Tag Archive | beads

More beaded jar covers

I need to offer my apologies to German-speaking Jewish people of the world.

One of my most-clicked posts as a result of one of the most-frequent search terms that lead people to my blog has probably turned out to be pretty disappointing. See, when Mr. Gren and I thought that my beaded jar covers looked like tricked-out yarmulkes, I thought I was being all clever combining the words “jar” and “yarmulke” to get “jarmulke.” Turns out, that’s just the German spelling for the same thing. I suppose it’s still a sort of fun play-on-words, but it undoubtedly made no sense at all to all the people who landed on my blog shopping for actual Jewish head-coverings. Sorry ’bout that. Goyim gonna goy.

So this time, no funny stuff. I made jar covers with crocheted edgings and beads. White crochet thread, an assortment of pretty beads of various substances, and white flour sack towels from Pakistan which are actually somewhere in between cheesecloth and an actual flour sack towel in terms of the weave. For my purposes of fermenting, that actually works better because it allows more air in, while still keeping dust and bugs out.



The tap is open and the kombucha is flowin’


These made nice portable projects for our trip to Idaho this summer. I only finished two while I was there; I’ve got a couple more circles of cloth left still.

Sourdough starter

Sourdough starter


These are fairly simple to do, but I love how pretty they turn out. Classing up my kitchen! I did learn a few things from last time which made this go ’round easier. I machine-stitched a line 1/4″ from the edge of the cloth, then poked my crochet hook inside that stitching line when I started the crochet edging. The machine stitching gives it a little more stability so close to the edge of the cloth. Also, I didn’t bother with beads that didn’t easily fit on my crochet thread. Life’s too short. I tried to do a different edging on each cover, for my own amusement. And that’s all there really is to say about that.

Since that was short and only marginally interesting, I’m going to tack on a bit more here at the end.

Remember this thing?


This is the UFO jar that is, perhaps, partially responsible for my long hiatus. How can that be? Well, the last project that I pulled from the jar was the Rainbow Afghan. My goal was to finish one project per month. I didn’t finish it the first month. Nor the second month. I ran out of yarn. And then I ran out of gumption. This afghan was supposed to have been a stash-buster. You don’t buy new yarn for stash busters! So I was caught in this crafter’s quandary: Do I buy yarn and finish the project (and then have new leftover yarn)? Or do I accept that the afghan will be smaller than originally planned? I chose Option C, which was “Do nothing.”

While the afghan continues to simmer on the back burner, I thought it was high time to pull a new project. After all, my goal was to empty this thing out by the end of the year!


{sigh} Oh boy. You don’t know how badly I wanted to put this right back in the jar and pull something else. “They’ll never know! They’re just internet people!” But integrity won out in the end and now I’ve published it for all the world to see. “Mai” is Rana’s favorite stuffed bunny rabbit. Originally, this project was conceived as a little mother-daughter teaching time, but, well, let’s just say that Rana and I didn’t have the best summer together and the thought of any more “quality time” together right now makes me want to run screaming for the hills. So here’s the deal: I’m just going to bust this out on my own. Leave it on her bed for her to find after school one day and then she and Mai can have a lovely time playing dress-up and I’ll move on to a new UFO.  Fair enough?

Jarmulke yarmulke

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.

Beads, steel crochet hook, crochet thread, and a circle of cotton cloth

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 know that it only shows six brown beads. Trust me, there were eight.

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.

Not as intimidating as I thought it would be

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.

Basically crochet lace with a rock

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.

This will do the job nicely.

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.

Kombucha jar with its new covering

Time to brew up a new batch of kombucha! And work up a few more jar/bowl covers. Or, jarmulkes.