treasury tuesday - birdwatching

Next to creating, I absolutely love sharing the beautiful things I see others make. Here are some picks from the nice stuff I've seen around Etsy and the rest of the internet.

The theme for today: Birds, anatomy, black, white, and gold.
Birdwatching was a favorite pastime when I was a child. I have a small collection of books filled with illustrations of all sorts of birds that you would find around North America. Even today, I have an affinity for the creatures and find inspiration in their anatomy for my sketches every day.
  1. Silk/Cotton Women scarf, Hand painted printed Wings and feathers  by Shovava
  2. Camera Strap dSLR / SLR - Seed Catalog by TheSweetStrap
  3. 4" Huge Raven Skull Belt Buckle White Bronze by Skeletos
  4. Leather Feather Necklace, Metallic Gold Feather Jewelry by LoveAtFirstBlush
  5. Latitude Longitude Sign by Threelittlebirds333
If you see something beautiful around that you know I'll like, don't hesitate to drop me a comment and let me know.

wip: jason's domino socks

So the current work in progress now is this happy little ribbed cuff for Jason's domino socks. I know it's a good sign when I stop every now and again just scrunching and admiring the yarn ball. I should have bought another to make myself a sock! GAH JUST LOOK AT IT!
crazy zauberball, domino
The way each of those greys just flow into each other, how brilliantly that ball is wound to show it all off..I think I'm smitten with Crazy Zauberball. (Like my improvised knit marker? I should consider buying some proper open markers, but for now this will suffice.) wip: jason's domino socks
My wrists are on fire again, so I've been forced to take knitting (and drawing, typing, and anything else for that matter) much more slowly just to try to heal. Every row I manage to slowly complete has been savored like a fine dessert. I think I'm gonna go ahead and take this project as a lesson to slow down and enjoy the little details of hand-making socks.

review: Sweet Tea N Biscuits Soaps

sweet tea n biscuits
A little while ago I ordered some handmade soaps from Sweet Tea N' Biscuits on Etsy. Since I clicked purchase it had been an anxious wait for a little padded envelope to arrive at my door! Thankfully it arrived safely, and promptly--and securely packaged to boot.
When I opened the package, a sweet scent overtook my senses. I knew I was gonna love this soap.

Holly even packed a little thoughtful gift, a sort of thing one would only get when shopping handmade. My gift was of ginger peach tea, and a teeny sample of another one of her soaps. By this point I was already sold on her work so I’ll be happy to send the sample to the first curious reader who e-mails me. :] As for the tea, I brewed it right away. I adore trying new blends.

The one challenge to shopping for things like soap online is the adventure of purchasing soaps that you think you'll like based on its description. I personally like the thrill of it, but some may find it an uncomfortable gamble. Let me say that in this case, I took the chance with her Absinthe scented soaps and was not at all disappointed.
The top lighter colored bar in the photo below is named Absinthe. I can’t find the right words to accurately describe the scent of this particular soap either, but I do completely agree with Holly that it’s a beautiful gender-neutral scent. It smells crisp, nice and clean. :D The other soap, made with the remaining fragrance for a past customer has a bright and citrusy scent. I’d like to argue that the soap is gender neutral as well.
What’s also very nice to confirm is the degree of subtlety in the soap scents. Holly reassures me in her listing description: “This will not overpower you or your bathroom, and will probably not linger too strongly on your skin or clothing.” And now that I’ve tried it on my woolens, I can vouch for that!
lanolin soaps

I ran out of some of my favorite woolen soaps while in England, so I resigned to putting the sturdier blends in the washer with the rest of my clothes and laying flat to dry. This left the socks with an undesirable texture, especially around the heel. Now it’s totally possible that I’m committing a hand-washing sin, but I went ahead and gently scrubbed those bad parts of the sock in an attempt to save them. The rippled texture of the soap was just perfect for that! The socks felt as nice and soft as when they were when first blocked.

Kookaburra used to be the rinse of choice for personal and Bapsicrafts knits, but after using my personal knits as a guinea pig (with success) with Sweet Tea & Biscuits soaps, I think I have made a good soapy-friend. I feel better knowing how much less wasteful the use of a solid bar for handwashing is compared to liquids, and am happy to make the change to solids (and to handmade)!
washing my wools
Both soaps are what Holly calls "Wool or You". They're both made with lanolin, an oil great for your wools and for your skin! Lanolin is known to many as a wonder moisturiser, and after feeling its effect on my hands after the wash, I can agree.
Overall, I'm a happy customer. If you're looking for a light soap to use for your wooly handknits (wool-acrylic blends love a good bath in lanolin soaps too!) I recommend this shop as a great place to get started.
You can visit Holly at Sweet Tea N' Biscuits here.
And like Sweet Tea N' Biscuits on Facebook for her witty posts, soap updates, and if you're lucky, maybe a giveaway.

treasury - july 4th

I prefer being well protected from the summer heat, but the great smell of barbeque almost makes up for it. :] Here are some Independence day favorites that have come up in my feed on Etsy.
  1. Deep Sea Shimmer Post Earrings in Antique Bronze - Royal Blue Studs with Sapphire and Blue-Green Glitter  by
  2.  Hand-Stained Clothespins -- Red by OliveManna
  3. Bohemian bracelet, Dark blue leather wrap  by SinonaDesign
  4. Striped Patriotic Infinity Scarf by
  5. 1960s Mod Headscarf  by
  6. 25 Paper Red White & Blue Striped Straws by
I hope those of you in the states have a great holiday. Stay hydrated. :] To see more related picks, visit my treasury on Etsy.

strong letter to follow

Dear Regia Hand-Dye Effect,
You’ve been bad, very bad. In fact, you’ve been absolutely naughty.
I’ve frogged and frogged countless times, more than I usually do anyway. Your black thread is an absolute ace at finding (creating, I’d argue) every rough part of the texture of my wooden needles, wedging right in, and calling itself at home. I even tried switching between metal and wooden needles to try to deal with your attitude. What did those poor DPNS ever do to you?
Stranded Show-Offs in Rhubarb
And what the heck is up with your fibers? That black thread deal is 10000% not fun to knit with and completely inflexible. Your silky soft “halo” (you’re not fooling me with that halo crap) twists up and sticks to itself whenever convenient. Complete layers of you peel right off the skein and turn into birds nests. We can forget about trying to wind you into a little cake, my yarn-winder is brand new and doesn’t deserve your mess.
Stranded Show-Offs in Rhubarb
Worst thing is, you were beautiful at the LYS and still are! Your colors are gorgeous. I even catch my jaw sometimes when the light hits those carried over stitches on the pattern and your hues shine. But I should have known better than to trust you so easily. I should have chased a wifi hot-spot to find reviews on Ravelry before tilling in. The knitters all warned me about you, but I found out far too late.
Your reign of terror is over. I’m sentencing you to the shelf until I can muster the patience to deal with your shenanigans.

P.S. Don’t let me catch you felting with the other skeins. I’ll know.
Stranded Show-Offs in Rhubarb
Dearest Rhubarb Show-offs,

I’m so sorry for having such a short fuse with you, I really am! I should have had more faith in your design. You’re brilliantly made. What small amount of trepidation I felt for your absolutely beautiful and  unfamiliar heel construction was amplified and misguided by the frustration I felt while working with that awful yarn (by the way, we’re not speaking right now, thought you should know).

I’m not mad at you anymore..but I think I’ll need some space. I think I should see other knits for a while. Like a plain stockinette sock or two. Just something carefree and easy, y’know? But don’t worry. They’ve got nothing on what we have for each other. I promise. ♥