Sunday, April 5, 2009

This Week's Projects

A quick update on what I've been working on this week:

I finished one of the Absinthe socks. I'm not thrilled with the bind-off that I used. Fortunately, I left a long tail, so I think I can take it out and redo it using a stretchier method.

(The color is a little off in the picture)

I'm taking a little break before I start the second sock, as I usually end up doing. I get one sock done, and well, I've been there, done that, and I'm anxious to get started on something else. I'll get to it eventually. The first sock was a fun knit, so I'm sure the second one won't be in limbo for long.

In the meantime, I've started on the Two Tone Ribbed Shrug from Stephanie Japel's "Fitted Knits." When I first went through the book, I really wasn't "in" to that pattern, probably because I had a hard time seeing past the colors. However, while looking for a shrug pattern on Ravelry, I came across it again. Most people did it in a single color, or used colors that are more to my liking, and I realized that it actually is quite a nice little shrug. I'm going very simple and inexpensive with the yarns - Lion Brand Wool-Ease Solids and Heathers in Grey Heather and Oxford Grey.

Also, I have finally begun to blind-stitch the border of Jon's Husky-colors quilt to the quilt-backing. The picture below is obviously one that I took before cutting the batting and borders down to size and pinning them in place.

(Again, I'm having trouble getting true colors - that should be more purple, less navy blue)

I also ought to update you on the bread experiment. The first loaves of bread that I made lasted only through the weekend, so Monday, I made two more. I was out of whole wheat flour though, so I decided to try the basic White Bread recipe from the same cookbook.

This one has milk in it, and I think that made a nice difference to the texture. It rose better too, and that probably had to do with a combination of things:
A.) I used a candy thermometer while heating up the liquid this time, to make sure I got it warm enough to make the yeast happy, without getting it hot enough to kill it.
B.) I used the bread-proof setting on my oven. This sets the oven at 100 degrees. Last time, I just filled a bowl full of warm water and set it underneath the bowl with the dough in it.
C.) There was no whole wheat in the dough. Whole wheat bread (from what I've heard, anyway) doesn't always rise as well as white bread.

These loaves lasted through the week. Yesterday they seemed to be getting pretty stale, so Jon turned what was left into french toast.

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