Archive for August, 2011

Remember the bright green warp that I put on the loom a few months ago?

Well, it’s been calling to me and promising that it really can play well with others. So I decided to give it another chance.

This time, I paired it with a plain weft yarn in a darker shade, hoping that that would tone it down and not get overwhelmed. With two simple yarns, I chose a textured stitch pattern with interest of its own.

And, it worked. I tried dark green and black

And teal and navy blue.

I noticed that the weave structure is a little unstable (the threads are so slippery that they don’t stay in place when subjected to even mild friction),

And so I tried a slightly heavier, woolen weft. On the bottom you can see purple bamboo, and on the top purple and teal wool.

The slightly thicker wool really brings out the wave pattern, and the fabric is more stable, though still a bit delicate, which I hope will work out when I wet-finish the piece.

I finally settled on the teal wool for a weft, and am reveling in texture of this weave. I love the thick, heavy waves of teal, separated by flashes of bright green.

It manages to look different from every angle.

This camera doesn’t do the colors justice, but you will see more when we take it off the loom. It’s so interesting how poorly this warp matched the first project, and how versatile it has proven to be in the second. I could have woven it with any of the colors that I tried. It just needed the quiet of a dark, solid weft to let its true colors shine.

Every summer, I get the urge to play squirrel and start packing things away for the winter months ahead.* As more and more beautiful produce comes to the garden (or this year, the farmers’ market), I find it harder and harder to resist the urge to pack it all up in jars to line our shelves.

This weekend, I caved.

I’ve been slowly building up a collection of red currants, bought in pint quantities and frozen until canning time. Some became red currant jelly, and some became rhubarb red currant preserves that will make an amazing substitute for cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving time.

And then there were the raspberries. Oh, the raspberries. There are many, and they are beautiful right now. We made a few jars of raspberry sauce, and a few more of raspberry jelly. I cannot tell you how in love I am with the raspberry jelly. So in love that it will be almost impossible to escape the summer without another batch (or three). Some things really are pure heaven.

We’ll probably do a few more jars of the sauces, too. They make a great addition to plain yogurt for Branden’s breakfasts, and tend to be better than the fruit stuff that comes from the store. Fruit sauce will also work wonders on my rice pudding in the mornings, or on pancakes, as salad dressings, on ice cream, or anything else you can think to put it on.

I know it’s a little early yet, but my mind is already beginning to turn toward fall, toward the tucking in and the storing up, laying aside jars of distilled summertime to be opened in the gray days of February. Seasons are a beautiful thing.

*However, unlike our neighborhood squirrel, I tend to wait until things are ripe before picking, and I don’t make off with every. last. green tomato from someone else’s plants. Just saying.