Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Trivets & towels

Hello, friends. I hope that your August has been a pleasant one. Our garden is keeping me busy! Peppers have done particularly well this year.

In addition to gardening and preserving and getting the boys ready for another year of school, I have been weaving dishtowels and trivets. I just finished a very long warp (well, for me it is a long warp) of dishtowel fabric in colonial blue and cream. Twelve of these pretties are heading down to Boston for a client who has refurbished his kitchen:


The towels are ready to be hemmed. I have a couple of extra towels, too, and I will be taking those to the Apple Country Craft Fair here in Londonderry on September 7 & 8.

After weaving with finer threads for a long while I like to mix things up with a more robust weft. Yesterday I prepared calico fabric for weaving:


The colors here are beige with lavender, pale green, and robins egg blue with a spot of red. The robins egg blue is a personal favorite:


I plan to machine stitch the hems and include a crocheted hanging loop at one end of each of these soon-to-be-trivets. I think that this trivet would be the perfect mate for a teapot, don't you think?

Be well,
Kate

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Londonderry Historical Society Fund Raiser

Hello, friends. I've been working with my friends at the Londonderry Historical Society again this August in preparation for Old Home Days, which will be held August 14-18, 2013 in and around our town common. Londonderry is rich in early American history, and the Historical Society has been working hard to preserve buildings that have special significance to our community. Two buildings are the focus of the Historical Society's current preservation efforts, the Reverend Morrison house and the Litchfield carriage shed. The Historical Society has made great strides in preserving these structures, but there is more work to be done.

To help raise funds for these preservation efforts, the Londonderry Historical Society will be holding a silent auction and the highest bidder will take home this turquoise silk and merino wool handwoven scarf made by me:



The pattern I used to weave the scarf is a traditional 8 shaft twill which creates a dynamic diamond repeat throughout the cloth. The warp threads are black, and the weft yarn is a vibrant turquoise silk/merino wool blend. The piece has a soft hand and a pleasing drape. I daresay it would be a smashing addition to any lady's autumn wardrobe. This piece is one of my higher priced items due to the complex nature of the weave and the cost of silk and merino wool yarn. Here is what the scarf looked like while it was being woven on my loom:



I hope that you will visit the Londonderry Historical Society's booth on Saturday, August 17th, during Old Home Days at the Morrison Museum. You'll have a chance to try your hand at weaving (on a real loom!) and you'll be able to bid on my scarf and by doing so, support the preservation efforts of the Historical Society. And you might even get to take home a one-of-a-kind piece of handwoven wearable art.

Be well,
Kate 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Easy refrigerator pickles

Hello, friends. I returned from vacation on Tuesday night and found a garden full of snap beans, peppers, cucumbers, and beets. How wonderful! I've done some canning (hot pepper pickle mix and pickled beets) and freezing. I didn't have enough cucumbers ready to make a full batch of bread and butter pickles. There were 3 Suyo Long cukes ready to be picked on our trellis. I have adapted a recipe in a rather old book, "Farm Journal's Best-Ever Vegetable Recipes," published in 1984, for "Cucumber Refrigerator Pickles." I tweaked the recipe a bit (mostly to reduce the sugar content), and I will share it here.

Easy Refrigerator Pickles
Ingredients
1 lb. cukes (I had 3 regularly sized cukes that weighed 1.25 lbs. - I used 2 1/2 of the cukes for the batch)
1 c. white vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 chopped fresh dill (use fresh if you have it - the color is so pretty)
1 t. whole black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, sliced.

In a clean 1 pint jar with a lid, place cuke slices (Hint: use a mandolin if you have one. Slicing is a snap but be careful of your fingers). In a large 2 or 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup, stir up the rest of the ingredients. Pour over the cukes in the jar. Cover and refrigerate.

Gently shake/invert the jar once a day for 3 days. This allows the flavors to develop and your cukes will become more pickle-y. Store in the refrigerator.

These are yummy and sweet. I've made them before with serrano (hot) peppers in the jar, too.

Here are the pickles I made today. I used one of those 1 1/2 pint jars for these - they're such a convenient size and sometimes hard to come by. The beets are there, too - I love the color of beets!



I'm weaving kitchen textiles this week and working on decorations for 3 weddings. So, I am busy. And the garden keeps me hopping.

Be well,
Kate K.