Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Crafty, homemaking vacation.....

This week I am on vacation, and for me that means getting some stuff done. Projects that take some time, and care. New things I've never tried before, or never made time for.
Today is Blackberry Jelly, a second attempt at body wash and hopefully a few small batches of some peach recipes.

So, Blackberry juice is on the stove with sugar, gaining heat and waiting for jars to  sterilize in the water bath. It is shocking how much sugar is called for in the jelly recipe I am referring to...... Shocking! I wish that books, or even the pectin packages would give a ratio, and reasons..... 7 cups of sugar to 4 cups of  juice, really? Even the tome "Joy of Cooking" gives no reason for this craziness.... Also all the recipes ask for fruit in a poundage, but don't list how much juice your going for in cups..... 4 pounds of blackberries made into juice, add 3/4 a cup of sugar. Thanks for that. I have reduced the sugar to 6 cups, it still seems crazy! Since the recipe calls for 2 packages of liquid pectin, i will chance it.

Not much to look at......

After the movement into jars, all it will be is dark purple jelly in jars!

As for the previously mentioned body wash, i was giving a Pinterest idea a shot. There are several pins for body wash on the cheap, basically most of them are: grate 8oz. of your preferred bar of soap, add to 6 cups of water on the stove and melt. Let cool, place in containers, and use. Some call for additional glycerine, some do not. So I bought some lovely smelling cheap, low chemical list in the ingredients bar soap, and grated it up. 
It smells lovely! 
The wonderful thing about this method is that you are not using an active lye component, which is the hazard in soap making at home. The bar soap has the lye in it, it 's done it's job and is no longer active. The tough thing is it was really hard to tell what I had at the end of the process yesterday. I thought it hadn't worked. I did not have any glycerine on hand so I skipped it. I had a chunk of soap solidifying on the top of very watery soap. Awesome. No there is no picture. 

So I considered......" Ok, I will go grab some glycerine in the morning, and try again."

I was astonished this morning when the pot was filled with a solid (yet creamy) soap! It was too thick to transfer to containers, so I added some water and put my plan into action. 

It's cooling now. Here's hoping the additional water and 2 teaspoons of glycerine are going to work out! Lol.

Hope you are having a great summer, more to come......

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another one bites the dust!

Ok, so I am really enjoying the Zig Zag Pram Blanket, so much in fact that I have completed a second, and began colour tests for the next.

It's a great.... not boring, but not crazy patter for a baby blanket big enough to be useful, but not caught in the buckles and clips. 

This one ended up with 21 white stripes total. The original intention of the pattern was as a scrappy blanket, for sock yarn leftovers. There ate several on Ravelry like this, one solid and a verrigated second colour. Some even use gradations, and those are beautiful too. I can see myself making a scrappy one, as well as trying several other options. So far it's been super satisfying. You should try it!