Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Last summer I didn't get any canning done because I was moving, so my cabinet was pretty empty. (I usually can some stuff on a two year cycle, and other stuff every year.) This year I've been going a little overboard- already in my cabinet are small to regular sized batches of various jams and pickles. I'm still waiting for my blackberries to get ripe and my garden to be ready.

Today I did a small batch of Mango Ketchup, from this book, and some experimental Banana Pineapple and Coconut Jam.
Remember to have your jars and lids clean and hot before starting the jam.

2011-07-28 23:07:45 GMT

Banana Pineapple Coconut jam

1 cup well mashed banana
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup crushed pineapple (I used canned)
1/2 cup coconut rum
1/4 cup coconut flakes
3 Tablespoons ball flex batch classic pectin
1/2 cup coconut sugar (can replace with white or brown sugar if you can't find this)
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mash banana and mix in lemon juice right away. Add all the fruit, coconut and rum to a pot and mix in the pectin. Bring to a hard boil. Add sugar and cinnamon. Boil hard for one minute. Test for a jel, then ladle into 1/2 pint jars, seal and place in a boiling water bath canner. Process for 10 minutes. (I live at 2500 feet, so I have to process for 15 minutes- don't forget to adjust for altitude.) Or put into freezer container, let cool, and place in freezer for freezer jam.

Disclaimer- I have tried to include enough acid to make the banana safe, but if you are uncomfortable, treat this as a freezer jam.

2011-07-28 23:10:03 GMT

Monday, February 08, 2010

Let's see if I can make myself post at least once a month. Hopefully the more I post, the more interesting it can get. I apologize that several of the photos in this post are iPhone pictures.

2010-01-03 13:39:06 -0800
After I played around with the inkle last month, I started messing around with Kumihimo. My grandma gave me her stand, which my grandpa built. It's a little on the tall side, but it works, and I think with the weights it's probably easier to keep tension than if I had tried one of the inexpensive disks instead. I've made a few braids with bits of cotton that I have around the house. Here is the first one:
first kumihimo braid

For the little one giving her youngest cousin a big hug and kiss here, I made a dressy little day-glo skirt for her third birthday.
2010-02-06 17:07:38 -0800
As is normal for her, before the end of the party she had decided to try it on.
2010-02-06 17:07:56 -0800

and just a random picture of an inkle I've been working on, I have a simple twill scarf on one of my floor looms, but no pictures of it yet.
scroll inkle band

Friday, January 01, 2010

Okay, so I've been ignoring this blog. What's new- I tend to ignore it when school is in session, then come back to it when I've got a break. I spent the first week of this break recovering from getting my wisdom teeth out, then this week trying to get caught up, and hopefully I can get more stuff done next week before school starts back up.

Every time there is a break I have a list of things I want to get done. This break was no different, and it also was no different in that I was distracted and started doing other things instead. I did a lot of knitting on a plain sock, and it's pretty obvious where I was on a dose of vicodin (I got dry socket in both bottom sockets) and where I wasn't. Oh well, it's just for me and probably will wash out over time, since it's just tension issues.

new year's inkle

Once I was off the vicodin I dragged out two of my inkle looms and started playing with some pick up designs. I haven't done a lot of work with pick up on the inkles, but I want to make some trim for when I fix the sleeves on my Irish costume. The first loom I warped in chocolate and blue pearl cotton, and started a simple celtic knot pattern that I found online. I'm not totally happy with it, and I'll finish it then borrow a book of celtic needlepoint designs from my grandma to see if there is one I can adapt for a slightly different band.


The second band that I started is on my inklette (which is a pain to warp!) and is in lime and plum bamboo rayon. It's just a simple design that I sketched out when I realized that I wasn't going to have the patience to finish warping it as wide as originally planned. It's the first time I've used this little loom, even though I bought it a while ago. I do like how the band is coming out, and it's some of my favorite colors.

bamboo mini inkle

I'll see how far I get these done next week, and hopefully have a better idea about what I want to finish up the costume by then so I can warp the bigger inkle back up.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Anybody looking for a rabbit?
A friend of a friend found him wandering around her driveway. He was caught, the house that they thought he came from was approached, and they admitted to letting him go just because they didn't want him anymore. (who thinks an angora will be okay on it's own. Especially in Sacramento in July???) I said I'd take him because I had an extra cage, but I'm not sure if I have time to groom one more bunny. He's a satin angora, he's small now but I'm not sure if that's due to neglect, or if he's simply young. I also need to attack his coat, and I'll probably just chop it all off.

In other news, more scarves on and off the loom- I was playing with a pattern and tried it out in several different color combinations. By the last one it's evident that I was getting tired of it! Here is a picture before that last one was off the loom.
Handwoven scarves The warp on all of them is Webs merino/tencel yarn, and the weft is various heavy fingering weight yarns, some are bamboo/merino/nylon, one is merino/tencel, and one is some cotton/wool/nylon sock yarn that I had a single skein of sitting around.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A recent project- it's now finished weaving, but still on the loom while I finish the rest of the warp.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Two "new" toys.

One belonged to a friend of my dad's. It's a 1908 Singer 66K-1.

Closeup of 1908 Singer 66-1 treadle

It has Brown Lotus decals and my dad restored the cabinet. (I guess it was in pretty poor shape, I still need to work on gluing down a loose part of the veneer. The machine itself is in great shape.

1908 Singer 66-1 Treadle

The other machine was my great grandmother's White Family Rotary. It's a 1909 machine and sews wonderfully, even though it's in not as nice cosmetic condition. I'll need to do some work on the cabinet, as it got left outside for a while.

My great grandma's sewing machine

My great grandmother's sewing machine

After tuning them up, I've been playing with them and made a couple of modern dresses, a small carpetbag and a cat bed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I've been neglecting this blog, but what is new- I get busy and forget. I do update my bento blog much more often at least!

I've been up to a lot. I just did an art show this weekend and sold a little yarn. I've been spinning, weaving, dyeing, sewing and working with the critters. Here are some shots of yarn.

Naturally dyed yarns
These yarns are all naturally dyed during a dye workshop I took a couple weeks ago. The first two on the left are cochineal, one was dipped in ammonia, and there is a slight difference, but not enough to show in the photo. (not to mention that the picture is taken with artificial light at night!) The third skein is cochineal overdyed with one dip of indigo. I hope that the indigo holds up. The next skein is just indigo, several dips to get it reasonably dark. Then there is a walnut overdyed with indigo, a dill overdyed with indigo, a walnut and a dill. The dill and walnut are lighter than expected, which is probably due to a high mineral content in the water in Grass Valley. It was fun and hopefully will help get me to try more natural dyeing.

Handspun Cormo
This second picture is some handspun cormo I've been working on. Over the summer I was on a lime and orange kick. I mentioned it to a friend at Lambtown and talked her into watching my booth when she mentioned that one of my favorite wool vendors had some lime green and orange roving for sale. I ran and grabbed it. I've spun a few bobbins, but still have a reasonable amount to go. I have an idea for this yarn, but I need to see just how much I have when I'm done to make sure it will work.