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Sunday, April 19, 2015

What's new at Socksandmittens/ Inspired by Renaissance Fair. Spring 2015

This year we've got lots of new pretty yarns in alpaca, wool, cashmere and cotton. Some of yarns are even hand spun and hand dyed! Many of these we bought in small quantities so this coming season for us will be filled with OOAK items. The yarns are gorgeous and every one of these has a different feel. Every pair of gloves we made from these we are trying to bring the best qualities of yarn.

For example, this pair was knit from the yarn I bought during Renaissance Festival here in Phoenix:
The wool came from the lovely alpaca farm in Tuscon, AZ area. It was hand spuned there and later dyed with alkanet root. The dye gave it such a pretty lavender grey color! I also love that the yarn has un even thickness so the gloves we made have a very pretty texture.

We had chance to see how these yarns are made so it was so inspiring. I am almost ready to experiment with natural dyes myself!



The medieval festival gave us another idea, too. Historically, the clothing people wore were mostly made with single colors you can find in nature and the simple patterns were used. So we create a couple of new patterns for men's fingerless gloves for our shop. This pair has a longer ribbed cuff:

This pair seems to be simple but it has some different finishing touches:
Despite the simple look, they are not easy to make but I am really happy with how the gloves turned out. They are made in modern time for modern people but they still have this wonderful rustic feel in them!

The other yarns we got are also gorgeous and we are happily working on our new projects. We will probably list the warmer items at the end of summer but please visit our socksandmittens shop any time to see if there is anything you like to order or purchase a ready made item. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

An Easter Egg charms necklace, a 5 minute project

This lovely project by Albina Manning (albinasjewelry) will literally take you 5 minutes to make. Just gather the materials, prepare your tools and let's make this simple but very pretty necklace for a coming Easter!
We used sterling silver supplies and pastel colored Swarovski crystals for this project but you can use any other materials of course.

Here is what you need :
*Easter egg charm ( or any one of your favorite charms)
*Head pins - 3
*6 mm Swarovski bicone crystals  - 3
* Jump ring, 6-7mm - 1
* Chain
1- Slide a crystal on a head pin and make a simple loop. Repeat with the
other 2 crystals.
2 - Open a jump ring. Slide 3 crystals, a charm, and a chain on it.
3 - Close a jump ring.
That's it, it is ready to be worn! Enjoy your new necklace!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Candied lemon Meyer's peel

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had lots of lemons this winter and was looking for an easy way to store them for future use. So I froze the juice and used the peel to make a candied lemon peel. All you need is sugar, water and of course, a lemon peel ( I am using a lemon Meyer one and just love how thin and fragrant the skin is).
 Here is how I made it:
1. Clean your lemons with warm water and wipe them dry. Cut in half horizontally and juice them, using citrus juicer. Strain the juice through fine mesh colander and pour into prepared ice cube trays. Save the peel.
2. Cut the half lemon peel into quarters. With a flexible knife, remove the inner white lining and discard it. Cut the lemon peel into long skinny strips. Pack it in the prepared measuring cup (I am using 2-cup measuring cup as a measure) .

3. Heat 4 cups of water until it boils. Add 2 cups packed lemon peel, reduce the heat and cook about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the peel with a slotted spoon and set aside.

4. Add 4 cups of sugar to the water, increase the heat and cook until the sugar dissolve, constantly stirring. Add the peel, boil about 1-2 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook for about 40 minutes, stirring from time to time.

5. Remove the peel out of the syrup with a slotted spoon and transfer it on to prepared cookies trays lined with a parchment paper.

6. Let it air dry for a couple of days. I am tossing mine from time to time to make sure it will dry well. If it feels dry enough, it's time to store it.

I am using a glass jar with a vacuum seal and storing my candied peel in the refrigerator. The leftover syrup can be used also so I just sealed it in jars and put it the refrigerator.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Citrus harvest

Winter for us is a citrus harvest time. This year we were so lucky to have our  first harvest of lemon Meyer.
I quickly found out that they do not store well, even in refrigerator, so besides giving them away I was looking for some recipes. As always, the dilemma is how to get a healthy food without adding too much sugar. I've tried several great recipes and loved them all but I was looking also for a longer storage life also.

I have not cooked with stevia yet so I've decided to juice the lemons and freeze it in the ice cube trays. The skin was so thin and fragrant that it was pity to throw it away, especially knowing that it is full of vitamin C. So I made a candied lemon peel with it. After it was dried, I was surprised to see that the whole harvest fit into one jar!
Everyone loves it. We are storing it in refrigerator and using it as a snack. It was easy to make and really a great way to use the whole fruit. I will share the recipe in my next post.

Friday, January 30, 2015

January 2015

January was such a busy time for us. We are very happy about lots of custom orders, it keeps us busy. Last holiday season showed that people love our product and we are very grateful to each and everyone of our customers at our socksandmittens shop on Etsy.

We have some lovely ideas for the spring and summer but we are still working on some warmer accessories for the customers for this season. 
 The winter is almost ended here in Arizona but the weather is not so warm in some other areas. So there is always a need for some pretty and warm gloves, cozy socks and warm fashion accessories!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all, my dear friends. May this Christmas bring you comfort, joy, peace and happiness to last throughout the coming year!