Saturday, October 25, 2014

Making bullets.

As our followers know, we love colonial reenacting and living history. Dustin was very excited recently when we bought bullet molds to make our own ammunition for our muzzleloaders. Here, he dug old bullets out of a stump he had used for target practice to make into new bullets. This is something the pioneers would have done, as lead was too precious to waste.

A close-up of the molds.

Dustin built a small fire and fashioned a stick handle to extend the arm of the melting ladle. The lead begins to melt and becomes liquid quickly.

 Dustin has the molds at ready and quickly pours the molten lead. The metal cools even faster than it melts and if you pause while pouring you will have air spaces that deform the bullets.

Esther with a shiny new round ball. Just let them cool first! Never pop one right out of the mold into your open palm! 

A small stub of extra lead must be snipped off of the balls before they are ready to use. The bullet molds have built-in, handy snippers just for this job.

The results are certainly gratifying: A pile of spent lead is now ready to shoot again. We saved some change and had a lot of fun in the bargain!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Super-easy crocheted "elf " hat.

This is an extremely easy version of those sweet little pointy-topped hats you see in cute baby photoshoots all the time. This one was actually for a friend of mine who was about to have a baby, but Ember modeled it for me before I gave it away. She liked it so much I'm going to have to make her another one!

I started this hat with 28 chain stitches. You then build up rows of double or half-treble stitches until you have a square (I did eleven rows). Don't be worried if it starts to curl a little at first, it should flatten out nicely as you go. This hat would fit a one to two year old but just make your starting chain as short or as long as you need to depending on the size you want.

The first half is done. Now, make another identical to it. Be sure to keep your stitch tightness consistent.

Lay the two halves right sides together and sew or crochet two sides as shown creating a 90 degree corner( this is your point ). Turn right side out. Finally, stitch two chain ties to go under the chin each about 8 inches long. Attach to each of the loose corners opposite the point on top. Ta-da! You're done! This hat only took a few hours to make and you could do so many fun color variations. Welcome fall!