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Archive for March, 2010

I finally got back to doing some spinning after weeks away. Note to self: do not let the cat play in the wool. My skeins are quite slubby and overspun as a result of trying to cope with the mess the cat made of my rolags. Luckily, it will go into the naalbinding project pile and naalbinding is incredibly forgiving of bad spinning. I now have enough wool spun to finish my second mitten.

On the bus today, I calculated that I can make 2-3 inches of cord on my lucet on each bus ride to or from work. If I have a long wait for a bus, I can get 4 inches done. I have found more little balls of wool at the bottom of my project basket, so this should keep me busy on my commute, at least until it is warm enough to ride my bicycle every day.

The inkle-woven garters are coming along nicely. I calculate that it will take me two more morning news cycles to complete the main weaving. After that, I will need to do the needle weaving on the dags, so I should be able to complete the project within about 2 weeks.

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As I was storing things in my freezer today, I realized I have made 50 lb of sausages since February:

  • 5 lb garlic
  • 10 lb ginger, sage and garlic
  • 10 lb garlic and mushroom
  • 5 lb kielbasa
  • 5 lb chorizo
  • 5 lb bratwurst
  • 5 lb hot Italian
  • 5 lb sweet Italian

Though project 68 was simply to deepen my knowledge of food preservation, with no specific numbers attached, I think I will count this as largely complete. When I get my stock of preserving salts, I will try cold smoking and air drying, though some of that will need to wait until next winter and colder weather. I feels very satisfying to check something off the list

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We made another 10 lb of sausage tonight. We did 5 lb of garlic and mushroom in lamb casings. Lamb casings are much more delicate, and they take forever to fill compared to pork casings. We ended up with about 60 4″ sausages, compared to 18-20 for a typical batch of 6″ sausages in pork casings. the other 5 lb was sweet Italian sausage. We still have enough meat for at least 10 lb of sausage, so the plan is to do chorizos and kielbasa on Wednesday morning.

I have made some progress on the dagged garters I started at the February inkle weaving class. It turns out to be something I can easily do while sitting in bed and listening to the morning news.

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That was today’s project. We made 5 lb of each. The refrigerator still seems frighteningly full of meat. I have just ordered supplies so that I can try dried and smoked sausages, and possibly tackle making bacon. It turns out the big Chinese grocery store carries pork bellies.

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Sausages!

My friend Rozalynd (left) and I spent the afternoon making sausages. We did up 5 lb of a garlic, sage and ginger sausage, and 5 lb of garlic and mushroom. Tomorrow we will tackle up to 20 lb more, primarily chorizo and bratwurst. It turns out that the volume measurement for salt is larger than the weight measurement in my favourite sausage book. Those sausages where I measured in salt using a Tbsp are noticeably saltier than those where I weighed the salt. If we get tired of sausages and still have meat to use up, we may try making our own bacon. This is unlikely, however, as we are getting pretty good (and quick) at the sausages, and I have not yet acquired any instacure and am a bit nervous about doing anything except fresh sausages without it. I am feeling ready to cross this challenge off my list as being complete, though I am having so much fun I will likely to continue experimenting for quite some time.

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I have lucet work for the bus, and am starting to dig around in the basket-o-stuff to find more thread to make into cord. I spent my morning news hour spinning up some cherry red merino that my good friend Etaoin gave me many years ago. I’m hoping to use it on the inkle loom. I am intermittently working on the inkle project I started at Practicum (dagged garters). For a little while this morning, I felt like a cat – too many strings and so hard to choose which one to play with. As I type, I’m eyeing the pile of rovings I keep by the computer and trying to resist the urge to pull out the wheel in favour of getting a good night’s sleep for a change.

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