Saturday, January 21
Six months of knitting, this has taken. I only seem to knit while I am on holiday recently, and even then only erratically. I have discovered that I rather enjoy these marathon knits. The shawl is about 5ft wide across the top and can actually be wrapped around my shoulders in a useful keeping out the cold sort of way. I started it while I was at the Cambridge Folk Festival, knitting while I was in a tent that smelled of squashed grass and beer; and finished it the other night sitting in front of the fire on a dark evening. I now feel rather bereft and am not sure what to knit next. A girl can only have so many scarves and hats. I don't think I need a third shawl however much I like knitting them. Perhaps it is time to attempt another jumper, though the one I started just after I began to knit again is still languishing under the sofa and is never likely to be completed. Apart from being badly knitted with yarn from two different lots (and therefore not the same colour, but in a bad looking way rather than an on-purpose sort of way) it's also boxy and likely to be highly unflattering. So no to finishing that.
Wednesday, January 4
Ever since I got the River Cottage bread book I have been contemplating making a sourdough loaf. This means creating a sourdough starter, which you use instead of yeast as the raising agent in the bread. It's easily done: you mix flour and tepid water and wait a few days for the natural yeasts in the air to do their job. I've always been put off from doing it though, because you have to 'feed' the starter. It's alive, and if you want to use it, you have to keep it alive. Apparently it's possible to keep a starter on the go for 15 years or more. I've always found that rather daunting. I'll forget to feed it, it'll die, I'll feel bad.
Luckily others do not have such ridiculous worries, and my friend @rougeforever has been inspired by @PlanBreadBakery to make a starter of her own. I'm all in favour of a bandwagon, so yesterday I decided to jump on. I duly mixed 20g of wholemeal bread flour, 20mg of white, 4 raisins (oh alright I used sultanas) and 50ml of tepid water. Plus a bit more water because compared to everyone else's photos it looked like it needed it . I left it on the kitchen counter over night and when I checked it this morning it looked just like a mixture of flour and water. Distinctly inert.
Today I 'fed' the starter with another 40g of flours and some more water and having just checked it....it's bubbling! It's alive!
There may yet be bread (I'll have counselling if it dies. Or a cocktail).
Tuesday, January 3
So to start off, here are two scarves that I knitted for friends' children this Christmas. The urge came very suddenly, and given that my current wip has been on the needles since July, this was SUPER SPEED KNITTING for me. Both scarves took about a day to knit. How I love 8mm needles. And holidays.
I cast on 17 stitches, and in the case of the blue scarf knitted a combination of knit purl and yarn over holes in stripes. In the case of the green scarf I did about 12 rows of moss stitch and then knitted to the end and did an equal amount of moss stitch.
I’m pleased to say that both scarves have been very positively recieved. Hooray for friends who appreciate knitting!