In the morning, I made a large batch of Cashmere & Silk.
I used my usual oils - Palm, Coconut, Palm Kernel, Olive, Avocado, and Sunflower and then added a healthy amount of Shea Butter. I replaced most of my distilled water with Goats' Milk. To the lye solution, I added Silk Fibers -- yes, real silk. I used a little Titanium Dioxide (TD) because the goat's milk turns the soap to the orange-tan side. The TD would give me some nice white swirls.
I mixed everything up and poured it in one of my wooden log molds and the rest in a 9-bar slab mold. I didn't put either of these molds in the oven to finish them off because any soap made with milk heats up so much internally all by itself. In fact, most people put their milk soaps in the refrigerator or freezer after pouring but I didn't have room in either. Now, I need a fridge/freezer just for soaping!
I turned around to check the soap on the table and saw a tiny crack starting on the top of the log. Then, right before my eyes, the crack extended down the middle of the entire length of the soap log.
Well, I left it alone.
Last night, I unmolded it and cut it into bars. The cracks on top are hardly noticeable. And, it's GREAT soap! So silky feeling on the skin. Lathers like a dream.
The first one, I was very excited to make. I have a new vertical mold with a divider down the middle which enables me to make a divided soap log. I decided on the fragrance Sweet Orange Chili Pepper and colored the soap one half orange and the other half red.
This morning, I slid the top off the mold and it had not set up correctly. I tested it and it had a very high pH. It was lye heavy. Not good. The scent and color - both fantastic. The soap, however, is unusable. I'm hoping that I can rebatch this - adding more oil for the lye to combine with, cooking it in the crockpot, and then remolding it. I won't be able to use the vertical mold because the soap will be too thick.
When I got to the second and third batches, I discovered that I didn't have quite as much lye solution as I should. I divided what I did have and made the two batches.
Well, this AM when I found that batch #1 was lye heavy, that could explain why my lye solution was short for #2 and #3. Even though I am VERY careful when measuring my ingredients for soaping, I must have made a mistake and used too much solution for batch #1. This would make batches #2 and #3 superfatted - more oil than you have lye to saponify. They should be very moisturizing soaps. The pH for these two batches is just fine.
Yesterday, I went to Knitting At Noon at Dorothy Lane Market. We had a nice group and got a chance to work on our Olympic knits. Sara was the only one with a finished object. She showed us this darling baby hat - the Baby Amanda Hat. I love the top! This is a free pattern on Ravelry.
Speaking of Ravelry - am I the only knitter that was totaly unaware of the brouhaha with the United States Olympic committee? The USOC attacked came down addressed Ravelry for its use of the word Ravelympics and various individual's knit / crochet patterns that feature Olympic rings, etc. both free and for sale on the site. If you GOOGLE "Ravelry Olympic Controversy" you'll find lots to read. I know it's water under the bridge but having just found out about it, I'm a little steamed. I have watched each and every Olympic game for as long as I can remember. I love the Olympics.
The "cease and desist" letter that the USOC sent Ravelry was ------ well, I can't think of a word I want to use to describe it. It was directed at Ravelry and, in a way, its over 2 MILLION WORLDWIDE members. The tone, the language, and the insinuations were a little harsh.
As an artist, I definitely understand copyright and/or trademark use infringement, but the wording in the letter just doesn't sit right with me. The USOC got after Ravelry a couple of years ago for selling a pin for the 2010 Ravelympics with Bob, the mascot, wearing a knitted hat and a gold medal. Ravelry took the pin off their site but not before raising nearly $4000.00 for Special Olympics from its sale. You can find references to the Olympics and pictures of its symbols, such as the Olympic rings, on so many products - both used with permission and not. I've even seen colored condoms arranged to form the Olympic rings advertised. I can understand protecting the trademarks but pairing 'Ravelry' with 'lympics'. The USOC is going to find fault with groups of knitters getting together and casting on for projects to knit while following the Olympics?? Come on!
The letter stated that "using the work 'Ravelympics'" for doing what we do "tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country's finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work". Denigrate and disrespectful??
The sentence in the "cease and desist" letter that really bothers me is this one --
"The Olympic Games represent ideals that go beyond sport to encompass culture and education, tolerance and respect, world peace and harmony."
I think you could just take out the words 'Olympic Games' in the USOC's sentence and insert the words 'Ravelry members'. I believe that the over 2 million members of Ravelry epitomize "ideals that go beyond sport to encompass culture and education, tolerance and respect, world peace and harmony." I feel that we do it with no steroid use, no corporate sponsors, no pictures on Wheaties' boxes, no TV ads, no two week TV coverage, etc. etc.
For heaven's sake, we're over two million fiber people who LOVE what we do and strive to do our personal best with each and every cast-on. We love sharing our passion with others. And, re: world peace and harmony - well, you just have to look at our membership roster and know it's hard to not be peaceful and harmonious with fiber and pointy sticks in hand. Knitters are also very generous folks and contribute quite nicely to the world around us. All you have to do is look at the tiny little tote board on the sidebar of the Yarn Harlot's blog to see that fiber folks have donated $1,102,556 to Doctors Without Borders and that's just so far.
Yes, fiber folks are the epitomy of the Olympic spirit. Except we just don't do it every two to four years. We have that spirit each and every day of each and every year. The internal drive to create just as they have the drive to compete.
There, I said my piece. **sigh**
Now, we could invent a new game. Let's watch the next winter Olympics and see how many handknit sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves/mittens, socks, etc. we spot.
So, KNIT ON! fiber friends and go for the gold!