Tag Archives: Homemade bread

More WIP witterings

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My Freesia shawl by Annie Baker has grown quite a lot in the last two weeks. There are at least two mistakes in it. Last week I was knitting away happily during a Zoom call with my friends in the Vegan Knitters and Crocheters group on Ravelry and noticed a yarnover hole where there wasn’t supposed to be one.

I know what I did. On the 11th row of the repeat there is a change in the instructions- after 13 K2tog/YO combos, instead of just knitting the rest of the row, you do K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1, K2tog. Well, the muscle memory kicked in and I YO’d when I should have K1’d.

Never mind. I dropped down to the hole, hooked it back up and it looks all right.

The second mistake was tonight on the 12th row of the repeat which is the only one without an increase on the plain edge. I did the increase automatically. Again, no one will ever notice.

Not much else has happened in the Craft Department in the last week or two. I added a little bit of stitching to the sashiko vest project. Barely did any crochet.

I have read a couple of novels which possibly explains the lack of productivity.

And I have been experimenting with bread. A couple of weeks ago I attempted hot cross buns but they came out like dense doughballs. They barely rose.

The following week I tried again, using an enhanced version of my usual bread recipe. Rather than individual buns I made two loaves. They were better but still dense and even though they were in the oven for 45 minutes they still seemed underdone in the middle.

Today I tried again. Less salt and oil, and I changed out a third of the whole wheat flour for white.

Nailed it! Slightly sweet and spicy, these loaves were a great texture and well-browned on the crust. (Recipe may follow when I am more awake!)

Ds3 has also been experimenting with making bread. I came home from work the other day to find some very professional looking bread on the kitchen counter. It was white bread but very flavourful. It didn’t last long! (He had bought the white flour that day – we don’t usually have any in the house – which is why I was able to steal a couple of cups of it for my bread today.)

The house got a good airing today. While I was cleaning I opened windows on the south side. It’s been pretty cold for spring (apart from one day when it hit 18°C) but I love to get some fresh air in. As long as I’m keeping active with cleaning bathrooms etc I don’t mind the coolness.

I even hung my towels outside to dry for the first time this year.

Hope your week is going well. I have the chiropractor tomorrow and a knit night with friends in the evening so I’m looking forward to that. And then it’s a few days of work (with a short shift on Friday because it’s Good Friday) and then a weekend off.

Talk to you soon!

Counting my blessings

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I’m feeling grateful today. I choose to be happy about this time off. How many of us complain about ‘having’ to go to work when we’d rather be doing something else? Now we have all this time – Google Calendar says I have no events, or it tells me about a shift I would be working, IF the store wasn’t closed! I am sleeping in late in the mornings. In the evenings, I think, what am I doing tomorrow? And I remember, oh yes, I have zero commitments. It’s very freeing, though I do understand that most of us do benefit from a little structure to our days and weeks to keep us on track.

I baked bread today. I don’t have a meal plan. I have the time every afternoon to decide what’s for dinner, based on the fresh food we need to use up, or what I have on hand. I have the time to pop down to my sewing room and spend some time creating something. I can take a walk or do yoga.

Today I clicked the video icon on a group chat on Facebook and got to talk to three friends, all at once, while we were all in our own homes. How brilliant is that?!

The two little purse/pouches above were made from two of Lizzy Curtis’s YouTube tutorials. Have you heard of her? She’s a Brit who sews, obviously, and she has some  nifty designs. These were both free tutorials. The fabric is from the pile I showed you on the 21st, some of my more recent acquisitions. And I got to use my new snaps and pliers set.

This is what they look like inside:

Quick and easy!

Today I made a less exciting, less pretty item. I was sitting outside with my cup of tea, a little chilly because the sun was barely out, so the sweater and socks stayed firmly on this time. I was looking across at the neighbour’s deck and a lightbulb went on in my head. I had this fugly fabric that Mr Fixit brought home not long ago, thinking I might be able to use it for something. In my recent clearout of my sewing room, I had decided to dispose of it. But wait! It is strong and durable and I can use it!

I measured the space at the top of the deck steps. It was about 36″ square. I cut a 40″ square, turned a two-inch hem, reinforced the corners, and cut a slit inside the stitching. Cut strips from the remaining fabric. Tied it to the deck railings and Voilà! A privacy shield and a little bit of a windbreak too.

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I do have a lovely view from my deck though this iPad photo came out really dark.

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Mr Fixit and I went for another walk this evening. Even though we’ve had some lovely sunny days, the air has been cool, and we still have to wrap up to walk in the evenings. Tonight I had my winter jacket on and a beanie, and for the first part (until I warmed up from the uphill striding) I was zipped up to the chin!

Looks like it’s time for a hot drink and another episode of Hinterland on Netflix. Keep calm and crochet on (or knit, or sew, or…)

 

WIP: Key Largo Scarf

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How’s your week going? Mine has been quite full, and I haven’t been able to get to the gym or a yoga class, which is a little annoying (though my lazy side is okay with it). Today the temperature crept up above freezing to about 7 Celsius, which felt almost warm! We are supposed to have double digits soon – gosh, what a treat!!

There’s been a busy weekend of work, a ‘catching up with stuff at home’ day (while feeling overtired from a combination of the clocks going forward, an early morning, a late night, and a lack of caffeine), more work shifts, grocery shopping, cleaning, bread baking…

This is what my kitchen looked like Monday evening before I crashed out at 9.30.

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This is the product of three large bowls of bread dough, each batch containing 12 cups of flour. Three loaves, 16 hot dog buns, 16 hamburger buns, all rising while the oven heated up. I used to make bread all the time but these days I tend to buy the Silver Hills organic sprouted wheat bread from Costco (it’s about half the price there) and stock the freezer. It makes it easy to grab another sliced loaf when you need it, and it thaws quickly or you can toast it. However I needed the buns for a couple of specific meals this week, and we were on our last loaf of Silver Hills.

As promised, I frogged the progress on the Key Largo Lace Wrap and started again with a cake of Lion Brand Mandala in the colourway Gnome. It’s a lovely bright rainbow of a cake – I have no idea who this will be for when it’s done, but I am enjoying the colour progression.

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It started a little slowly as I reacquainted myself with the pattern…

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And it grew…

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And grew some more…

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With DK yarn, a 5mm hook, a scarf width rather than a wrap, and only 10 pattern repeats across the row, it’s growing quickly. Very satisfying! I took this photo at a coffee shop today where my friend and I will be meeting most Thursdays, since she started a knitting group there. I have the four-row pattern memorised now so I don’t even have to get the pattern out of the bag any more.

My plan was to have a gym and sewing day tomorrow, Friday, but I made a start on my intended projects tonight.

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It’s not very sexy but it is functional – a non-slip mat that goes underneath a sewing machine foot pedal. I have to confess, the one I made for myself is not working too well on the carpet, so I’m thinking it would be better on a hard floor. I used a Crafty Gemini tutorial. On this first attempt, I applied the bias binding as I would normally, by opening it out and sewing it on then flipping it to the other side and sewing again. A far-from-perfect result, which is irritating as my intention is to take this one to work to go on the DIY table for fabric shoppers to see. The second one, I attached the binding like Vanessa does in the video, but it was even messier so I am keeping the second one for myself.

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I also made this shopping bag from some decor fabric from work. It was on clearance at $5 a metre, and is a heavy cotton fabric. I wrote down the steps to make it as I went, as I’m thinking this will also make a good display item at the store, but I wasn’t too happy with the stitching. I used a strong thread that’s slightly thicker than the all-purpose stuff, and even though I adjusted the thread AND bobbin tension the bobbin thread was loosey-goosey! Still, it’s usable, and pretty, and I will make another with regular thread in the hope that it will be more presentable, should people look closely at my stitching.

Yes, embracing the imperfections of life here today, that’s me! My other plans include some napkins for a friend, and another apron.

Good night from my windy part of the world (the windchimes are going nuts again). Enjoy your Friday and your weekend.

Good Monday to you

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I admit it! I’m procrastinating. I have one of my famous To Do lists written out but I am trying to ignore it. I promise I will get to it after this blog post.

 

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The Road Trip scarf is nearly done. I have finished the 32 rows of the body and now just need to do the edging. I had more done last night, but realised that the stitch count didn’t work out at the point so had to rip back. I’m not sure about the pooling with the colours but when it’s being worn it won’t be so obvious.

It’s mild (7°C) and sunny out there today, which is making me feel I should wash and vacuum my car. It’s a mess, with lots of dirt and road salt on it, and grit on the mats, and as I’m taking it in for an oil change on Wednesday I would rather it was clean! Of course, the dealers may wash it themselves, though they stopped doing that during last summer because of the water restrictions.

Eh, I need to stop being lazy!

I experimented with making soymilk in my Vitamix last week, but it was too beany and thick. I have frozen lots of soaked and partially cooked beans so I can have more tries at getting something usable. It was ok in cooking (and in the ‘butter’ – see below) but I wouldn’t have used it in my tea.

I also made some ‘vegan butter,’ the recipe for which I found a long time ago on veganbaking.net. I’ve had this slip of paper magnetised to my cooker hood for months now, and I finally got around to it because we were running out of Earth Balance. It’s mostly coconut oil, plus some grapeseed oil, soymilk, apple cider vinegar, salt, soy lecithin and xanthan gum. I find it tastes fine, but I don’t think the boys have risked spreading it on their bread yet so I haven’t had a review from them. I used a virgin coconut oil but you could use a more refined one for less coconut flavour.

I need to make bread today too. We are completely out and I have been going the lazy route and buying it from Cobs or getting the Silver Hills sprouted wheat bread at Costco. It’s so much cheaper to make your own though, and so easy. No excuse!

Enough of this talk, I am inspiring myself into action. Have a great week!