Sunday, 14 June 2009

Jam and Knitting (sort of)

Well I completely failed at WWKIP day since I did no knitting on Saturday, nor did I really leave the house. I did, however, make jam and have photos of some recently completed knitted items to share. (And I did knit in public at a contradance this evening!)

First the jam. Last year I had a go at a little jam making with a small batch of strawberry rhubarb jam which got rather over cooked and is tasty but not the most easily spreadable stuff! The lesson I learned from making that was not to rely on my candy thermometer and use the jam on plate in the freezer for a minute method to check for readiness. (That and that if the jam is turning to jam consistency in the hot pan you may have cooked it longer than you needed to already.)

When we went to visit my parents last autumn my mum let me bring my great great grandmother's recipe notebook home with me. I've looked through it (it's full of hand written recipes, some perhaps by one of my great great aunts, along with pasted in cuttings of recipes and housekeeping tips) but still hadn't used any of the recipes until now. There's a recipe in there for rhubarb orange jam which I'd been eyeing and since I had several pounds of rhubarb from the farmers market waiting to be used it seemed as good a time as any.

I followed the recipe mostly as written (supplementing with some other jam making instructions not having done this much before) although I did throw in some strawberries that were past their best. It is pretty sweet, I'd probably reduce the sugar a bit another time, and very orangey.

I'm not a big fan of peel in my jam so I used a vegetable peeler to get strips of orange peel and tried to remove most of it as I was putting the jam into the jars so now I'm wondering whether I'd like the peel dipped in unsweetened chocolate as it is I like the texture but the citrus hit is a little much for me even with the sweetness! A possible experiment for the coming week.

Now for the knitted portion of the post. Two projects, one I have blogged about before and one that I have wip photos for which have been languishing without much explanation in my flickr photostream for months.

Here is my daughter modelling her new knitwear. She selected the yarn (at the yarn store) and the pattern (from a selection of ravelry pages) herself so I hope she's happy with the outcome. I haven't actually found the right buttons for it yet so instead it's held together with a flower badge/pin my dad sent which happens to coordinate beautifully.

Pattern: Cowgirl Butterfly Astronaut Vest by Fawn Pea from f.pea
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Superwash Worsted by Brown Sheep - Blueberry Sorbet and Plum Crazy
Ravelry Project Page

I need to knit this pattern again because I made a mess of the stitch pattern of the upper body. Not sure why exactly I messed up but by the time I'd admitted the problem I was past the point where I was willing to rip it back since I think it still looks nice.

My daughter is almost three so I started out knitting size 4 but took a second look at the measurements and decided the 2 would fit my skinny girl better. I liked the idea of a slightly fuller bottom section though so I carried on with the size 4 until the end of the ribbed section and then decreased down to the size 2 stitch count at that point.

The sleeves keep rolling some even after blocking. Perhaps I went down to many needle sizes for them? I wonder whether some crochet edging would help, or perhaps they're fine as they are.

Lastly, now that it's all warm out I've finally got around to finishing the felting of my fuzzy feet slippers. I knit them ages ago(they knit up really quickly) and felted them by running them once through a full laundry cycle, with bath towels, and also a dryer cycle. They were still ridiculously big though so I haven't really used them. Finally this week I remembered to throw them in with my dark towels again, once more through the wash cycle and I think they're about right. Hooray!
Before photo (see another here of my daughter using one as a pirate hat):

And after:

Pattern: Fuzzy Feet by Theresa Vinson Stenersen from Knitty, Winter 2002
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted - Bing Cherry
Ravelry Project Page

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