Burnt Butter and Felted Jerseys

Sunday, February 01, 2009

There are some things that I try very hard not to do and there are some times when you just have to. Burning butter and felting jerseys are just two of them. One for edible cupcakes and the other for inedible ones and other felted goods.

The burnt butter cupcakes were pretty good, but I was a little timid. I had admired this Nigella Lawson recipe for a while but couldn't find golden sugar amongst the other exotic ingredients. Now that Trade Aid stocks the sugar, I'm all set. The first time I had to burn the butter for the cupcakes I was very careful, gently raising the temperature until the colour was a little more golden than normal melted butter. I figured it was burnt. I was wrong. The second time, for the icing, I walked away for a bit and managed to burn the butter good and proper. I'm not sure if it was the burning or just the concentrated sugar hit. The cupcakes were so-so, but the icing is definitely something else.

The felted wool is going to take some practice too.

I'm not meticulous about many things, but even in my student days I always carefully hand washed my woollens. It took a small infant and mounting washing before I would put even machine washable woollens into the machine. So, it was with some trepidation that I put the thrifted jerseys into the washing machine. I searched for advice on felting and in the end acquired my own copy of Warm Fuzzies.

The first batch was mixed, as you can see from the jerseys on top. The cheaper Ezibuy jersey was wonderful. I love the added texture from the ribbed sleeves. The Esprit 90% wool one shed quite bit, but really, doesn't look any different after two wash cycles. I think this will end up as a hotwater bottle cover. Then there is the wonderful 100% NZ wool jersey. I think the brand was Colours. Two very hot wash cycles and the only change is that stains have gone.

While last jersey is not going to be any good for felting, if it can take that kind of abuse, I might have another use for it. A few years ago I spied a quaint Enid Gilchrist Pattern for bootie pants, which honestly reads:

“Although these cosy pants could be made to match the skivy, we also made a pair from the sleeves of a women's angora sweater. The body of the sweater was used for the matinée jacket.”

This sounds like a modern day silk purse out of a sows ear if ever I heard of one.

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