Friday, June 10, 2011


I was watering the Blackberries yesterday.  It has been very hot and dry this Spring!  As I was going down the line  I noticed that we had a great crop of berries this year.  It got me thinking of the gallons of berries I have in the freezer.  You see I haven't done preserves or even jam before, so last year, I was so intimidated by it all I just stuck them in the freezer.

Hmmm, I better do something about those before the new crop comes in!

We love Blackberry Preserves, so I did a search and came up with a recipe that looks pretty easy.  I pulled out a gallon bag of berries and let them thaw a bit while I started on the rest.

Combine and bring to boil:
5 cups sugar
1 cup water 

Boil 1 minute, then add the berries and boil again for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and cover to let cool overnight.

In the morning, wash 7 pint jars and lids, then sterilize in boiling water for 10 minutes.  As the jars are getting the steam treatment, heat the berries once more to boiling, and boil 3 minutes.  Fill jars, add lids and put aside to cool.

I added an extra cup of sugar to the recipe, mostly because some of the berries were not exactly ripe when they were picked.  The mixture also did not seem very thick as I ladled it into the jars, so if it doesn't thicken up as it cools, I will go get some surejell and redo them.  I will let you know how it is once we try some.

 Since I posted last week about all the finishing I had piled up, I have hemmed the 3 Baby Blankets on the treadle machine, and started on the Linen Towels for the Foothills Craft Guilds Show this fall.  It will be part of my contribution to the Tuesday Weavers booth.  I am using a hand hemming technique I found in an old book about "Danish Pulled Thread"  It is really a good compliment to the Leno Lace accent I wove in.

I have dusted off  and oiled the Ashford Traditional this week and have started spinning a little of the Silver Romney that I have been slowly working thru.  It feels good to have her up and running once again.

I have been spinning Linen most days, a few minutes here and there.  I tried to spin it from within a towel but was not very successfull, plus it is just too hot to have something else on my lap!  I then watched a youtube video series by the guys from the Hermitage.  They took you from the cutting of the Flax to the spinning of it.  I tried their suggestion of just tying the a portion of the fluffed strick of flax to the top of the distaff and not adding ribbon all the way down.  It looked odd to me, that hank of flax just blowing softly in the breeze of my box fan.  However, it was really much easier to spin that way, and it didn't ball up in a tangled mess.  Hurray!  It isn't beautiful yet, but we are making progress.

Last night I had a good friend of mine stop by to look at the Great Wheel to see if he would be able to fix it for me.  It has a couple of loose spokes, so I haven't been able to take it out to demonstrate, and teach.  I do love to teach people to spin on it.  I can usually have them spinning fairly well in about 4 hours.  He is going to let me know when he is ready for it.

Lest you thing that the looms are being neglected, I am weaving almost everyday!  I have made good progress on the "Kings Flower in Old Rose"  Baby Blanket, and I plan to finish it today.  I am also going to do a couple of mug rugs on the Glimakra in the family room.  I may call Lou Ann to get some instructions for making an Ipod carrier or two, since I am doing a different Overshot pattern than she is doing.  It will be good to have a lot of variety in our booth this fall.  I plan to have several of my blankets, mug rugs, ipod carriers, and who knows what all else.  It is going to be a busy summer getting ready, but when you can do something you really like to do, and be creative at the same time, what can be better!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina


Bonnie said...

Lots of things going on at the farm. I hope that the preserves turns out good.

LA said...

I, also, want to know how the blackberries turn out! We need to ask Maggie about her method...she lets them sit overnight, too. You have lots of stuff going on!!!!

Anonymous said...

Roxie sez
Way to go! You are a fiber fiesta all by yourself.

Around here, blackberries are weeds.