Dyepot Stories: Rabun Gap

She asked for purple with blue undertones.Β  Of course, I only had purple with red undertones.Β  Several color mixes later, still no end in sight.Β  I slept on the task, then went at it again.Β  The final color mix gave me this:

Rabun Gap

The blue purple she wanted.Β  Tonal with hues moving from very dark to medium shades of purple.

I was happy to do this for her.Β  For Sharon, one of my biggest cheerleaders.Β  The fact that I don’t have a shop didn’t stop her from making a request.Β  She wanted this, she thought I could do it and she asked in a way that only friends could ask and not have you tell them no.Β  LOLOL!Β Β  Because of her gentle insistence, in addition to a colorway I’m proud of, I got the chance to build on my dyeing portfolio.Β  Win, win for us both I’d say.

Meet Rabun Gap.




Have you heard about it?Β  Do you know what einkorn is?

Apparently, it is a little known grain that’s emerging in health food circles as an alternative to wheat for those with gluten sensitivity.Β  It’s actually known as the “real” wheat as opposed to the hybridized product we know as wheat. Β  Before I reviewed the cookbook – Einkorn — by Carla Bartolucci, I had no idea that such a thing existed.Β Β  However, since the first portion of the book introduced me to this wonder grain I was able to take a look atΒ  the compilation of recipes with my normal four step criteria.Β  Before purchasing any cook-book I ask myself:

  • How easy are the main ingredients to find?
  • How many ingredients do I need on average per recipe?
  • How simple or complicated are the instructions?
  • Realistically, how many of these recipes am I likely to make?

It took me a while to review this cookbook because I wanted to be fair in my assessment of it.Β  I decided to go and look for einkorn in health food and upscale supermarkets in my area and in Downtown Manhattan.Β  Unfortunately for me,Β  I couldn’t find it at any of the health food or gourmet food markets I went to.Β  In order for me to be able to use the main product of this cookbook, I would have to order it.Β Β  Not at all surprising since information on the web says that this wheat typically doesn’t grow outside of the Fertile Crescent area.

On average, the recipes fall within the 6 – 10 ingredients group; the plus is that the count includes spices that are in an every day normal, non gourmet kitchen.

The simplicity of the instructions was also another plus.Β  The average was 7 steps and they were not at all complicated; in my opinion, easy enough for even a novice to understand.

Realistically, if I have einkorn on hand, I could see myself making 85% of the recipes in this cook-book.Β Β  The layout is visually appealing and four of the recipes already air-marked to try (when my einkorn gets here) are: whole grain caramelized banana bread, salt cod fritters, upside down cherry bars, and sprouted einkorn tabbouleh.Β  I like the fact that there is somewhat of a balance of the sweet to salty recipes.Β Β  An added plus would have been the inclusion of nutritional information for each recipe.

So the big money question is — would I purchase this cookbook on my own?Β  My answer is maybe.Β  If I had gluten sensitivity, I’d probably might investigate it as an option.Β  That is, if I didn’t find another cookbook dedicated to gluten free recipes I liked with a main ingredient that is easily accessible.Β  With online shopping so easy and prevalent, I suppose ordering would be considered accessible by some.Β Β  Accessible to me means being able to pick it up locally.Β  If not in my immediate area, at least from a surrounding locale.

However, if you do have gluten sensitivity or just want to investigate food preparation with a lighter, more whole, wheat product, I recommend at the very least, checking this book out from the library.Β  You’d be able to try before you buy and weigh your commitment to a main ingredient that’s a little more pricey and might need to come from on online supplier.

To read more about this cook-book dedicated to the newest wonder grain and the author’s journey to bringing this ancient source of well being back to modern times, visit her website here.

disclaimer: this review was done through my affiliation with Blogging For Books.Β  Although I received a copy for review, the thoughts expressed are entirely my own.

$50 instead of $200

That’s how much I spent on a blending board.Β Β  Spinning has opened a whole world of possibilities for me in terms of color play and one of the ways to do so and play with a mixture of fibers is by custom blending on a blending board.Β  I wanted this one (which incidentally is the cheapest on the market) … at a price of $195 + tax.

Ashford Blending Board

I think it can be found on Etsy for $175.00 but that price tag is still too high for me.Β  So I decided to make one.Β  This is what I did:

  • Bought carding cloth at 72 tpi (tines per inch) on Etsy for $49 (inclusive of shipping)
  • Used an old butcher’s block that I had previously.Β  It cost $13.
  • Used my trusty staple gun
  • Stapled the carding cloth to the butcher block
  • I couldn’t stand looking at the staples, so I framed the cloth and covered the rest of the board with my trust “Flower Power” duct tape I bought at Michaels 2 Christmases ago for a whopping $0.99 cents.
  • I also got two paint brushes free from my building super to “paint” the fibers onto the board.
  • And I’m using 2 old knitting needles as dowels to roll the fiber off the board.
  • And I had a blending brush that I bought to use as a flicker brush.

I ended up with this:

I might go to the beauty supply store and get two boar bristle brushes of different firmness to add to my kit but there it is … in all it’s flowery glory.Β Β  Necessity is definitely the mother of invention.Β  If I was working, I probably would have bought the Ashford board, but living on a budget while still wanting to grow in my skill-set allowed me to think of things differently.Β  Even if I calculate the cost of the stuff I had before, the needles were .79c for the pair and the board was $12.99.Β  Even if I add that to the $49 I paid for the cloth, I’d still come in under $70 for a board that works pretty well.

Wanna see what it did?

I used all the miscellanous fiber I got in various spindle kits — bought and gifted — to create these sea inspired rolags and a gradient mini batt.Β  I ended up re-processing the batt; I found it thin in spots.Β  So I now have a set of rolags from my DIY board to practice my long draw drafting on.Β  Win, win, I’d say.Β  :D

Have you diy-ed any tools for your hobbies?Β  Tell me all about it in the comments.Β  :D

Dyepot Stories: My Newest Crush

Β errrr … fiber.Β  That’s all I can really say.Β  I know I should be dyeing yarn more than I have been but man, fiber is a new awesome medium and I’ve been having a blast.Β Β  I have been dyeing yarn too; right now I’m working on a custom dye color for a client.Β Β Β  But fiber …Β  LOLOL!Β  I want to think that this spinning obsession love I have is driving even my dyeing escapades.Β  If you’ve been on IG, you would have seen these before, but I’m putting them on the blog for posterity.

First Dive  BFL

This first braid is 100% bfl (bluefaced leicester).Β  I called this one “Mud Pie”.Β  It’s amazing the end result when I look at the colors I started with.Β  This is non repeatable because basically I just went to town with the colors.Β  LOLOL!Β  I can’t wait to spin this up in the Fall.

This one is a 100% Falkland (the breed that doesn’t exist as a sheep breed, but that’s another story) braid.Β  I call this “Elisa The Beach Bum”.Β  It was inspired by a beach photo posted on IG by my friend Elisa Dallomo.

This is “Crown Jewels”.Β  Another Falkland braid I did for my friend Kathy who’s been amazing with her encouragement for my spinning adventures.

Disco Was Murdered Falkland

And this neon psychedelic was inspired by two of my favourite T.V. guys — Shawn & Gus — from T.V. series Psych.Β  This one is named “Disco Was Murdered”.
Not to worry … some yarn got dyed solid,Β  the dark garnet was over from a natural dye experiment that faded fast and the hand painted one was just fun trying out a new hand painting technique.

Yarn Dyeing July 2015

So it’s not that I’ve been a slacker with the pots … just in posting here.Β  ;)