, me with my wonderful mom, and me with my nephews Liam and Logan and my sister-in-law Alyse.

I hope all of your holidays went well and that you are making the most of the end of 2013. Did you give or receive any handmade or fiber-y gifts this year?