Saturday, March 31, 2007

How the Vacuum Almost Killed Me

This is a very pic heavy and long post. Sorry to all you dial up folks. Go make a sandwich or something while this loads!

There was a little more excitement than normal around here this morning.

I wanted to start the day by giving the kitties a good brushing. It's Spring and they are shedding like crazy. The only downside is that a good vacuuming is necessary once that's done because enough hair comes off each of them to make another kitten or two!

The apartment needed vacuuming anyway. So today was as good a day as any to brush the kitties. I should also tell you the kitties like to sleep on the lazy boy when I'm not around. Meaning the chair needed vacuuming as well.

When I put the vacuum upright to use the hose on the chair, I inadvertently set it on the cord. The cord got sucked up into the brush where the protective insulation was quickly stripped away. Unfortunately, I didn't notice the severity of the issue quickly enough. I turned off the vacuum but I didn't unplug it. And when I tried to pull the cord out from the head of the vacuum, I was greeted with a substantial spark!

Now anyone who knows me knows that I injure myself almost daily. I am, what you would call, klutzy. I'm constantly covered with bruises. And I usually can't remember the cause. With this in mind, my husband's response of "a little 120 won't kill you" seems a little less callous.

Here's what the cannibal vacuum decided to do to itself.

Vacuum Problem

Yikes. Looks like I'll be hauling it in for repairs. Hopefully it's really expensive to fix and I can just get the Dyson I want anyway!


OK- with my safety ensured- on to what I got in the mail this week...

ATH- Blues

Heather asked for donations to buy books for a school in South Africa. In return, she was willing to give out skeins of her awesome yarn! This is a merino/tencel blend in great blues and greys. So pretty and for a great cause. She raised around $3,000. That's a lot of books. Gotta love the knitter community!

Piddleloop DPN Case

The clever girls at Piddleloop opened an Etsy shop with these great dpn cases.

DPN Case- inside

Finally, I won't be searching for the missing DPN anymore! And that little ribbon has Velcro on one end so you can keep your stitch markers on it too. Very clever!

Piddleloop extras

And they always send lots of adorable extras with your purchase. They've even teamed up with Aija at Zero markers to add a pretty little stitch marker to the extras.

Labels

I took Ashley's advice and ordered some labels from National Weaving Company. They are a UK company, so shipping takes a while. But look how cute these labels are. Love 'em!

Big Footed Bunny Pattern

Hillary over at Wee Wonderfuls just got her new pattern up on her site. It's so cute. I have visions of a bunny army taking over the studio! I also have her first pattern book. These little books are so adorable and well written. Go grab one while you can!

Finally, I did make soap last night and this morning. I make cold process soap which involves mixing fat and lye. DISCLAIMER: Lye is really dangerous. It's a caustic substance. It can give you chemical burns and run your counter. So if you want to learn more about this method soap making, email me, take a class, or get a good book. Don't just give it a go.

That being said, once the chemical change occurs between the fat and the lye, glycerin and a really lovely soap is produced. There's no detergent and the emollient properties of the fats remain. You skin will love homemade soap. Plus, it's fun to pick your own scents and colors.

The process starts my measuring the fat you're using into the pot.

Soap- Fat in the pot

For this batch, I used cocoa butter, avocado butter, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. You melt the fats then cool them to around 110 degrees.

Soap- Trace

Once you add the lye solution, you stir like crazy (or buy an immersion blender) until it looks like a runny pudding. I added a little pink clay and some Somali Rose scent to this batch.

Soap- Into the Mold

Dump that whole pot into a mold. My molds are from a great lady in Texas. Her husband makes these by hand.

Soap- Mold

I especially like them because of the dividers. This way you get nice even bars.

Soap- Insulate

I wrap the whole thing up in a blanket to incubate overnight. The chemical process of making soap is slow. And it takes time and heat to complete. Around 12 hours insulation usually does the trick.

Soap- Out of the Mold

This morning, I took the dividers out. Now the soap has to cure for 4-6 weeks to complete chemical changes and let the soap dry out. Cured soap lasts longer than wet soap.

Phew! You still with me????

I made the Somali Rose Soap last night. This morning I have a sage scent with green clay and a beeswax and honey scent incubating. Tomorrow, I'll have a forest of soap curing over my refrigerator.

Still awake??? If so, go watch CBS. There's a good game on.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Lovs2Knit said...

Sounds like you were super busy. Glad to here that the vacuum didn't get you. :)
I've been drooling over the Dyson's and now that I have wall to wall carpeting I can justify it but that would mean less yarn....lol.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous jen said...

holy soap batman!

i'm going to have to snag some from you as soon as it is done! i have yet to find something that really softens my skin after the chicago wind.

thanks for the fantastic link and shout out. The DPN Wallet looks good organizing your dpn's. I need to get on making one for myself...those size 1's bite.

and your tags are so cute i love the lil duck! on a similar note we drove to target today and there was a canadian goose stanoidng there before the parking garage. This is in the city of chicago, no park or lake or pond near by. Nat thinks he was shopping. *shrug* how silly.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Nell said...

My BF wishes we had a Dyson too.....

I love your new labels, I could have some JUST like that!!!!

1:34 AM  
Blogger CLeyla said...

Um, thanks a lot. ;) I couldn't resist and just had to go order some things from that etsy shop thanks to the adorable things you got. I love that DPN case!! I've been needing one and I think that one will be perfect for my needs.

The soap-making process looks like fun!

7:43 AM  

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