Monday, February 18, 2013

Christmas Mittens

I made a few pairs of fingerless gloves for Christmas this year using different patterns. I tried to think about how the recipient might use them and find a pattern that suited that use. For example, I made a pair for my brother-in-law with his outdoorsy businesses in mind that were nice and sturdy. I also wanted to make some that were soft and cozy, so I turned to a different pattern.

For these, I used the same pattern I used to last year to make a pair for my yarn mentor. This pair was for a woman with smaller hands who likes to work outside. So, I made them slimmer and in a dark color that wouldn't show much dirt. As it turns out, she told me she's worn them inside to read and type when it's particularly cold. The yarn I used for this pair was Caron's Simply Soft in Dark Sage.

This pair was for my brother, who has very large hands and drives a lot. I find that fingerless gloves are perfect for driving. I knew he'd prefer something basic for the color, and it doesn't get much more basic than a nice, neutral black. In this case, I went with Caron's Simply Soft in Black.

One of the great things about this pattern is that it's easy to size. To make them longer and wider for bigger hands, you just begin with a longer starting chain and work more rows. For a smaller hand, reduce the starting chain and work fewer rows.

If you're interested in more detail on my crochet projects you can find all that over on Ravelry.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Solid Perfume

Since I started making body products last year, I've been wanting to expand and make a wider variety. I have all the supplies I need to start soapmaking, but so far, I haven't had the time to get started. In the meantime, I did find a recipe for solid perfume and decided to try it first.

I based the proportions of the carrier ingredients, beeswax and sweet almond oil, on this recipe from Soap Deli News, which contains and links to numerous DIY projects.

Because I wanted to be sure my perfume would have a strong, lasting scent, I used proportionally more essential oil in my recipe. So, here's what I ended up with:

2 tbsp beeswax
2 tbsp sweet almond oil

Heat these two ingredients in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time and stir until it's liquid. Then add the essential oil:

Citrus Splash - 2 ml orange essential oil, 1 ml litsea essential oil, 1 ml bergamot essential oil

This recipe makes two ounces. The texture is a little stiff, particularly in these pots, meaning you have to rub it a good bit or warm it in your hands to get it out and onto your skin. Next time, I'll either use a little more almond oil to make it softer or try putting it in lip balm tubes.

As you can see from the pictures, I also made a rose-scented version using Rose Geranium oil and something else, but try as I might, I can't remember the second ingredient. It was something I added to lighten up the rose scent and add a fresh note, but I'll just have to try something new next time.