I love January. It’s the time of the year when too much tennis is never enough. No, you won’t catch me out on the court slicing and aceing and chasing a little bright green ball. I’ll be on the couch spectating my way through the Australian Open. In the less exciting matches I might do some knitting. If it’s exciting though, I’ll have my eyes glued to the telly. Tennis is the only sport that I really love watching aside from the Winter Olympics but that’s only once every four years. Consequently, not much gets done around the place during the Australian Open…
That said, I’ve got plenty of work to do at the moment. I’ve recently finished a pattern and a column for the next Yarn and I’ll start some tech editing for it next week. I’m working on designs and columns for the next 3 Yarns after that too. I’m particularly excited about the pattern I’ll have in the winter issue which is a men’s garment in some wonderful yarn. I’ve got a boy’s jumper design and a men’s sock design just about done that are Yarn potentials or maybe another magazine. I’m also in the middle of doing three patterns for Live 2 Knit. Goodness me. I’d like to try and get a pattern or to into Interweave Knits or Crochet but we’ll see what happens. My notebook seems to be overflowing with potential pattern ideas too…Good thing I love my job hey?
Knitting is not really my hobby any more. If I’ve been knitting for five hours during the day, the last thing I want to do to relax is more knitting so I’ve been engaging in some other activities lately. Since Matthew suggested that maybe we should get rid of the piano to make more space in the house (what a horrifying thought!), I’ve started playing the piano again. After four or five years of barely playing it, I feel like I’m back at the beginning again. Lots of scales and Hanon exercises are in order. The same goes for learning French. I learnt it in high school, spoke it a little in Morocco twelve years ago and barely used it since. The Coffee Break French podcast took me right back to bonjour again which is just what I needed. We were on holiday last week and I didn’t knit a stitch for almost a week!
The garden is still dry as a bone. My drought tolerant perennials are coping well and still looking fairly green though. Dad, if you are reading this: I’m pleased your vegetables are going “gangbusters” but you’ve had tonnes of rain over there on the east coast! We are jealous! I hope all that rain is falling in the catchment areas.
THE HUMBLE JAR
A couple of weeks ago my cousin and her husband came over for dinner. She brought salad and some home made dressing mixed in a jar. It was a great salad and lovely company and it got me thinking about jars…
I’m fond of jars. I used to keep and collect just about every jar I could lay my hands on; jam jars, pasta sauce jars, coffee jars, mustard jars, honey jars, round square, flat or tall. I thought that every jar could be re-used in some way, particularly as I’m fond of home made jam, marmalade and chutney. After a while I decided that some jars are better than others and I put lots of glass jars in the recycling bin now. Here’s what I do with empty glass jars and what I think are the best ones to keep and what to throw away.
What can you do with an empty glass jar?
Fill them with home made jam, marmalade, chutney and sauce
Fill airtight ones with dry pantry items such as nuts, spices, dried herbs, rice, seeds, tea or dried fruit
Mix up salad dressing ingredients in the jar, put on the lid and shake
Keep pens, knitting needles, crochet hooks, cooking utensils in them
Grow alfalfa sprouts in one
Use as a vase
Fill a nice jar with lollies for a gift
Keep craft or stationary items in them, such as paper clips, tacks, rubber bands, beads, stitch markers, bobbins, pins
Keep hardware items in them such as nails, screws, staples, washers
Use for planting seeds: part fill a jar with sand and some seeds, poke a large hole in the lid of the jar, pour the sand mixed with the seeds along a furrow in the ground. This helps space the seeds and the sand provides a growing medium
When doing colour work in your knitting or crochet put each ball of yarn into a jar to keep them from tangling.
Let me know any other brilliant jar ideas you have
The best jars to keep
Lots of food at the supermarket comes in glass jars with coated metal screw on lids. The inside of the lid usually has a extra rubbery bit of coating to make the jar airtight. Most jam jars are like this. These are the best jars to keep because they are airtight, strong and can be sterilised in boiling water or in the oven. They come in standard sizes so the lid of one jar will often fit another jar. I have a Kraft Lite Cheese Spread fetish so I end up with loads of 250ml glass jars with blue lids. They don’t make the Lite version in a big jar for some reason.
Jars to recycle
Here is a list of jars that I don’t keep and the reason why:
Vegemite jars: plastic lids are not as airtight as coated metal ones
Moccona jars: they might look nice but they don’t close tightly and don’t stack in the pantry. The rubbery bits make them difficult to sterilise. I do keep the tiny ones though for spices
Salsa jars: no matter what you do, you can’t get rid of the salsa smell. You don’t want your strawberry jam having a vague salsa flavour.
Pasta sauce and Kan Tong jars (not that I EVER eat the stuff anyway): these jars are way too big to do much with and will smell odd, especially the lids.
Oddly shaped jars: tall skinny jars are too hard to get a spoon into. Unusual jars may be hard to find a lid for if you lose the original. A pretty jar that might have a use is an exception to this rule.
ANOTHER FREE PATTERN
Thought you guys might like another free pattern. I’ve added a pattern for 8ply ladies socks to the Free Patterns page.
Here are a few pics of our holiday with friends at Blanchetown on the Murray River last week. We had a blast!
While I’m here I mustn’t forget to send a great big thankyou to everyone who has a link to me on their blog. You guys bring me more traffic. Also thanks to the people who have made me their friend at Ravelry. You can find me there as SarahGolder.
Have a great week everyone.