Jackatessa's Blog

This is a collection of recipes, canning projects, crochet, crafts, cakes, and anything else I find interesting!

Flower Power Dishcloth

 

 

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Flower power dishcloths!  Because who doesn’t want to add a little bit o’ pretty to their dishwashing routine?!  I found this pattern on Ravelry a year or two ago and have made quite a few to sell.  They work up extremely quickly, aren’t too big,  and can use both cotton or acrylic yarn, so they are a nice, easy sell for me.

** I have talked about it before, but I personally prefer acrylic yarn for my washcloths over cotton yarn.  It dries faster, seems scratchier, and it isn’t as ‘heavy’ as cotton is.  You can throw it in the washing machine just like a regular washcloth. But if you prefer cotton, use it!  You do you, boo!  Ok, PSA over.  Carry on.  **

I wish that I had more photos of the flowers that I have finished, but I can’t seem to find them.  I love the one that I made below.  I used some older acrylic yarn that my mom and I found in my Great Aunt Fern’s stash of yarn after she passed.  I just loved the colors!  It makes me happy to look at it.

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One of the nice things about this pattern is that it uses very simple stitches, so even beginners should be able to work some of these up pretty easily.  I will say that you need to be sure that you are counting your stitches, since there are a certain number of petals and it will be completely obvious if you miss a stitch (<—–ask me how many times I had to learn that the hard way!).

This would be a fun gift idea to give to a graduating senior headed off to college (it would make dishes WAY more fun lol), as a wedding present, or even as a Mother’s Day present!  You can make a few in their favorite colors or that coordinate with their kitchen.  You could also make it a set with coordinating potholders, or even double this pattern and attach the two together to make a flower potholder.  Actually, that’s a really good idea and I think I’ll definitely be making some as potholders for my farmer’s market booth this summer.

PATTERN HERE.

 

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Shark Cocoon Blanket

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This is a very long overdue post to go along with the Mermaid Tail Blanket that I posted right before this one.  I made this for my cute little nephew, Kolton Lee, as a Christmas present.  I made his sister the Mermaid Tail and I wanted to find a boy version.   While I think that boys can absolutely have a mermaid tail, which is what he would have gotten if I hadn’t found this, I am so glad that I came across this pattern.

The thing about these cocoons is that yes, they are FAST to work up, but they do take a lot of yarn.  Personally I would rather use more yarn and finish my project quicker though!  I lucked out and had this pattern picked out in time for me to hit the Black Friday sale at Walmart, so I found the yarn that I needed for only $2 a skein instead of it’s usual $4.  I believe that I ended up using 11 skeins total. It was Lion’s Brand, the super chunky stuff. I think that if I were to make this again (and oh, I totally will be), that I would try it with three strands of Red Heart worsted weight yarn.  While the Lion’s Brand is incredibly soft, it also made it HEAVY!  My arms were getting tired turning the blanket over and over and over!  That is another reason that I will use worsted weight next time.   I found the buttons that I used for the eyes at Walmart for $1 or $2 a piece.  I also used two strands of regular worsted weight, Red Heart yarn for the teeth and gums.  Easy peasy!

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The pattern that I used was one that I would highly recommend– MJ’s Bulky & Quick Shark Blanket.  I know that some people balk at the idea of paying for patterns, but I really think that you can tell a difference in the end product in a pattern that you have paid for and one that you can get for free.  Not always!  But sometimes, I think it is 100% worth it to pay the little bit for the pattern to get a more professional look.

As far as the pattern itself, I followed it exactly.  it worked up extremely quick, within 4 or 5 hours from start to finish.  The only thing that I would change if I were to do it again would be to change the placement of the fin :-).  While Kolton didn’t think anything of it, the adults all had a little snicker at it. Also, you might notice that his feet looked pretty squished in there.  That’s because this little guy likes to wear his boots about 3 sizes too big!  lol.  He clunk clunk clunks around in a pair of boots that were meant for his sister, and he doesn’t care a bit!

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I actually plan to work one or two of these up to take with me in my farmer’s market and craft booth this year.  I hope they sell well!

Pattern HERE.

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Cupcake Dishcloths

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I thought I would share the pattern for these adorable cupcake washcloths today!  I have seen THIS pattern on pinterest for a year or so and thought, ‘Man those would be cute!  I should definitely make a few of those!’  But alas, I never did.  A few months ago I was having the ‘let’s crochet something new’ itch and searched my Pinterest Pattern board for a new idea and came across the pin again.  After a quick search through my yarn stash, I whipped out the top cupcake within an hour.  Now, I didn’t follow the pattern all of the way through (I mean, really, is anyone surprised there?), I made up my own version of the bottom, and I did not add a little loop de loop at the top.

I found the bottom part of the cupcake to be more work than I wanted to do at the moment, so I improvised with a super simple DC for 5 rows, doing a DC decrease for the last two rows.  It worked up really quickly and still looks super cute!  You could even extend it a few more rows, but I liked the look of the shorter ‘cup’.

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11419764_10153004938616314_273596662_nI have added them to my farmers market booth this summer and have sold a few on facebook.  I even did a cupcake potholder by making two of them (the back one without the ruffle or cherry) and SC’ing around, switching the color out to match.  Everyone loves them!11392940_10152996817891314_3222537967128832993_n  I have done the washcloths in cotton yarn and also in acrylic.  The potholders I stick with cotton yarn.

Overall, I was really pleased with the pattern and plan to keep these in my stock!

You can find the pattern HERE.

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Cancer Ribbon Dishcloth Pattern

So I had this friend, her name was Betty Jo.  She lived across the street from me, owned a store downtown, and I served on the fair board with her.  She was actually the first store that started carrying some of my crafts!  She was always encouraging me and raving on and on about anything I made.  She was the life of the party, no matter where she was.  Man, she was just FUN.  We got really close while serving on the fair board together, and she would talk about her daughter’s struggle with breast cancer.  She was her biggest supporter, and showed it any way that she could.  So when I found a pattern for a breast cancer dishcloth, I thought, hey, Jo would LOVE this.  I printed it out and planned to maker her a few.  Then life got in the way, the pattern got shuffled to the bottom of the stack, and I forgot about it.

 

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Then we lost Jo this past year.  It was really unexpected.

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I was cleaning out the craft room recently and came across the pattern again.  So I sat down that day and made it.  And thought of Jo the whole time.

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I posted it on my facebook page and had a few people that wanted their own.  So after I made those, I had a lady call and order SIX more.  I think she is giving them away at Christmas.  I spent the entire weekend crocheting, trying to get her order done.  Thankfully these don’t take too long to work up.

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Of course, I lost the pattern halfway through making them.  I think it actually flew away while I was sitting at the farmers market (oops).  But I had the pattern pretty much memorized at that point, so I jotted it down really quickly.  I thought I would share it here for anyone that wants to make them.    Whether it’s for yourself, a friend, or family member that has been affected by breast cancer, or any cancer at all.  I think I will be making up a few in different colors, to represent the different cancers.  It’s crazy how so many people are affected by such an awful disease.  How WE are personally affected by it.  Our house will have white washcloths, for Nate’s mom.

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The pattern makes a pretty big washcloth, or you can use it as a trivet to sit hot dishes on.  I plan to use it for both.  If there is something that isn’t clear, please let me know.  This is my first time to write a pattern like this out.

To make it, I used an H hook, and cotton yarn.  I think you could find a really soft acrylic yarn and use this as a bath cloth.  If you aren’t into crocheting and would still like your own washcloth, I have them listed in my etsy shop – www.etsy.com/shop/brainiac512 under the Crochet section.

 

Crochet Breast Cancer Ribbon Dishcloth/Trivet

Chain 51.

DC in 2nd chain from hook.

DC in the next 19 stitches.

2DC in the next 3 stitches, then DC in the next 2 stitches, 2DC in the next 3 stitches.  DC in the remaining stitches on the row.  Chain 2.  Turn.

DC in the next 20 stitches.

*2DC in next stitch.  Then DC in the next stitch.*  Repeat this 7 more times.  DC to end of the row.  Chain 2, then turn.

DC in the next 23 stitches.

*2DC in next stitch, then DC in the next two stitches*.  Repeat 5 times.  2DC in the next stitch.  DC to the end of the row.  Chain 2, then turn.

DC in the next 24 stitches.

*2DC in the next stitch, DC in the next three stitches*.  Repeat this 3 times. 2DC in next stitch, then DC to the end of the row.

Position your ribbon like the photos above and pin in place.  SC around the ribbon, securing the ribbon in place.  Tie off, leaving a 10″ tail.  Use this on a yarn needle to stitch through and secure the ribbon in place better.

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Sand Plum Jelly Recipe

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If you live in rural KS/OK- then you have probably heard of sand plums.  If you are lucky, you might even have a sand plum tree in your yard, or you might be close to someone who does that might let you pick them.  I didn’t have either of those lol.  And sand plum jelly was probably my most requested jelly last year.  People have asked since I started going to farmer’s market if I had sand plum jelly. Had I heard of sand plum jelly? Oh, yes.  Had I ever tried it before?  Nope.  Sorry!  I had no access to sand plums, and had no desire to go out looking for them.

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Then, last summer, Nate’s stepdad told me that he had picked a few bags and thrown them in the freezer, and could I make him some jelly?  Of course I could!  I kept meaning to, but then life got in the way/divorce/fair time/I’m pretty forgetful and wouldn’t think about it very often.  Now here we are about oh, nine months later, and DeWayne FINALLY has his jelly!

I started looking for recipes every once and a while, but didn’t want to just pick a random recipe that I didn’t know would work or not.  Especially since I only had two bags of plums, and they weren’t even mine.  I wanted to find one from a blog that gave some tips and told me HOW to make it.  But I never found it.  I read some different recipes, and techniques for getting the juice from the plums, and it looked pretty easy.

So I asked him to send the plums down a few weeks ago.   He sent two quart bags of frozen plums.  It made ALOT of juice.  Which was fine by me!  He just wanted a few  big jars for himself, and said that I could sell the rest at farmer’s market.

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People were HAPPY about that lol!  I already sold out of the first round of two batches– it makes 10 half pint jars per batch.  It sets up beautifully and is a gorgeous color.  I used both bags to make two pots of juice, and then I used one pot to make the first two batches.  I froze the other pot’s worth of juice, and actually made those two batches last night.   That’s 40 jars of jelly from those two quart bags of plums.  Score!  My customers are just loving it!  So now I am on the lookout for more sand plums! I have a lead though…so hopefully that pans out :-).

 

Oh, and if you are just a little bit short on your juice, you can fill it the rest of the way with water.  I would say I had 4 Cups of juice, then I would add 1 1/2 Cups of water.  Worked just fine!

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So, if you are like me and were hoping to find a reliable sand plum jelly recipe, look no further! I don’t see why you couldn’t use this recipe for other small plums, too.   This recipe came from HERE.

Oklahoma Sand Plum Jelly
Printer version of this recipe

Ingredients:
5 1/2 c Plum juice
7 1/2 c Sugar
1 Box fruit pectin

Instructions:

To prepare plum juice:

Wash plums, cover with cold water and boil until plums are soft and skins pop. Press through jelly bag (cheese cloth) strain and measure.

To prepare jelly:

Mix plum juice with pectin and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar, continue stirring and boil hard for one minute.

Pour in sterile jars. Let set for one minute and skim top. Seal with new lids.

Let jelly cool slowly to prevent jars from exploding.

Yields approximately 6 pints.

From: Ellen Rains Harris
To: Anglican@stsams.org
Subject: Re: Emmaus or the NOFA Conference
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004

 

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One Hour Potholder- Crochet

 

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I have been using THIS pattern ever since I pinned it and featured it on my Pinworthy Thursday, with fantastic results, so I thought it was time to share it here!  It is called the Easy One Hour Potholder from the This Crafting Life blog.

This is like the pattern that my Mom uses– she has made potholders like this for years!  In fact, this is the type of potholder that she made and gave me as a wedding gift 7 years ago.  I use them every day, and they are still just as durable and just as good as they were the day she gave them to me.

The pattern is extremely easy to follow, and just uses a simple single crochet throughout.  The first one I did, I think it took me a little longer than an hour, but now I can whip one out in no time at all.  I actually find them a little addicting to make.  I love the patterns that happen when you use a variegated yarn– and it turns out differently every single time!

 

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The coolest thing about this pattern is that basically you just keep crocheting, you don’t have to count, and you don’t have to turn.  It works ‘in the round’.  It will eventually start working itself into a square all on its own.  I personally like my potholders a little on the larger side, so I increased my first chain to 35 or 36.  That gives you a bigger size (like the rainbow one above).

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Then you just have to work a set of slip stitches down the back to connect!  It’s as easy as that!

I have made quite a few, and I have added them to my farmer’s market booth. (on the right, at the back)  I am also going to be making quite a few up to have as bingo prizes during our county fair.  I am on the county fair board and we gave dollar coins as prizes last year, but we wanted to mix it up a little bit and add some new prizes this year.

 

10299089_10152081452111314_1283547311733646150_nI think these would make SUCH a fun gift, especially paired with the Loopy Dishcloth .  I think I might make a few sets using matching yarn for the bingo prizes.  That would be a fun prize, don’t you think?!

Now, I’m off to finish the purple one I am working on right now 🙂  Let me know if you make one!

 

Pattern for potholder HERE.

Pattern for Loopy Dishcloth HERE.

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Farmer’s Market Thoughts

I have been thinking about what I needed to do to start preparing for my farmer’s market booth this summer.  It seems to be getting bigger and better each year that they have it.  This will be the third year that I have gone.

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I would usually go set up right before 8, which is when they would open.  I would just pop up my table and put all of my jellies in a row at the front.  And that worked for me!  I sold ALOT of jelly my first year.  Then last year I ventured out a little bit, added a second table that I had set up with some hand stamped tea towels and my crocheted washcloths.  Nothing fancy, just laid out on the table.  Again, pretty successful.  Then towards the end of the season, I would take some of my slumped bottles up there and set them up on one half of one of my tables.  I sold quite a few of those too! By 1030 or 11 a.m., I was ready to go home.  It was getting to hot for me AND my jellies and I was getting kind of bored, etc etc.  Then the next week, all of the other vendors would tell me how much they sold between 11 and 1 o’clock.  I would think DANG!  Oh well!

Now, if I was able to sell all of that stuff without really trying (obvs there was still work involved, etc, but no real sales plan) and not being up there that long, can you imagine how well I could possibly do with a little more effort?!  If I’m going to give up my Saturday mornings all summer long, I want to make sure that I am getting the biggest return possible.  So this year will be different!  I’m makin’ some changes!

I decided that I am going to set up a tent to sit under each week.  Yes, they are a pain to set up, but I think that it will make me look more professional, and it will allow me to double the amount of time I spend up there on Saturday mornings.  Hopefully it will also allow me to not get a sunburn on the back of my neck, too :-).  I think I am going to get THIS one.

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I am also going to do more for my presentation.  I try to set up my craft booth in an attractive way, so why shouldn’t I work on this display more?  I will bring my tablecloths that I use for my craft shows, and I might try to figure out a tiered display idea for my jars of jellies.  Maybe something like this-

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I also plan to set up a few chalkboard signs, like this

913384They have them at Hobby Lobby for just a few bucks, and the ones I saw at the store even had a little peghole in the back so that you could stick the little peg in it and it would stand up.  I could write down the prices and/or if I am doing a special that day.

Another thing that I make sure to do is to post when I would make something new for my booth on facebook.  Whether it was a new jam flavor, a marathon canning session, or a new washcloth, I would just put something about ‘Finishing up this batch of strawberry pineapple jam!  It’s got to be ready for Farmer’s Market this weekend!’  I would get people asking me questions about it, telling me they wanted one, so I would tell them when and where I would be.  It gained me quite a few customers.  Which also gained the other vendors more customers.  I also make sure that I posted on Saturday mornings, after I was all set up.  It reminded people that we were down there.  I’m thinking it would be cool to share photos of some of the other vendors and their products.  We’ll see.

So those are just some ideas I’ve been thinking about.  Do you have any good ideas?

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