Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


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Photos of scarf, sweater and tomato update

One down, one to go
I finished the first of two scarves last night:

This alpaca yarn feels so good and it’s so pretty. It’s going to be hard to turn this loose for Christmas.

Chris said I should buy some more alpaca yarn and make one for myself.

The pattern uses a traditional ripple pattern that is commonly found in afghans. I think it translates beautifully into scarves.

I can’t wait to see how the other scarf turns out. It’s colors are just as pretty.

Photo update
Here’s the sweater all washed and blocked. It’s no where near as stretched out and frumpy as it was last weekend when I completed it.

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Green is definitely my color.

I’m also glad I didn’t sew the collar shut. I think I like it open. Do you?

Tomatoes galore!
I canned six more quarts of tomatoes this morning! I can’t believe how many tomatoes we’ve gotten this year.

We didn’t tie the plants up, so many have been lost to rot because they sat on the ground too long or we overlooked them as they hid underneath leaves and stems.

We also had a lot of ants, roly polys (pill bugs) and slugs we had to fight tomatoes for.

I’ve canned 2 quarts of tomatoes with chilies, 17 quarts of diced tomatoes, 1 pint of diced tomatoes and 3 pints of salsa. That is a blessing!

That doesn’t include the quart of basil-garlic tomato sauce we made earlier in the summer to can with the peach chutney disaster (had to throw out all 7 pints because it burned and tasted awful; apple cider vinegar does not substitute for white wine vinegar!) and canned peaches (1 quart).

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Canning tomatoes and sweater update

This weekend I canned 7 quarts of diced tomatoes and 3 pints of salsa, loaded with peppers — jalapenos, a few cayenne, banana peppers (sweet and hot) and some green pepper.

 (All photos by E.A. Seagraves. Do not use without permission.)

One quart didn’t get quite full of tomatoes, so I topped it off with water.

I also finished my sweater! I still need to wash it and block it before I wear it.

The collar is supposed to be stitched together in the front, but I didn’t like it. So I clipped it and decided to let it hang.

The sweater is “Tanglewood Pullover” by Beryl Hiatt and Linden Phelps from the book “Handknit Style II.”

Chris and I also picked out some fabric for some other Christmas present projects and I started crocheting other gifts last night. Here’s the fabric we picked out (not sure why the photo is uploading sideways):



We picked the fabric up from Mountain Plain Fabrics in Hillsville, Va.. It mostly carries quilting material so the selection isn’t that varied as far as fashion fabrics go, but the fabric they do have is beautiful and the staff is incredibly helpful.

I can’t wait to stitch this fabric up and present them at Christmas!
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Here are the knitting book and preserving book for the projects above. I highly recommend both. The sweaters are superb and the Ball canning book is full of useful tips and recipes.

   


Hubby’s shorts, some tomatoes and brie dessert

Current projects
I haven’t undated with any photos of my current projects, mostly because none have been finished in awhile!
For the past two weekends I’ve worked on a pair of shorts for Chris. I am using BurdaStyle’s Jochen pattern. This is the first time I’ve used a print-at-home pattern. I’ve been using the traditional tissue paper patterns, which I use to trace out the size I need and then use that.
Let me tell you, I think I like printing out the pattern so much better. Because I’ve got the pattern saved on my computer, I don’t feel the least bit guilty in cutting off the larger sizes. If I need a larger size, I can print it off.

I also don’t spend hours taping together tracing paper and tracing out the pattern I need.

The downside is printing at home does use a lot of ink and paper. I did use the back of recycled paper so that helped somewhat. And recycled printer paper lasts longer than tracing paper because it’s thicker. Still a bummer about the ink though.
I am using remnant material that Nannie gave me. I really liked the fabric, but didn’t have enough to cut all pieces out of it. So, luckily, I had a blue in a matching shade and it works perfectly for inside pockets. Thanks to Ferny and lonemoose, BurdaStyle members, for the idea!
(Please do not use photos without permission.)
This is the front pants leg and pocket./Photos by E.A. Seagraves
With this pattern, which is actually a really nice pair of slacks that I’ve altered into shorts, I had to learn how to put in a back pocket. It took a while for me to study it and figure out what I needed to do, but I think I handled it okay. What do you think?

I hope to finish these before it turns cooler. All that’s left is the center seams, waistband, zipper, buttons and hemming.
I’ve also been working on this sweater since February. I’m knitting on the collar now. So it’ll most likely be finished before the fall.

Tomatoes
I have to say, despite early nibbling by deer, rot and insects, our garden has been a success! Look at this haul.

I plan to can these this weekend. Probably can more diced tomatoes and some salsa. I canned 2 quarts of diced tomatoes with chilies and 4 quarts and 1 pint of diced tomatoes the other weekend.
A dessert to try
For my birthday earlier this week, we bought a small wheel of brie cheese. I turned four triangles into dessert last night with left over egg roll pastry I had on hand and blackberry jam.
I got the idea from the web, but can’t seem to find the two recipes I’d found before.
I basically placed the brie in the middle of the pastry and topped it with jam. Then I folded it up and placed the folded side down. I sprinkled it with brown sugar and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
It was very tasty! You should give it a try.


Easter Egg hunting in the fall and a Christmas flop

Have you heard of the pawpaw fruit?

Many people may be familar with the traditional childhood folk song that refers to them, but many people have never actually seen or tasted a pawpaw.

According to The PawPaw Foundation, the fruit is a native to the Americas and can be found near creeks and rivers in forests of eastern United States. The fruit sort of looks like a banana and has a very tropical scent.

Chris and I have five, fruit-producing pawpaws at the bottom of our property and there are several more smaller ones growing but not yet old enough to produce fruit.

My grandmother, whom I affectionately call Nannie, was so excited to learn we had pawpaw trees. She used to sit under her uncle’s pawpaw trees and eat the fruit with her cousin, Madeline. She immediately ate one earlier this season when I brought a few to share with her.

The last couple of years have been too dry for the sensitive trees to produce any fruit. But this year we had a bounty.

So, I decided to gather some of the fruit and turn them into preserves. It was like Easter egg hunting in the fall. Supposed to be 3-6 inches in length, our longest fruit was 3 inches. I had to search among tall, green grasses and weeds to find the grass-colored, egg-shaped fruit.

Deseeding the fruit was not fun. It took hours to find the best way to extract the long, slender seeds. Chris and I finally decided the best way was to separate the seeds from the fruit was to use a colander with big holes and to manually pick out the seeds from the cooked fruit.

I used this recipe from the Kentucky State University for the preserves:

Pawpaw Preserves
12 pawpaws (about 5 lbs.)
2 cups water
3/4 cups sugar
1 lemon
1 orange

Peel pawpaws. Put in kettle with water, without removing seeds. Boil until soft, then put through a sieve. Add sugar and juice of orange and lemon. Boil until thick. Grated rind of organge or lemon may be added. Put in sterilized jars and seal.

I tried the fruit for the first time this Sunday. I wasn’t impressed. Neither was Chris. But I’m not one for citrus type preserves, such as citron, so maybe it’s just not my thing.

The Kentucky State University site also lists several other types of recipes that I’m willing to try, such as cookies.

Needless to say, the pints I stashed away for Christmas may not make it into gift bags. Except maybe Nannie’s. She loves pawpaws.