Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kale and Lentil Soup

This soup is so easy to make and is healthy and filling. Best, it will really warm you up on a cold day.

1 bunch kale, chopped roughly
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
salt, pepper
optional: elbow macaroni, sausage, Parmesan or Romano, lemon juice

In a large pot:
Saute onion and celery in olive oil (about 1 tbsp) until transparent.
Add lentils and stir for about one minute.
Add Kale and 8 cups of water, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for an hour until lentils and kale are tender enough for your liking.

I like to add some Andouille sausage (any kind of sausage will work, just brown and drain before adding to the pot)  to this soup and serve it over macaroni. I also love it as is but with a squirt of fresh lemon juice right before serving.  

Some new handspun yarns:

Single wool
Single Mohair 
Mixed fibers; single

Wool Coordinates

Monday, January 27, 2014

New Wool Combs

It is nice to get back into doing fiber stuff and with all the comings and goings of the last weeks, I haven't had a chance to post a picture the wool combs that my darlin' husband gave me for Christmas. Today, I am combing the last of some pretty gray Romney.  I have just a little of this fleece left and I'm finding a lot of burned and crunchy tips from what looks to be sun damage (bottom of the pic). The wool at the top of the pic is combed wool, wrapped into a little bird's nest and ready for spinning.

I could cut the burned areas off with scissors and card the remaining but I think I'll just compost the what is left. The combs are from Valkyrie and I can see why folks have a number of sets. These are single pitch mini combs(one row of tines) and they work well for this fleece with a long (5 to 6 inch) staple and little or no VM. So, next occasion I am going to ask for some double pitch, or greater, combs and I'll keep an eye out for a used set in the interim. Combing is fun and combed wool is a joy to spin. In fact, the only way to get a true worsted yarn is with a combed preparation. I need practice with both combing and carding but I am sure enjoying learning.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Day! New Drum Carder

It was a sad day when I sold my Ashford Wild drum carder. The buyer is a weaver and a felter and I know she'll take good care of it. So, time for a new carder. I knew I had to have a full size (at least) motorized carder.  I did a ton of lurking around Ravelry, research and read scads of reviews before deciding on a @Fancy Kitty Kitten.   Selecting the brand was pretty easy. Fancy Kitty has a good reputation and has been around for a while and people seem to rave about them. The price was a huge factor too; you can get a full size, motorized carder for under $1000.00. Then, the biggest decision was selecting the carding cloth.

At the moment, the fleece that I have on hand includes: alpaca, Finnsheep, Romney x Icelandic, Merino, Corriedale, and Romney. There is also the silk, bamboo and etc., etc. I really do enjoy spinning all types of fiber. So, more research  led me to opt for their 72/90 medium cloth so that I can get a smooth batt by running the fiber through a time or two and still card the coarser stuff.

The carder arrived in three days in a HUGE box. You should have seen the packing; I was really impressed at how securely the thing was packed.    

A charming note signed Lamar's son, Chad was inside the box, awwwww . Within about 30 minutes after the box arrived, I'd carded two pretty batts using some very sad mill ends. It was easy to use and the speed adjustment and reverse features are great. I am so proud of the thing I just can't tell you! It feels really solid and is finished nicely. Guess what I'll be doing this afternoon????

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What is Jake?

 I don't always think he looks like a dog; a seal maybe???????

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful year and that we all can learn to have compassion for one another.                              

Yeah, that is my foot and yeah, it is wrapped and Jake.