Wednesday, April 30, 2008

3rd time yogurt

I've decided I don't like scrubbing scorched milk out of the bottom of a pan, and so I used the milk in jar in pan method. As the milk was cooling, I tasted yesterday's yogurt and was delighted to find that overnight it had developed just enough of a tang. So I did not add an extra tablespoon of starter to this batch, I'm sticking with 1T of goat's milk yogurt. I really like heating the milk in the jar, cooling it in the jar, placing it in the cooler of warm water in the jar, and then refrigerating the jar.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

2nd time yogurt

I have been reading Sandor Katz's Wild Fermentation and Jessica Pentrice's Full Moon Feast and all the online resources about homemade yogurt. My first batch using 1T of Fayeh yogurt in a quart of 2% milk warmed in a cooler of hot water has a beautiful texture, but tastes too milky. For the second try, I am using 1T of Redwood Hills Farm yogurt and a quart of whole milk warmed in a thermos.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Placed Cable Aran

I just need to add some sleeves now. I like the feel of this heavy 2nd Time Cotton. I'm trying to make yogurt.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A still of my own

I'm following Rosemary Gladstar's directions for distilling rosewater in Family Herbal. Well, not exactly, my pot is not big enough. I'm going to put a little bowl on that brick after it boils and let it simmer with the lid on and ice cubes on the lid to cool it. As a backup I'm also trying the version where you cover rose petals with witchhazel and water in a covered jar and let sit!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Minimalist cardigan

I've been wearing this around. The yarn is really beautiful - Cascade's Lana d'Oro. The moss stitch really highlights the heathered color.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Placed Cable Aran

This is the beginnings of the Placed Cable Aran from Interweave Knit's Fall 2007 issue. I'm knitting it up in some reclaimed 2nd Time Cotton. I think I will skip the cowl and do a boatneck instead. I have finished the Minimalist Cardigan and blocked it. I'm going to wear it a while and see how the shoulders act. I may reinforce them with a little crochet stitch along the seams.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Linen idea

I think this is Marie Claire Idees - tiny seashells sewn to linen. Ever since seeing Persuasion I've been thinking of sewing with linen. I think this is a tablecloth - but what about window shades? What about a design on the back of a slipcovered chair? I love these colors.

Monday, April 21, 2008


A few months ago, I found one of the young Lears trying to knot a bakery box ribbon around his neck because he thought he needed to look a little dressier to go out to dinner. The other day this J. Crew catalog came and the cover knit ties caught my attention. Wouldn't a little knit or crochet tie be just the thing, a somber color with a few crazy stripes, or a nice simple cable. We have some shindigs coming up.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

More Marie Claire Bebe

I love how they cut out individual birds from the toile and appliqued them to the linen!

Friday, April 18, 2008

A lady in the kitchen

I quite like painting, but I need to figure out how to do it. Laying the paint on the board is difficult. I'm going to try a still life.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Henry Moore's headscarves

The April World of Interiors has so many great articles this month. Pictured above is Henry Moore's watercolor wash over crayon "Framed Heads". He was asked to come up with some ideas for scarves and he filled 4 notebooks with ideas. Of these, 25 were made into samples, 4 of which finally went into production. Later, other designs were used for fabric and wall hangings.

The photographs of Quentin Stevenson's rooms are gorgeous. I love his kitchen shelves stuffed with pottery. His pieces are a little more elegnt than mine, but I see a lot of deep browns.

Finally, his walls are filled with paintings. I always say I'm going to do this. I think it's time to whip up some portraits.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Marie Claire Bebe

Mr. Lear brought back a lot of magazines from Europe and among them was a special edition Marie Claire Idees for babies. I could post ideas from this for weeks! I love this little Liberty fabric dress and knitted pink coat.

This decoupaged chest of drawers is lovely too. I think fixing up old things is the best way to be green.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

World Made by Hand

Mr. Lear just read World Made by Hand by James Kunstler, and so I have it second-hand, but the story has changed me. It's about the end of fossil fuel, set in a future blown back to pre-industrial times.

In my own "made by hand" experiment, I used the kick wheel at the studio yesterday. On the electric wheel, my potting is slapstick and fast. On the foot-powered wheel, it is lumbering and thoughtful. On the electric wheel, my bowls are shaped against the power of the motor, and on the kick wheel it is just me. Making things by hand, powered by my body and using my head changes me. I need to do this more.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cardigan growing

Tomorrow the university is an open house. The halls and libraries are opened up and they roll out the largest seed in the world. I'm knitting away on the Minimalist Cardigan and watching the Cardinals while they're in town.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spoon light

Another from the pages of Marie Claire Idees - the kitchen utensil chandelier. I have always admired the lamps made from old coffee pots with metal collander shades kind of things - but this is a wonderful use for old kitchen tools and spoons. I wonder how it lights the room though.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Lettuce bag

The new Marie Claire Idees has so many wonderful ideas. This crocheted lettuce bag is stopping my heart. You crochet the leaves and then sew them together! Think of the farmers' market bags you could make using all those wonderful hand-dyed greens!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Minimalist cardigan

I'm trying out the Minimalist Cardigan from Interweave Fall 07 with some wool/alpaca. I am thinking more and more about creating environments - how the sunlight falls across the room, where the chairs are, where the cleaning supplies are, what paintings are on the wall.

Monday, April 7, 2008

In Defense of Food

I'm reading Michael Pollan's latest and was inspired to make a 5-minute bread with a little more fiber. I think this is the peasant loaf, which adds some whole wheat and some rye flours.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Central Park Hoodie

I made this a little smaller than the smallest size for my daughter. The buttons have not yet been sewn on - they are some kind of lovely acorn cap looking things from a tree growing outside Fort Ross here in California. We walked down to the fort with an abalone hunter - it was opening day of the season - and I wished I had some antique abalone shell buttons instead.

Friday, April 4, 2008

House thinking

We had a wonderful time at the beach, and I finished the Central Park Hoodie. I'm going to sew on some buttons and then I'll photograph it. I've been reading about how homes shape people. I'm going to conduct some experiments this weekend on my family.