This weekend was so busy that I hardly know where to start! But let’s begin with marmalade…
I went to the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market Saturday morning – besides the weekly shopping, I managed to score some (unsprayed) pink grapefruit, Eureka lemons, and (hallelujah!) white guavas. White guavas have a wonderful fragrance and a deliciously floral taste – quite different from the regular pink guavas and 1000% better than the guava juice you find in stores. And I had a recipe for white guava/Meyer lemon marmalade. So what could I do? I bought five pounds.
At the farmer’s market, I met up with my weaving friend Alfred, who was coming down to play on Emmy. I drove us back to Sunnyvale, where we met another weaving friend, Carla, who was visiting from Maryland. Carla showed us her incredible double weave samples. She’s playing with color-and-weave double weave on two blocks, and the results are just amazing. And on only eight shafts! I may have to try this myself.
Anyway, we got Alfred set up on the loom, and I got started on marmalade while Carla and I chatted. Marmalade is a three-day process, and I was just finishing a lovely Seville orange marmalade with rum, vanilla, and piloncillo (piloncillo is a Mexican sugar that typically comes compressed into cones). After that we went for a late lunch.
And when we got back, my loom lights had arrived! I had ordered LED strip lighting for Emmy (as I did on Sophie, my previous loom), and the final part – the power supply – had finally arrived. Here are the loom lights in action:
They are easily bright enough to see clearly in a dark room; when the room lights are on, they provide excellent lighting in front and back of the castle, and pretty good lighting inside the shafts – much brighter than the room lights. I’m looking forward to threading with this setup!
Setting up the loom lights was quick and easy – we just drilled two holes for each strip of LEDs, screwed in the clips, clipped in the LED strips, attached the power cables, and away we went. We did have to reroute some of the cables that had previously been clipped to the underside of the cable, but that wasn’t particularly hard.
If you are interested in installing loom-lights of your own, and have at least a 1 meter (39-inch) castle, here’s what it took to hook up the loom: two 1-meter LED strip lights, a power supply splitter cable, a 12-volt, 60-watt power supply, and a standard IEC 3-pin power cable. We didn’t buy that one since Mike already had one hanging around, but it looks much like this one from Digikey.
(Edited to add: Mike points out in the comments that this light may be too bright for small looms; the lights we had on the Workshop Dobby, which has a distance of 8 inches from lights to warp, were only 1/4 as bright. The new loom has a distance more like 2 feet from lights to warp, so needs brighter lighting.)
After installing the loom lights and weaving a bit more, Alfred went home, and I went back to marmalade. Between Saturday and Sunday, I finished four types of marmalade. The first was Seville orange with vanilla, rum, and piloncillo. The second? Seville orange marmalade with ginger and cinnamon. Wonderful blend of warm spices with bitter orange! Third was Seville orange marmalade with coffee and cardamom – my favorite of the four, it sounds weird but tastes incredible. The coffee adds a subtle bitterness and more complex flavor – next year I will have to try some of this in chocolate!
The final marmalade was the Meyer lemon and white guava marmalade. This unfortunately required way more cooking than I had expected, so it came out a little caramelized. It’s still delicious, but I think I can get more from this recipe. I will have to try it again!
Still on the marmalade plate are: plain Seville orange marmalade (because Mike likes it), grapefruit/lemon/Seville orange marmalade, Meyer lemon/Page mandarin/lavender marmalade, and maybe grapefruit marmalade with rose geranium or rosewater. I already have a lifetime supply of marmalade, but I can’t stop making it! It’s tremendous fun and thoroughly enjoyable.
I am now trying to type around a cat:
so perhaps it’s time to end this post. However, I can’t resist giving you a final video – this is a two minute video clip of me working on Emmy, which shows off a good chunk of the loom (including the e-lift motor). If you’ve been curious about Emmy and how she’s working, watch this video. (Thanks to Alfred for taking the video!)