Is so random!
Here in the ‘Burgh we have had winter for a hot minute but all that changes this week as we are looking at temps soaring into the 50’s… sigh. That means all the snow we got will melt… we had some melting yesterday which turned the steps to get outside an icy danger zone… that was so delightful for my jaunts outside with Sherman… NOT! More ice chipping will be happening shortly to hack back last nights re-icing.
I have baked two higher hydration (85% hydration) sourdough loaves and the results have been delightful. Yes, higher hydration dough is stickier… but it is not unmanageable… especially when you dip your hand in water! Yes… dough won’t stick to a wet hand. It’s an ingenious trick for baking! The crust is thin and so crisp and the interior dough is soft! I think 85% is the “winter sweet spot” for baking… so I’d like it to remain winter for just a bit longer! LOL
Yum!! I wish you could hear it singing!
The other great thing about sourdough is having an ever-replenishing supply of sourdough discard… and last week I stumbled upon the PERFECT discard recipe. (Thank you, King Arthur Bakers!) I made Sourdough Crumpets twice last week and oh my gosh! So so so good! Added bonus… so so so so easy! You do need Crumpet Rings… or something similar. But really… all you sourdough bakers out there… you must try these!
I also want to share some incredible wisdom from a post that Ailbíona McLochlainn shared in her newsletter last week. I wish this was advice I had heard decades ago (long before I stopped worrying about “being in fashion” and just began dressing how I wanted… what I liked… how it made me feel…) but her words are so spot on. And… I think that adorable vest might be my next project once I have the Great Cabled Sweater finished.
Finally… I have a new project that I started last week, one I am doing in connection with my word this year. It is a 100-day project… which intrigued me when I stumbled upon it last year in the midst of the hundred days. I began last Thursday and the idea is that I will spend no more than 15 minutes a day stitching on my pages. Day One I spent a bit longer than 15 minutes (20-ish) because that appliqué “pot” was a bit of a challenge to get stitched down. Rather than just “free stitch” along with Ann, I signed up for her Stitch Club, which just might be the best part of all! As you can imagine, it is an international community of very creative makers who share, encourage, and inspire. I am enjoying the 15 minutes of additional stitching each day… and I am really enjoying the community!
It’s is amazing what one can do in fifteen simple minutes a day…
And with that, I bid you a very good Monday! I have ice to chip and laundry to wash… see you all back here on Wednesday!
Last week, a few of you asked me questions and I have answers!
Carolyn asked these burning questions:
“That photo, what a treat!!! With your phone? Or serious camera?”
I took that photo with my phone, which I think is a very serious camera! (Why? Because it is the camera I always have with me!!) I have the latest iPhone, which has a great camera. A “real” serious camera might have gotten a better image, but by the time I got it, the bird would have been gone. And I hope this provides encouragement to all of you who want to capture a photo of your backyard wildlife… your phone camera works!
Cathy had a stitching related question:
“I wondered what your back ground fabric was please?”
Though I did answer this in the comments from that post, I thought I could do a bit better. I use plain old linen from Joann’s Fabrics. I like how it holds stitches and you can find it (frequently) on sale. I do not pre-wash it, the bit of fabric sizing helps as you break the fabric down to the size you want to stitch on. And as you stitch it, it softens considerably. And for those of you wondering what I stitch with, I have an assortment of pearle cotton threads with the added bonus of an assortment of embroidery flosses from my temperature project!
Houston, we have a button band!
And finally… some thoughts on The Great Cabled Sweater! I *finally* finished the right front. Hindsight is never a friend… but I have some thoughts on how I could have done the fronts better. Knitting them both at the same time would have been ideal… sigh. I could have set them up on ONE needle and had less flipping of pages… and I would not have missed so many things. I discovered an error of my own making… from WAY back at the beginning of the fronts… the ribbing. I should have been slipping the selvedge stitch each right side row. I did not then… but I am now. I am absolutely NOT ripping back to “redo” the ribbing. I am calling it a design element. The knitted separately, but joined, button bands/collar is a curious… but I am going with it and I have completed a couple more button holes, which I thank my “before” self for making such good notes on how I did the first one (because my brain had NO memory of this! LOL)
That point where I realized what the edge was supposed to look like… sigh.
Happy MLK Jr Day to all in the US, and Happy Monday to the rest of you! See you back here on Wednesday!
can have some residual weekend frustration….
Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either.
Thrice now, in the course of My Great Cabled Sweater Knit I have stumbled across some less than clear directions in the pattern as well as some significant errors with parts that have left my spirit troubled. (yes, I have messaged the designer but have heard nothing at all about my question.) I wish there was an EZ quote for Improperly practiced knitting… because it would have been most fitting for me this weekend!
Good thing the Bread Gods were in the house!
My attempt at a Christmas Boule!
Involves a “sometimes” quote…
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. ―
As December races by, I have been trying to focus on finding some joy in the days… And despite joy being most-times fleeting and hard to find as December marches on with all the stress it can bring. I am trying to slow down and look for joy in my days.
Slowing down is a very good place to start… and to smile!
This morning I am so happy for the slowing down process that is making sourdough bread… and what a joy it is to smell bread baking in my oven! The latter is absolutely something that puts a smile on my face!
My advice to you all… bake something today, and revel in the joy of it!
Have a Joy-filled Monday everyone!
Is for celebrating weekend successes!
Success Number One:
The schedule was much better. And Sunday’s bake… well, it was spectacular! This was a much lighter, airier loaf with tender crumb and a crisp crust!
Success Number Two:
Getting back on the Watercolor Horse might have been a bit scary, but it felt so good and it is a good start to this 4-week class!
And today… I hope attain the Put Up The Christmas Tree achievement. I have all the ‘bits’ ready to go… I am thinking that some Charlie Brown Christmas and The Polar Express will help keep me focused!
Happy Monday all! See you all back here on Wednesday for some unraveling!