Archive for January, 2013

making tallow for face cream!

January 6th, 2013 by knitnzu

I have dry skin. I have always had dry skin.

When I was 17, my friend Ana and I went to the makeup counter at Jordan Marsh to find out about moisturizers and such. The clerk was gushing over Ana’s skin… “ooooh, you have such lovely skin, such peaches and cream complexion“. True enough, but the snarky part of me was thinking “huh, she’s got a forehead covered in acne“. (Ana still seems to have very lovely skin…)

And then the clerk got to me.

Oh. My God. You are sucking up everything I put on you.

Needless to say, I’ve used old lady moisturizer on my face for decades.

I’ve been making my own body lotion for a few years now. It’s great stuff, and cheap to make. Only three ingredients-though I often add a bit of beeswax and also some essential oils. It isn’t the best thing on my face though.

When I was in Spain, I picked up some Argan oil, and it has been great… except now that it’s winter, I need a bit more. The regular face cream I have isn’t working for me anymore. With the dysosmia, it just stinks (smokey, heavy, wet, a bit fishy), and I have to immediately wash it off.

Yesterday, a friend was talking about making face cream… from tallow! And so we went to Bisson & Sons in Topsham to get suet to make tallow (they raise grass-fed beef).

tallow making (1) tallow making (2)

Basically, you get all the fleshy parts off, chop the suet into bits, and then heat it over a low heat for some time to get the tallow out of it. I chopped it up with a knife (some people use a food processor), and put it into the crock pot for about 6 hours. Zuzu was very interested in this…
tallow making (3)

tallow making (4) tallow making (5)

I cooked up the meaty bits for the dogs… they licked their bowls for a long time after finishing the kibble…

I forgot to get a photo of how it looked when it was done in the crockpot, but here’s what I ended up with…
tallow making (7)

The open jar is a little cloudy as it was squeezed from the cracklings. I may cook with it.

And in the morning, it was all hardened up,
tallow making (8)

I basically used this method, though I chopped the suet more finely. Here’s another link about how to do this. Both of these links talk about using suet for cooking. I suppose I could have saved the cracklings, but I didn’t this time around.

For tallow face cream, the general proportions are 10 parts tallow to one part oil (I used olive oil). You can add some essential oils if you want.

Now before you go ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, read this and this (though this latter link is regarding home made lard). Basically, unless you are making your own lotions and creams or using a vegan product, you are probably already slathering industrial waste from a rendering plant that renders hormone laden meat… and that would be the waste that wasn’t good enough for hot dogs, or that pink slime everybody was talking about a few months back.

The tallow face cream I made does feel really good, and yes, it does have a faintly meaty smell… even with the essential oils. After one use last night, I didn’t have the instant improvement experience that mommypotamus did, but I’ll give it a while and let you know later.

stuff that comes to our house… knitting the sky!

January 6th, 2013 by knitnzu

Stuff that arrived here last week

The boy had been begging for this, and so spent some xmas $$ to get it. He says shenanigans will ensue.
horse mask (1)

DH keeps showing it to the girls, because they were (understandably) rather freaked out by it at first,
horse mask (3)

My mama clearly loves me,
heart (1) heart (2)

Riveting book…
mycology book (1)
(not). There aren’t any pictures!

Beads for the sky shawl when I thought I was going to use only the laceweight,
artbeads
They came packaged so nicely!

knitting the sky!

I joined a KAL (knit-a-long) over at LSG (Lazy, Stupid, and Godless) in Ravelry. We’re all riding a geek high knitting the Celestarium shawl. When I first saw the pattern, I thought “eh, it’s nice enough, but I dunno”, and then I saw that it is a shawl that shows the star chart of the northern hemisphere.

A star chart of the northern hemisphere!

And I knew I had to make this. I’m using that laceweight alpaca that I dyed with the black food coloring. It wasn’t working up quite how I liked with just the single strand, so I am running another strand of laceweight merino (in black) with it.

It is totally addictive. I don’t have any good pictures of it, because it droops while on the needles and it’s hard to capture the color.

The new, too small, beads (I may work these into a lacy border somehow)
sky shawl (2)

Working away on the E charts (there are 4 to get around the circle). There are six charts for F…
sky shawl (3)

I’m looking for a lacy border for this, something that is reminiscent of feathers (but not that feather and fan, no, no, no, not that) or a raven’s wing. I have some old pattern books… we’ll see what I find. I have some time before I’m ready for that.

The cool thing? I can recognize some of the constellations as I do this!

The funny thought? Years from now, archeologists will discover these knitted shawls and think WTF, why are people navigating from a shawl? Didn’t they have GPS and fancy technical stuff???

more maine morning mitts

I only made 2 pair of these to ship out at xmas… special request from a year ago. I still love this pattern for a mindless knit, but I haven’t made many of them this year. The green ones are from my handspun.
Photo 6 - 2012-12-30 Photo 8 - 2012-12-30

Christmas Highlights

January 6th, 2013 by knitnzu

I should have posted this a while back, eh?

Zuzu was sniffing around the tree early, and she discovered a toy wrapped for her. She started dragging it out, ready to open it. We said “Hey, you, we need to wait for the teenager“.

Photo 9 - 2012-12-25

We managed a posed pic of the girls,
Photo 10 - 2012-12-25
Zuzu has her paw in the air… it’s her “I want something” pose.

Teenager got up around 8:30.
Photo 8 - 2012-12-25

Gravy immediately caught some excitement, ran over to the tree, and randomly grabbed some package and started opening it. “Hey, you, wait a minute, that’s not yours“. But she got to help open all the gifts, and had the best time opening Don’s.

Photo 3 - 2012-12-25

Even though he’s 17 now, the boy still enjoys the packaging too…
Photo 5 - 2012-12-25

And clearly loves his fleecy socks,
Photo 6 - 2012-12-25

Don loves the hat I made him… from leftover yarn from that striped mushroom sweater. He’s goofing off here, but he does like it,
Photo 1 - 2012-12-25 Photo 2 - 2012-12-25

Photo 1 - 2012-12-26

It’s the Cathedral Hat from Bill Huntington at Hope Spinnery. Project details on my Ravelry project page.

I’ve started knitting the sky, but I think that needs its own blog post!