Saturday, July 14, 2012

Impersonating a Bread Baker

Here I sit on a lovely Saturday morning, listening to NPR and thinking how lucky I am to have this un-rainy day off with no plans!  But It wasn't always like this.  Mom and I had planned to drive to Athens to go to R & M Yarns, but neither felt like it this morning.  Neither of us needs more yarn, and I surely do not feel like driving.  Seven days in a row driving to Walland and back, one full day driving to, around and from Nashville on Wednesday, two more trips to Walland... I think Ruby Subaru can have a day off.

On my trip to Walland on Thursday, I was the bread baker, for the first time in over a year, and I was nervous.  Nervous that I wouldn't wake up in time to be there by five--I was ten minutes early, without  a key to get in-- and nervous I would mess up the bread I needed to make.  The olive-semolina bread was easy, beautiful and delicious, but I didn't take a picture of it.  I only documented my shortcomings.  My pretzel bites look like seared scallops!  They taste delicious, I must say, but they are a trifle inconsistent.  The multi-grain batards, well, look like their name implies.  A Batard in French is a person of dubious parentage, named so because they're not a baguette, not a loaf, but something to use up leftover dough.  Mine have, um, character.
  Tomorrow, I have to be at the farm at four in the morning, to train a new a.m. baker to do the brunch desserts, and oh, how excited I am, but at least I won't have the anxiety of having no idea what I'm doing!
  And speaking of knowing what I'm doing, I present the angora shawl, with the center block finished!  I am now having anxiety about the edge, whether to pick up stitches and knit around, or knit the edging in strips and attach it.  The pick up method is the "modern" way to do it, according to author Nancy Bush, who made the Lily of the Valley pattern I followed.  She also wrote Knitted Lace of Estonia, which I was reading one night while enjoying a dark beer.  I knocked over the beer, onto the shawl which was in my lap, the book in my hands and the other book, Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls, by Martha Waterman, sitting nearby in the splash pattern.  The beer will probably come out of the shawl, but the books are warped and funky.  Usable, but definitely beery!  
  While I contemplate the edging dilemma, I have started a new shawl, using the blue tencel I had so much trouble using for the original Lily of the Valley shawl.  I made three false starts, but am in cruise control now, using a pattern from the Estonian book, Lilac Leaf.  The whole pattern is kind of ugly, but the leaf is pretty, easy and fun to do, as mindless as knitting lace can be.  So I edited out the edges Nancy Bush used, am using the leaf pattern alone for the center block and will choose something snazzy and complex from the Traditional book.  It's really a "make your own pattern" kind of book, with very few real shawl patterns, so more of a reference guide.  It's something I'll use more when I'm more comfortable knitting lace.
   And while I was in Nashville, I bought some new lace yarn, very fine undyed merino.  It waits on my swift to be wound into balls.  I think it needs something complex and interesting from one of my new books.  It's soft and luscious.  It'll make a lovely shawl, maybe a gift for someone lucky.
  Housework awaits!  And then, I'll assume the knitting position on the couch, with a good movie.  Happy Saturday!


LA said...

My books and projects tend to have a coffee aroma or sounds more interesting.

Roxie said...

Your batards look yummy! They get sliced to be eaten so who cares what shape they are?

Hope the early rising wasn't too onerous. It's kind of neat to be out and about in the pre-dawn stillness.

Bonnie said...

Beautiful shawl. The baked items look yummie also. My eye isn't as critical.