Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Just a couple of updates to old posts with dangling endings!
This is Webster. We finally found a name suitable to his personality. For Christmas I got a CD that I had on my wish list which had been hard to find. It is called "Soulville" by Ben Webster. It was recorded in 1957 and Ben Webster, internationally recognized as one of jazz's elder statesmen, was a great tenor saxophonist and played with the Duke Ellington Orchestra for two decades prior to this album. He is joined on piano by Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis on guitar, Ray Brown on bass and Stan Levey on drums; collectively known as the Ben Webster Quintet. Why all this background information? Because if you like jazz you need to own this CD. It is smooth, cool jazz.
Jack and I had been visiting friends on Christmas evening and coming home we listened to the CD for the first time. The full moon was on the rise, the air dry, the snow covered ground basking in moonlight as we took the country road home from the next town over. It was soooo beautiful and the music so fitting.
When we got home we put it on to finish listening to it and the cat joined us as we listened. He lay in front of the speakers under the dining room table and just grooved. Then he got up and did some zipping around. He liked it and so he was named at that very moment ~ Webster. The web man. The jazz man. Webster is going to be a good name and he already turns his head to it. The picture above is Webster today. He likes Shelley, the sheltie, a lot although they haven't declared it so quite yet. He wants her to play hide and seek but she doesn't get it so for now he talks to her and flirts. She was just outside the picture. He's a cool cat.
The other update is regarding Daphne's fleece that was lost at Rhinebeck this fall. I was waiting until the checks were mailed from the fleece sale committee before I would jump to conclusions on it's disappearance. Well, my check came and it didn't include the money for that fleece. The chairman of the committee called me a week later to say they never found the paperwork or the fleece so I should consider it stolen.
Nice, huh? Imagine, walking boldly and without conscience, out of the fleece sale barn with 7#s of fleece in a big see through plastic bag! My tags had to be torn off and hidden. I wonder if the person premeditated the caper. Or was it just on a whim? I work all year on those fleeces, changing , repairing and washing coats, keeping the sheep coats fitted properly, hiring a great shearer, then post shearing, cleaning, skirting and sorting, bagging and labeling the fleeces and Daphne's was my prize fleece for the year. I saved it just for Rhinebeck. Well, as I said in the prior post I won't be selling fleeces there ever again and I hope the grease never washes out of it for that shameless robber!
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Here are the skeins that I was dyeing last week against the sweater I needed to match. Of course I have no idea what the sweater was dyed with so it was never going to be a perfect match , perhaps I could have gone a tad darker but the request was for a medium blue so I came as close as I could! My friend, Judith, bought the yarn which was spun in a fingering weight, from our beautiful bodacious Crystal!
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
The yarn is gorgeous so far. My customer has always admired a sweater I wear and wanted to have a shade as close as possible to that, so I kept the sweater nearby and dipped accordingly. I will post another picture in a day or so when the yarn is rinsed. I now need to let the yarn set for 24 hours after the last dip before an afterbath in vinegar (1/4 cup per pound of fiber) and then a wash and rinse. I think the match will be close and I am most excited for the results!
Pictures top to bottom: the sheep coat sewing table; my winter dyeing room just off the kitchen, ready to go; the pH test of the indigo vat; indigo vat ready for dyeing with a perfect yellow/green color; and the yarn just out of the vat after 8 seconds; and then just a few moments later as it magically turns blue with the oxidation!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
First, I don't use pectin, so this recipe will use sugar & boil time. Also, you should know that my apples are the size of chick peas. If yours are bigger, halve or quarter them. Also I don't do the hot water boil after jarring.
Take whatever amount of ripe but tart fruit you have. Wash & stem them. Put them in a non reactive pan & add water just to cover. Bring them to a boil & then simmer until they are tender. Stir gently to prevent scorching, but try not to crush the fruit too much as this will make the jelly cloudy.
When all the fruit is soft, place them in batches in a wet jelly bag & allow to drain completely.
Again, in a non reactive pan measure your juice. If using tart apples you will be using 1 cup of sugar for every cup of juice.
Bring the juice to a boil & reduce to a simmer. When your candy thermometer gets to 220 deg. begin timing your boil. When the juice comes to a boil, add your sugar a cup at a time. Taste the juice a couple of times to check for sweetness. (Beware when tasting! The juice is HOT! ) See how clear & beautiful the juice gets?
You may need to cook at a high simmer for between 10-30 minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent scorching. A cold
spoon dipped in the mixture should form a couple of glops on the edge when the liquid is tipped out.
While this is cooking sterilize your jars & lids. The jars should be warm when filled because the jelly is still 220 deg. Fill to within 1/8" of the top of each jar. With a wet cloth or paper towel wipe the rim of each jar (they won't seal properly if there is jelly on the rim. Place your lids on the jars add the rings & tighten them. Not too tight because any air trapped inside needs to escape. After a bit tighten the rings completely & wait for the pings to start as the jars seal themselves.
If you have jelly left that won't fit in a jar or fill a jar, put it in a pretty dish & eat it!