Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jam! Hats! Dresses!

Mom and I discovered a cherry tree a few blocks away that is full to bursting with sweet cherries. It is in front of an old apartment complex, and we looked for a landlord office to ask permission, but couldn't find anyone, so we forged ahead and filled our basket in about 5 minutes. After a couple days of stuffing ourselves on them, I decided to make jam. Coincidentally the blueberries finally got (relatively) cheap at the grocery store, so I ended up making 4 jars of blueberry, 3 jars of cherry and 4 jars of blueberry-cherry. My mixed batch was pretty cavalier. The first blueberry batch called for 4 cups of fruit and 7 cups of sugar. I was too chicken to cut the sugar back and so I imagine that it is going to taste like blueberry candy. My cherry batch called for a more moderate 4 cups of sugar, and my final mixed batch I got crazy and only put in two cups of sugar. I was aware that it might not gel properly, but I had a small cup of jam left over that wouldn't fit into a jar and it seems to have jelled fine and tastes great! 

As I was making all this jam, Joe reminded me of a picture book we have called Jam. We found it, and I am reminded of what a great story it is. Mrs Castle gets a job as an astrophysicist, and Mr Castle becomes such an efficient househusband that he runs out of domestic work. As he is pondering what to do, the plum tree starts to drop ripe plums. He makes 3 pots of wonderful jam. But the next day there are more plums. This is a challenge, and Mr Castle eventually fills every container in the house with plum jam. The story continues as they eat their way through a house full of jam. I do hope you can find a copy to read it yourself. The book was a gift from my 2nd grade teacher. Thank you, Mrs Iverson!

In other goings on, I finally finished a Norwegian hat that I've been working on since last January. My friend Carol Witte has worn her hat to tatters and asked me if I could make her another just like it. It was really fun deciphering the pattern and I think I got it pretty close in the end. The colors are slightly different, as I had to pick the closest thing at the yarn store. I had to choose between slightly oranger red and a slightly too bright red. I went with the oranger, and you can also tell that my white is way brighter than the aged white. My gauge was slightly taller too, and I decided to keep the correct number of lice pattern repeats and have a slightly longer hat. I'm curious to see if Carol can transfer her affections to the new hat or if it will be just too new! I'm mailing it off to her soon. 

momma modeling for me
I also got a package from Etsy containing yarn from Hommespun Yarn Co, a one-man spinning and natural dying show. He happens to be my friend as well, and I'm thrilled to give Trevor's yarn a try. I chose the indigo color and I'm planning on turning it into a hat for Julia. I've cast on already, so maybe I'll have a finished product this summer yet.

 And since I've stopped reading my text book this week, (somehow we only have two chapters left to cover the second half of the class) I've also had time to sew Julia another dress! It ended up too big, but I imagine that next summer it will fit fine. This one was from a pattern, which is something I'm not very confident about following. It worked fine though, and I even managed to do a zipper. The neck is lined with some tatting from one of my great grandmothers. It came off of a pillowcase that had worn out. I think I should sew another dress from the same pattern, now that I've managed one. I think it would be a lot easier the second time, and maybe I could get all the seams finished properly too!

a wee bit big...


  1. Jam! I love that book!

  2. Cute dress! She'll be lovely in it next summer.