Monday, July 3, 2017

Moonlighting as a foodie blogger - Pancakes

As you may know, I'm one of those allergic people who make cooking for them a nightmare.  But, because of those allergies, I have been experimenting with different flours and combinations of flours for a good 7 years.  It has taken me that long to perfect my pancake recipe.  
Now, if you're like me when visiting blogs for recipes, you skip the long essay preamble about the recipe and just go for the recipe.  So, I'm just putting it out here, first up. Even before the (not so perfect) picture. You're welcome!



Okay, so if you don't know how to make pancakes, here's my method:  Get out a frying pan and put some oil on it, not lots, just enough to coat the surface.  Turn the heat to medium low and wait for the pan to heat up. Once the pan is hot, scoop the batter in < 1/4 cup quantities onto it.  Watch them closely for bubbles forming.  Once the bubble start to pop (even just one bubble!) flip! give them a few minutes, but check to be sure they don't burn.  take them off the heat and repeat until the batter is gone! 

Oh, also, really mash those bananas... no lumps! or you'll get gross pockets of soft hot banana....  Unless you like soft hot banana mush... Which in that case, lump away.... I use an immersion blender to really really really mush those bananas.

Top with whatever you would like! peanut butter, jam, maple syrup, cheezewhiz..... Ok.. maybe not cheezewhiz. but you get the picture, it's up to you!

Now: the glamour shot! Isn't it beautiful?


Maybe I should stick to my day job.... spin all the fibres! 

Happily spinning (and eating pancakes), 

~Kara

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Official

That's it.  It's official.  I am a Master Spinner.  I can now proudly wear that hat.  It's kind of amazing actually.

Receiving my certificate from Zach Webster.


Jan, Vanessa and I proudly showing off our fancy new certificates!
(You'll see that Jan's is way fancier, but that's because she's a keener-thats a good thing!- and had her book in before the official Olds College graduation cut off.  Mine and Vanessa's books were in by the Master Spinner program cut off that doesn't line up with the Colleges. We get the fancy diplomas during the next round of graduations) 

Legit! Too legit to quit!

Because the Olds College campus is gorgeous, and these poppies were so lovely that day in the sun.
 The beauty of being official is I now get to teach the course, and I was introduced to that step this year, by co-assisting Mary Lessman.  Mary is a wonderful woman, a font of spinning knowledge, and she has the biggest heart.  I felt blessed to be under her wing.

Level 4 class!  it was a delight assisting Mary Lessman in teaching this class. 

An evening of relaxing after a full day of assisting in Level 4

 As I may or may not have mentioned over the years of heading to Olds, I always stop in at The Fat Ewe Farm.  Eileen Wosnak has many beautiful sheep, a llama, duck and chicken and geese, and bunnies!  I picked up a gorgeous black Romney fleece and brought a friend a bunny!
I promised myself no more fleeces... but this one called to me... I actually dreamt about it... I had to go back.

Not my bunny. But he sure is cute! 


If you haven't started to follow me on Facebook, I encourage you to go over there and do that.  I've been posting live videos, and intend on continuing that practice.  The next one is going to be quite a bit longer than the first ones, as it will go over how to spin if you're broke.  No need for fancy wheels, just a stick and some wool!

Happily Spinning,
~Kara

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It is done.

The past 7 years of my life are now neatly packed up into three binders and I couldn't be more relieved... Well, if I'm honest, I could be.  They could be marked, and I could have my transcript saying just how amazing the work was, and I could look at them in the Olds College library, and be proud.  But for now I'm relieved that my Master Spinner In Depth Study is complete and handed in for marking.  It's so incredibly freeing to have it DONE.

And since I've gotten it done, I get to play!! I had planned a dye week, and promptly ran out of room to dry all he fibre, so it turned into a dye day.  It's all very wet yet, but these are the colours I created, while in the pots.   



Fibre Week is coming up in just over 2 weeks and I'm incredibly excited to be taking a class with the incredibly talented Laurie Steffler.  This class is a 3 day class titled Breezy Silk Chiffon tunic/dress/vest.  I'll be learning to nuno felt, folks!  That's super exciting for me. I haven't managed to be successful at nuno felting, but I'm looking forward to trying it out!  I believe there is still some room in some of the workshops, but alas, not in this specific one...

I'm also really looking forward to being an assistant in the level four Master Spinner class!  I'm looking at this position as a good experience so I can better understand what it takes to teach the course, not just take it!  I'll cross my fingers and hope to be on the roster in the future as an instructor.

Well, I'd better get back to tackling the creation of more yarn, and cleaning the house!

~Kara

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Bring it on, 2017.

Another years gone by. Another year I've neglected the blog, tried again, and got caught up, and forgotten. Another year of attempts and fails and successes.  I figure if I just leave it here, it'll be right where I left it, and I can find it again easily enough... I hope for 2017 I find that flow I had in the beginning.  Where I was excited to share and didn't find it terribly repetitive.... Perhaps it's felt repetitive because at 6 years into the Master Spinner program everything feels very .... already done.... sample this, spin that, this one'a a 2 ply, that ones a cable,  knit a swatch, weave a swatch, final project. 10 yards, 10 yards, 10 yards...  Over and over again. Monotony is tiring.  And boring. And maybe it's not boring to you, dear readers, and if it's not, I'd love to know! I'd hate to get your hopes up seeing a new post only for it to be the same old same old "Here's yet another sample...."
But do you know what 2017 means to me? It means the end of the monotony! I'm nearly done the spinning and knitting for my In-depth Study that will grant me a beautiful certificate saying that I officially know far to much about yarn and fibre!  I haven't recently 'taken inventory' but at a guess, I've got 4.5/25 yarns left to spin (4+ ounces each, so I have enough for swatches) and  50/125 swatches to knit and crochet. Then all the testing and writing.  So, yeah.... There's some work to do. But come June and I walk across that stage, I'll be singing from the roof tops.  That stage will be over. And on to the next one!

So, time to buckle down, get the work done, and on to the fun stuff!  But not before a small nod to the year that was...

You know, a lot of folks had a pretty awful 2016.  Lots of divorces, lost and passed family members and serious illnesses.  Yes, the passing of so many celebrities and big world changers has been a sad note here and there.  However, as I see it, it's the inevitable.  Our Heros, Icons and Idols, are all aging. They are all hitting that precarious age where nothing is guaranteed.  I suppose I'm just a bit to logical, but don't take that to mean I don't have a heart. I feel for those families and those who have found solace in their existence and works.  And of course there are the wars.....  I'm sure I could go on.  Loss of human life, no matter the human (because we all impact other some way or another), is tragic. My love and light to those who feel impacted by such tragedies.
I have to say I've been fortunate in those regards, and I count my blessings every day.  Comparatively I've had a pretty good 2016. My family has been healthy and happy. My work has been published again.  Not once, but twice, in PLY magazine. I've made some new contacts that I hope will bring me (and them!) more successes in 2017.  Despite my news feed on Facebook, reassuring me it's been a bad year globally, I really can't complain personally.  So now it's time to get back to the yarn, and back to the new year.

Happiest New Year, I hope it's as amazing as we all hope it will be!

~Kara

Monday, September 5, 2016

gotta take a selfie.

Over the summer, I participated in craft swap on Craftster.org.  It was a trading card swap.  Each participant was to make a whole bunch of their own trading cards that represented their own image. Instead of putting an actual picture on mine, I chose to do a self portrait in needle felting.  As well, a while back I did a self portrait in yarn as well, so I wove a little flag out it and used it on the card as well. I used Pixelmatr for Mac to edit the image until it was what I was thinking it should be.  Here's the end result:


Pretty close likeness, if a bit cartoonish... More practice I guess!

Happily Creating,

~Kara

Monday, August 22, 2016

The in between things

You know, I have to be honest.  I'm really, really, really looking forward to September first.  The kids head back to school on September first.  This week has been full of everything and nothing all at once. The everything: kids needing this/that/the other, school supply runs, new pets, general house maintenance that keeps getting interrupted due to the kids needing me.... The nothing: fibre fun!  I've not made a single thing in the past week.... Did you know it's next to impossible to lace knit when your kids are all over you? Both literally and figuratively... But, I've got some pretty pictures of things I've made in the past few months heck, lets make that in the past year... So I'll share those, in hopes that I can remember what it's like to make things! ;)

This fibre is called Loons on the Lake, and was a part of the Heritage Spinning Box.   It was on 100% merino top.

This one has no name. it's just pretty... still on the merino top base... 

This is a swatch that is intending to show that this yarn would be suitable for a pair of adult socks. The fibre blend was 80%cotton 20% nylon (faux cashmere nylon).  This was for one of the assignments in the Level 5 work book of the Master Spinner program.

This one is a 50/50 blend of merino and baby llama! It's so soft! 3 ply.

See, I have been up to lots... just not lately... ;)  10 more days!!!  10 more days! 10 more days!!!! 

Happily Spinning,
~Kara





Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Adventures in Lace

I took a little time last week to cast on a swatch of a rather nice rectangular shawl for my Wedding Ring Shawl project.  I was really quite frustrated after 3 attempts to cast on 12 stitches over 4 8 inch long knitting needles.  Fourth attempt I gave them up and went with a small circular set I had on hand.  

Obviously that fourth attempt was the ticket, and I managed to get through the basic increase in the centre of the shawl. However, I kind of want to see what comes of the rest of the pattern so I'm thinking of doing the math to figure out if I can do all the patterns in the shawl in this one small swatch.  I suppose it depends on just how adventurous I get... 


Happily Spinning,

~Kara