Sunday, March 30, 2008

Beads, bread and a bottle

This post is a mish-mash of various topics. Still not much knitting but I did finish the Klein bottle Hat from the Schoolhouse Press Knitalong. I got really bored with knitting the handle and then grafting it to the 'hole' we left in the inner layer. I botched the grafting. I was trying to be clever but failed. I should have just removed the scrap yarn, transferred the stitches to needles and grafted (plan B). I thought I could follow the path of the waste yarn to graft in rib (plan A) but it didn't work. After struggling with one side, I went to plan B and the second side looked fine. Fortunately it is not very visible. I think the whole ribbed thing is a pain because I didn't like the increases/decreases for the top of the hat in rib and I didn't like the short rows (to make the handle curve) in rib either. But it is done and it will be a long time before I start knitting anything in navy yarn in rib. A question for the mathematicians. Something tells me I should sew up the outer layer to the handle to close the second 'hole'. Should I? These 'holes do not exist in mathematics. They are virtual. So they shouldn't exist but none of the instructions on any of the patterns I found say anything about this. The 'hole' in the inner layer no longer exists as it is where the handle joins the inner layer. But what about the 'hole' in the outer layer where the handle passes through it to join the inner layer? I think it should be sewn up around the handle but I don't know for sure. Any ideas would be welcome. I also baked more bread using a recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 mins a day. The recipe itself was reproduced in the NY Times. I haven't got the book yet but it is on hold in the library. I like to check books out before I buy them. I didn't have all the tools - no stone or peel. So I baked on a cookie sheet with a Silpat on it. The crust isn't anything like the one I got from the Jim Lahey's recipe but that might be because of the lack of a stone. But it looks OK and probably will taste fine. There is another half of the recipe sitting in the refrigerator. It keeps up to 2 weeks and one can bake at any time. I may try the other one in a loaf pan just for larks.I've been shopping for a stone but comments online say that buying from an online store seems to be risky. Many of them arrive broken or cracked. The local Bed Bath and Beyond and Linens 'N Things seem to only have the smaller thinner stones. So I will have to defer the purchase till I go somewhere near a Williams Sonoma or other specialty store. With gas prices being what they are, I don't want to do that just for a stone.

I also went to the bead store and bought the fixings for a necklace for my lovely bead. I am very happy with the results. I may sit down next weekend and make it. I didn't take photos of the fixings and I'm not sure I can do justice to them with the camera.

I've been reading a lot. More Brother Cadfael books and two bread baking books are on my reading shelf right now. I have The Bread Baker's Apprentice and The Village Baker from the library. The latter sells for lots of money as it is OOP. The former looks like a good basic book that explains the process of bread baking in a lot of detail.

If you are wondering why I'm suddenly obsessed with bread, I can't help you. I have no idea. I have been wondering the same thing myself. I haven't eaten bread in years. Especially white bread, which is what I'm baking. Somehow though, I feel like baking it.


Ann said...

I love The Village Baker. I went through a bread baking binge about 10 years ago. I bought/read every book I can get my hands on and tried a different recipe every week. My cookbook shelf seems to be missing all of my bread books (wonder where I put them?), but there were several gems, including Laurel's Bread Book (of Laurel's Kitchen fame).

If you can't get your hands on a stone right away, another option that I've read about is a large (unused and unglazed) terracotta drip tray from the garden store. Or, you can line a cookie sheet with several new and unused bricks. The terracotta tray seems much easier.

Barbara B. Solbrig said...

I got my stone and peel at SuperTarget for about $15 I believe (it may have been a bit less). It was a couple of years ago, but I have seen them there recently, but haven't checked the price. I do know I priced them for a while and founf Target to be teh best price. Some places wanted more money and didn't include the peel. Oh, mine also came with the metal tray/handle thing! Some otheres don't come with that either! (Found you via Rav.)