Dyeing Yarn

My friends and family know that my true passion lies in dyeing yarn.  For a while I was dyeing and selling constantly.  Over the past couple of years I pulled back and I rarely sell yarns or even dye unless it is something specifically for a gift or for me to knit with.  It was great to make money on something I love.  It feels even better to have my hobby back to enjoy only for me.  I love seeing how colors come together.  I love using bright colors.  I especially love the differences between skeins of yarn even if they are dyed together.  I am fascinated by making something unique and personal for a knitting project. Continue reading

Peach Jam Recipe

I have gotten a request from a good friend for the peach jam recipe we used.  I of course found them all on Pinterest.  I made 4 different versions of peach jam because I am usually up for experimenting.  The first version I made was this Vanilla Peach Jam.  It doesn’t use pectin so it has to simmer for hours to get to the right consistency.  I already had the vanilla beans on hand because I make my own Vanilla Extract.  But if you buy individual beans at your grocery store they will set you back $3-4 each.  Ouch.  So I order about 1/4 pound of them each year from somebody in California who sells them  on eBay.  They are great quality and you get a lot more than you would think for the price.  I think I spent a total of $9 last year and I got 27.5 beans.  It was fantastic.  I made over a half gallon of vanilla extract.

My Vanilla Peach Jam was simmering. Do you see the huge vanilla bean there on the bottom?

My Vanilla Peach Jam was simmering. Do you see the huge vanilla bean there on the bottom?

The second version of peach jam I made required pectin and boy was it so much easier with pectin.  I followed the recipe on the pectin package and it turned out pretty great.  This is the version I opened for the girls’ PB&J’s last week.  I also gave a pint size jar of this to our friends who went camping with us.

The third version I made was an overnight crock-pot version.  Never again will I try that.  I started it after 10pm so it would be ready early in the morning after cooking for 8 hours like the recipe said.  No, just NO! This resulted in a nasty smelling, burnt looking and tasting, pathetic excuse for jam.  If you want to try making jam in the crock pot then please do it during the day when to can constantly check on it.  This whole batch got dumped down the garbage disposal.

And this is the color you DO NOT want your jam to be.  Crock Pot Jam was a failure.

And this is the color you DO NOT want your jam to be. Crock Pot Jam was a failure.

The fourth version was a no-pectin version again but following a basic recipe.  It was easier to do the simmering this time because I had the practice from the day before.  I also knew what consistency I was looking for and it felt like it just took a lot less time.

All of my pretty jars of Peach Jam.

All of my pretty jars of Peach Jam.

I really enjoyed being able to make all of this jam for super cheap.  I stopped in at Walmart to get the lids with bands.  The store had them stocked in the wrong place so I got a killer deal on them.  And because of this I decided to buy my bags of sugar there as well.  My budget for supplies was the $11 I had in my pocket.  And at $8 even it left me a little extra to stop in at the local coffee place and grab a much desired fancy coffee concoction.

I got my lids with bands for only $1.48 because they were stocked in the wrong place in the store.  I saved $2 per box because of their error.

I got my lids with bands for only $1.48 because they were stocked in the wrong place in the store. I saved $2 per box because of their error.

My bags of super cheap sugar and the lids with bands needed to create a good seal.

My bags of super cheap sugar and the lids with bands needed to create a good seal.

Do you make your own jams?