I like kombucha. I like to make my own; it’s a lot cheaper than buying a small bottle for $4 at the grocery store! I also like having a bowl of sourdough starter on my counter. You can use it for more than just bread! I’ve also been trying to soak my grains before I use them the next day. The problem with all of these healthy pursuits is that fruit flies also like them. Fruit flies are not healthy. I recently had to throw out a perfectly good kombucha mushroom because some fruit flies found the bowl and set up camp. Pitched tents, set out the lawn chairs, and started gossiping with the neighbors. Pretty soon there was a baby boom and little fruit fly parents were up late into the night soothing fussy maggots. They all got a one-way ticket to the compost pile. Fortunately, I do have a back-up kombucha mushroom in the freezer, but I haven’t wanted to get it out until I knew I could protect it.
One of the blogs I like, Down to Earth, is written by an Australian woman named Rhonda. She and her husband have worked hard to live a simplified and nearly self-sufficient life. Her writing is wonderfully warm and friendly and I always learn so much from her. After my run-in with the fruit flies, I recalled one of her posts where she wrote about different ways of covering your food and mentioned jar covers. One of them was a thin cotton cloth with crocheted trim and beads for weights. She didn’t explain how to make it, but I was sure I could figure it out.
I knew that the Dollar Tree had loosely-woven (made in Pakistan, oooh!) cotton dish towels which would be perfect for jar covers. The weave is small enough that nothing icky will get into my food, but is thin enough to breathe. I picked up a couple towels and cut five different sized circles to fit a variety of jars and bowls. At Michael’s, I agonized in the bead aisle, trying to find the heaviest (and cheapest, of course!). I already had the crochet thread and the steel hook, which was my great-grandmother’s.
The first thing I had to do was string the beads onto the thread. The blue rocks went on pretty easily, but the little brown shell beads had a smaller hole and fought me all the way. After much muttering and cursing of the Yosemite Sam variety (rassen frassen dadgum….), I finally got eight of each kind of bead on my thread.
I have never crocheted onto cloth before, so I did a little searching on Crochet Pattern Central to see if there was anything to get me started. I did find a pattern for a glass cover, although her cloth was much smaller than mine. It was a good starting point, though, so I used the first two rounds of her pattern on my cloth.
I think next time, I will put in a line of stay-stitching about a 1/4 inch away from the raw edge, just to give the fabric some stability and then crochet inside the line. Also, I think I will add one more chain between stitches in the fabric. You can see in the picture that it puckered a little bit. It wasn’t bad, because it made the edge curl in a little which might help with keeping out the vermin, but I think I would like the edge to stay flat. On the next one, I also think I will alternate the beads as I thread them so that I can attach them all in the same round of crochet.
When I finished my jar cover, I placed it on Mr. Gren’s head because it was convenient in all its roundy baldness. And also funny. He commented that it was like a yarmulke. Just a bit ago, I did a search for yarmulkes. I found both plain and fancy yarmulkes, satin, embroidered, even knit and crocheted yarmulkes. But I didn’t find any adorned with beads. That might just be too much.
I like the way it looks: kind of old-fashioned and homey, but delicate and dainty at the same time. It is definitely an improvement over the scrap of paper towel and rubber band that I had used occasionally in the past.
Time to brew up a new batch of kombucha! And work up a few more jar/bowl covers. Or, jarmulkes.