Thursday, July 02, 2015

Rainbow-themed Jubilance

This week has been a pretty darn productive one and, looking back on June, I'd have to say I'm pretty happy with the way things are going. 

Thematically appropriate mug choice for this week.
I just want to knit and sew rainbows all over the place, but I have a shirt and a shawl to make for OAL shenanigans and will not be distracted from my goal. You will be mine, plaid flannel shirt, Oh yes, you will be mine.

Cutting continues at a slow pace and, wouldn't you know it, I didn't have enough interfacing. It's always the interfacing. I think I have some, but "some" always turns out to be maybe a quarter of a yard if you were to line up all the scraggly little pieces into a sort of rectangular shape, between which no actual pattern pieces will fit. 

It's fine. I bought more. 

I also came home with three new patterns because McCall's were on sale: 6613 is to replace the one I'm currently cutting, 6964 is for... because t-shirts, and 7141 is for my sweet otaku Fluffalo. 

I do still have some rainbow socks on the needles for the aforementioned Fluffalo, though, and that satisfies my need for rainbow-themed jubilance pretty well. They're my purse knitting, though, so aren't seeing much action. 

What is seeing a lot of action, though, is Trillian by Martina Behm. It's the second half of the OAL and my morning knitting. I'm well into the 2nd of three balls of yarn now and knitting with laser focus. I want to be done and I'd like to step up the pace on the Stash Amble/Mosey (aka Stash Dash for those doing more finishing than I). 


I did finish Die grünen, Easy Ribbed Legwarmers by  Carol Wells:


And those ended up being over 300 yards of old stash. I really love them, even though they're about the simplest thing you could knit, and I'm hoping to get quite a bit of wear out of them in the cold months. 

Then there was jam:

The observant among you will notice that my floors are really clean. Generally, while I wait for the jars to cool, I use the water from the canner to mop the floors. Most of these jams will be retained for us to have through the year, but some will end up given away at some point. There's still jelly to be made in the fall, so I'm sure there will be plenty to share. I'm toying with the idea of selling a few jars, but I haven't decided. What I may do is offer a few jars at the end of 2015 as part of the culmination of Project Make, but at this point I'm just thinking out loud.
This week's technique is processing jars of jam for safe storage. The best resource is the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and I'm a big fan of federally funded science that results in the common good, but I'll also outline my method here as simply as possible. 
  • Before you start, sanitize your jars on "Heat Dry" in the dishwasher or in boiling water for about five minutes
  • Make the jam or jelly, put the jam in the jars with about 1/4" head space (the gap of air between the jam and the lid).
  • Heat lids in warm water, not boiling, five to ten minutes, until the plastic seal is soft. Use new lids. They're a couple bucks for a dozen, which is a bargain for food safety.
  • Carefully wipe the rim of the jar clean as clean can be
  • Place a lid on each jar and secure with a metal ring
    • The metal ring should be secure so that the lid stays on and in place
    • But not so tight that air cannot escape
  • Submerge jars in boiling water that covers at least an inch to two inches of the jar for seven minutes
  • Remove from the boiling water, you'll want a jar-grabber thingy, and let them cool until you hear a POP! from every jar. 
    • The jars that don't POP! can be re-processed in boiling water or refrigerated and eaten right away. 
Looking back, I like what I'm seeing. I feel good about the things I'm making and because I want to continue this trend, I'm going to be bold and set some goals for this month:
  1. Finish the plaid shirt
  2. Finish Trillian
  3. Find a neglected project and begin working on it before month's end
  4. Sew a t-shirt for myself
  5. Card the rest of the black alpaca and finish spinning it
Those are completely doable goals, I think. It's okay if I don't get all of that done before the month's out, but I'm so focused on the few things I am doing that I think I can get much of this short list done.
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