Weaving a Rug

25 Feb

warp threads

I’m working on a project that’s been a couple of years in the planning.

spectrum rug

It’s a simple woven rug with a color progression from gold to orange to russet to red to fuchsia and purple.

I’m using a ton of stash yarn in this project, including some of the very first yarn I spun.
first yarn

I’m also getting to use up some very special bulky yarn made from the recycled thrums of other weaving projects.recycled yarn

This project is going along really quick, and I can’t wait to see what it looks like on the floor.

January Things

28 Jan

cherries

Chinese New Year is almost here! As red is the most auspicious of colors, and as you are what you eat during the festival, red fruit is in high demand. Thus, it is time for bourbon cocktail cherries!

While utterly contrary to nature and the seasons in the Northern hemisphere, this is randomly the best time of year to buy cherries and strawberries in China. I used the same recipe as last year, although this time I added a vanilla bean, and used bourbon instead of brandy. I’m looking forward to enjoying these in Old Fashioneds, Aviations, Waldorfs, and more.

seedlings

I’m taking the seed packet instructions at their word when they say “as soon as soil can be worked.” I planted lettuce and mild mustard greens this week, along with some beets and additional kale seedings.

first leaves

My little apple tree seems to have survived its first winter, and put out three sets of these cheery little leaves. Here’s hoping for an early spring!

The bitter(s) and the sweet

23 Jan

bitters

In this chilly winter season, I’ve been making bitters with infusions of herbs and other flavor agents.

Shown here are homemade vanilla and mugwort, plus old favorites Angostura and Peychaud’s in soda water for a tasting flight.

My current favorite are vanilla bitters, which are really lovely in a mug of warm milk before bed.

Vanilla Bitters

In a mason jar or other 500 ml bottle, combine:
2 vanilla beans
1 whole nutmeg
1 black cardamom (green cardamom works too, but use a small one – black are smokier and milder)
3 black peppercorns
500 mls vodka (I use Stoli)

Infuse for 30 days, shaking every day or two. Store in a dark place while infusing. If your vanilla beans are especially awesome, you may find a layer or brown oil floating in your bottle. This is a good thing – just be sure to shake it like a Polaroid picture before every use.

Vanilla Bitters Nightcap

Combine:
1 T of bitters
8 oz warm milk
1 T of honey
…and drift off to sweet dreams.