I am so close to publishing my last three designs but my progress was slowed this weekend as I was steadfastly ignoring the pattern layout of the next two patterns and instead furiously researched and tinkered on the next things I would like to work on.
1. Homemade Beeswax Crayons- This has been a dormant obsession that has been renewed by the recent harvest of the above Thai Red Roselle calyxes. They are what make Red Zinger tea zing and are also supposed to be a good pigment. I can't find much info online for how to make these, but I found proportions- 2 pts beeswax to 1 pt talc or cornstarch. I even made some crayons- yellow from turmeric, green from parsley and brown from cinnamon. The yellow and green have possibilities, the brown smells delicious but doesn't work at all. I think part of the problem is that I don't have a scale to measure the quantities of beeswax and cornstarch. I plan to make a few more crayons today and will document the process better.
2. Felt shoes. I've worked on this before with only fair results, but just can't let it go. As soon as the weather turns cold and I have to face not wearing my Chacos or wearing them with socks and looking like a crazy person, I think about making boots or shoes. I happened upon the excellent book How We Felt yesterday and it had two great projects- boots and slippers- and I am going to make my first trip to the Woolery soon to buy some Merino to try some shoes. - I can't believe that I've never been there before!
3. Swedish spoon carving. After making my first spoon, I was hooked and can't wait to buy the tools I need to make spoons. I wish I could take this class in March, Carving Bowls and Spoons with Drew Langsner, a craftsperson and teacher in North Carolina. I have two of his books, Handmade and Country Woodcraft and in the class he details how to go from a tree standing in the woods to a finished bowl or spoon. I think for now I will consult an excellent library book, Swedish Carving Techniques and I plan to buy as set of these tools plus a couple gouges. Can't wait to spend winter evenings by the fire, carving spoons and other little things.
4. Advent Gnomes. Looking forward to Christmas is the best part of Christmas for me and I am going to make little red gnomes that are caroling, decorating, giving gifts, etc... and put out one each day in December to count down to Christmas. At first I was going to make a set for Laura's family and my family but when I realized that would mean making 50(!) knitted and felted gnomes I may just make a set for my family this year. I have 10 little bodies knit already and plan to post instructions for one gnome's accessory each day in the month of November along with a free pattern for the gnome. I am thinking about giving them beards and hair, so they don't look as much like gnome children, but we'll see.
What a lot of fun projects, just typing this list gives me incentive to finish up my patterns so I can move on to new things.