the bread chronicles…getting started

29 01 2011

for as long as i can remember, i’ve always wanted to bake bread.  i’ve tried it once or twice; but i ended up with something that resembled more a paperweight than a perfect loaf of bread that i want to sink my teeth into.  since those failed attempts i convinced myself that i was a cook (not a chef, and definitely NOT a baker) so i should focus my energies elsewhere.

but as i was browsing one site or another, i came across this…

artisan bread in 5 minutes a day
honestly i didn’t think it would work.  experience has shown us that ‘quick fixes’ just don’t work.  but i kept stalking the reviews on amazon.  and i kept getting curious-er and curious-er…so i bought the book.

meanwhile, when i was grocery shopping i would discreetly chuck a bag of flour into our shopping cart.  (nevermind that we don’t use flour for anything we cook)  by the time the book was delivered i counted 3 bags of whole wheat flour, 2 bags of bread flour, another bag of cornmeal and a tupperware full of a mystery flour.  the irony in buying all that flour: i didn’t have the all-purpose flour the recipe calls for.  (sigh)

In a nutshell, this method allows you to pre-make a wet dough that is stored in the fridge for up to 10 days.  When you want to make bread, you snip off a piece, shape it, rest it, slash and bake it!  Even a non-baker like me was able to make a decent looking loaf:

my (second-ever) loaf or “boule”

i made the dough on day 1, on day 3 i made the first loaf (not pictured), on day 4 i made another two loaves, and today, day 5 i finished off the rest of the dough.
VERDICT: (loaves 1 &2) nice crisp crust that softened slightly when cooled.  the crumb was dense and moist.  aaron really took a shine to this basic recipe.  i think the crumb could be less dense and more chewy. i will switch to bread flour as it has more gluten and may give me a bread more to my liking.  (loaf 3) gifted to the neighbors. (loaf 4) in the oven!
i’ll continue to post to the bread chronicles as my adventure continues….

skewed green smoothie socks

25 01 2011

i’ve cast on for yet another sock project:

skewed green smoothie (rav link)
pattern: skew by lana holden in knitty winter ’09
ty-dy socks in green colorway
1 skein | 436 yds : 100 g | 80 superwash wool : 20 nylon
started: jan 2011
needles: US #1 (2.25 mm) knitpicks nickel plated circs
notes: brilliant!

we’ve been blending up a storm at chez crankygrrrrrl. husband just bought a blender and has been mixing up some green smoothie goodness. that, coupled with an insane desire to knit something for me…and an itch to do something different, but not mind-bending…led me to cast on for this…wait for it….brilliant sock.

i bet all clown vomit yarn would like awesome in this pattern. and pending the completion of this pair of socks, i will be flagging this pattern for many of those yarns in my stash. that is not to say that the pattern isn’t worthy of pretty sock yarn, cuz i’ve seen some beauties….i’m just saying that this will work for the ‘difficult’ skeins.

that being said, this yarn isn’t producing dazzling color patterns…but i’m still loving the knitting and it produce a -tame- and handsome sock.

off to drink my dinner smoothie…in this one we used: spinach, kale, carrot, celery, cucumber, avocado, banana, blueberries, clementine, vega whole food health optimizer, apple juice and some water. sounds “eww” but really “yum”!

more socks for the hubster

21 01 2011
amazing how quickly one finishes projects if they put their mind to it, no?  too many times i’ve found that i flounder when it comes to producing fo’s.  i just don’t have the staying power when it comes to finishing projects – and let’s attribute that to lack of time because i still drool over all knitting and fiber related things.

i’ve been working on these socks for quite a while.  they were started on a weekend that we visited a friend’s chalet on her property in southern ohio.  i was really creative with the name…are you ready for this?….

chalet socks for aaron
pattern: my own (my ravelry link)
yarn: geez…can’t remember and i can’t find the ballband!!
started: november 2010
needles: US 2.25 knitpicks nickel plated circs
notes: measure twice, knit once.  toe up, co 12, incr to 60, my own
cable pattern,short row heel, 1x1rib cuff with tubular bind-off

cryptic note?  measure twice, knit once. had i been a good blogger i would have chronicled my follies.  long story short, i knit the foot too long.  it was *a pain* picking up stitches and snipping off the toe…i tried to save the yarn at first, but gave up shortly thereafter since it didn’t frog smoothly (think of the agony of pulling the length of theyarn through each loop rather than easy peasy frogging).

lesson? pay attention!! and measure twice before you move on to the next part of the sock, else you create more work for yourself.  by the way…the picture?  courtesy of my phone camera.  amazing what good light will do for a photo!

meet leif “aaron”-son

18 01 2011

you’ve heard of warrior dash.

yes of course i’m running it.

no, i’m not crazy.  no, really.  shut up.  NOT CRAZY.

we signed up for the run then, POOF!, twist collective winter 2010 came out. it was inevitable that i would  knit up mascots for us. jennie eveleigh lamond created leif & astrid, an adorable pattern for knitted viking dolls. look at that picture!  so cute!  (i can’t remember bloggy etiquette…am i allowed to save that picture and serve it up on my blog?)…

meet *my* creation (in the likeness of my husband…with a more yellow-peachy complexion and sans hair).



leif aaron-son (rav project link)

he comes complete with a smirk and badly stitched facial scar.  i love the shoe lace detail…and the cape…i mean cloak (hubby insists that he will NOT fly, so it must be a cloak, not a cape).

you also know not to mess with him because of his tell-tale tatoo



don’t mess with this bro-tha

[gotta forgive the picture editing…no photoshop on my computer and the online tools provided by adobe kinda suck…better to blog and regret than to never blog at all]

fly by posting…

9 01 2011

january is zooming past … is it already january 9?!?

i try not to be the person to wait to make resolutions (why wait, start now!)…but i did want to have a more productive 2011.  more socks! however, the socks i started for the husband were just not clicking for me.  i ended up frogging them because the cable flow was not jiving with my vibe, ya dig?

i didn’t abandon the project, though.  i dug deep, cast on 12 stitches with jmco and started a toe-up sock.  i’m getting about 8 stitches per inch on US 1’s…but before i actually measured by gauge, i increased to 72 (too big?!).  i don’t have the heart to frog again, so if i have to, the sock will morph into the fil’s socks and my harry potter yarn will leave the house 😦

sigh.  hopefully we’ll have a camera up and running soon.

have a good monday.  🙂

new wip – socks for my dh

3 01 2011


first 2011 wip – hp socks for dh
looks like more frequent blogging will commence at the expense of picture quality
…look for more “lap pictures”…i’ll try for better photo shoots later 🙂

my husband’s love for knitted socks has evolved over time.  at first he wasn’t too keen on the wild colors and wooly feel. but i slowly added hand knitted socks into his drawer (and he truly appreciated the time i put into my quest to keep HIS feet warm).

anyway, knitting production dropped drastically in 2009-10 and as a result, the wool socks in his rotation were starting to wear out.  i pulled a pair with a large hole at the toe and put them in my darning pile…imagine my surprise when he pulled his foot out of his shoe – wearing the offending sock!  when asked why he was wearing them, he sheepishly replied, “my feet were cold and i HAD to wear my knitted socks!”

suffice it to say, i’m amping up knitting production on his socks.  these are knitted in a special edition harry potter colorway in hedgewig of opal.  i’m leaning toward nylon blend yarn these days since the all merino sock yarns tend to wear rather quickly.  (don’t you think so too? in fact, i’m knitting in wooly nylon into toes and heels of that yarn since i’ve had so many sock fails…er…holes…recently).

knitting notes: cuff down, co72 using long tail cast on, k2p2 cuff, start cable pattern (my own)