Posted in Crochet

Rainbow Unicorn

A colleague of mine saw the Rainbow Unicorn kit that came with Issue 54 of the ‘Simply Crochet’ magazine and has asked that I make it for his daughter, so I’ve been working on that for a couple of days now.

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It’s an interesting pattern so far, it has some of the typical problems that amigurumi has in that it’s quite fiddly and can be quite frustrating at times. I’ve made a couple of alterations as I’ve been going where I felt the body and legs needed to be longer, as they all looked too small in comparison to the head.

My favourite part so far is definitely the mane. It’s an ingenious way of incorporating a lot of hair without using much yarn. Once you’ve unravelled the yarn it is so super soft!

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I’ll post some more pictures when it’s finished!

Posted in Candlemaking

My first time working with Soy Wax

After a nice picnic in the park, I decided to have my first crack at making a soy wax candle. All of my previous candles had used paraffin wax, and I had heard conflicting things about soy wax’s similarity to paraffin so I didn’t know how well my first attempt would work.

The wax seller recommends using this soy wax for container candles (not pillar-type candles) and so I used a jam jar I got for £1 from a local store.

The container weighed 75g and the container with water in weighed 441g. 441g minus 75g is 366g, divide this by 20% (as the wax reduces as it melts from solid to liquid) means that I need 292.8g of wax.

The colouring I use recommends 1g of colour to every 100g of wax, and so I weighed out my wax and 3g of light blue colouring. I used slightly more colouring than recommended as I wasn’t sure how well the colouring would bond to the soy wax compared to the paraffin.

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The wax started to melt started to melt at about 30-35ºC, which was much lower than the paraffin wax melting point. After this temperature the soy wax melted at a fairly similar rate to paraffin and had a slight yellow colour whereas the paraffin was melts clear.

Adding the light blue colour turned the liquid a sort of aquamarine colour.

I prepared my jam jar container using a 4-ply wick that I had pre-waxed myself in some leftover paraffin wax, as well as a metal wick sustainer and a little sticky dot to keep it stuck to the bottom of the jar.

I used the tack pour and cap pour methods that I learnt about in ‘The Candlemaker’s Companion’ by Betty Oppenheimer as I have had persistent problems with craters in my candles, as well as wicks coming loose and these methods seemed like they would help.

My first pour was at 60ºC and filled the jar up to 1.5cm high. I waited 10 minutes for this to cool and did my second pour (also at 60ºC), leaving some wax in my double bolier for the cap pour.

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The second pouring took about an hour to cool enough for me to make the holes necessary for the cap pour. The third pour was at 60ºC again.

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As I was doing the third pour, one of the holes I had made for the cap pour melted a bit and collapsed into an air cavern, but I’m hoping that the wax that flowed into it will set and cover it up.

The candle will need to set overnight but I will update with how it turns out soon!

My music for this candlemaking session was ‘No Mythologies to Follow’ by MØ and ‘Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair.’ by SHVPES.