Saturday, March 07, 2009


Today, the wash cloth is finished, and well - wash cloth, what can one say, except the Signature needles were beautiful to use, the cotton was soft and silky* and the pattern** good (read - will knit again I'd give it 5 stars/needles?). As well as the finished wash cloth, I've made a start on a 2nd mitten to make up the pair of the Vikkel braid mitten(no photo today sorry), my dad visited with kilos of plums so we made plum sauce, I tried this 'carding sideways' thing, and oh, I made a Me-shirt.
A Me-shirt you ask, what is a Me-shirt?
Yes a Me-shirt, an item made from a new or old, bought or reclaimed/recycled tee shirt that captures and communicates something about oneself. Our first year students, well their first project this year is a Me-shirt, we team teach across 110 students, so there are 5 of us lecturers involved with that class. The students 'present' their Me-shirts next Tuesday, and we thought we would join in .. you know, that would mean we would make our own Me-Shirt. Opps, next Tuesday looms, so I made me a Me-shirt, it took a day, used the body of 4 opp shop (charity shop) tees, and is knitted.

Since I'm a knitter,I thought my Me-shirt should reflect that, well I'm also a mum, and a wife and friend, silly, not so good at grammar and spelling, and lots of other things - but Knitter, well that is easier to capture than some of those other things. I shopped Friday for used tee shirts, and got 7 for $8, not bad. At home Toby made off with a deep purple near new Cadbury Chocolate World one, and the Tintin one, Poppy with a little pink one with cartoon dolphins swimming across the chest - leaving me with 4 white and one pink tee. I cut the body's of the tees into strips about 6-8mm wide, as a spiral, so with as few joins as possible. One tee was knit 'in the round' and that cut the easiest, as it had no side seams. If you try this for a project - well look for tees knit in the round.

Then I knit a shrug, based heavily on the GFS by Wendy Bernard, except I added raglan shaping as I did to the last one I knit for Poppy, oh and its short sleeved. I knit this from 4 medium/small tees, on 12mm needles. I would have liked to use larger needles, but I didn't have any that size I could knit the sleeves and band in the round. Now despite the fact I'd usually not knit with yarn this size, on needles this size, my knitting is captured in this, I've ribbed the sleeve cuffs, and added a ribbing band to hem the body/neck opening. I cast off in ribbing, what I didn't do was weave in ends ... finding that a good old reef knot was more secure. The ends kept slipping out. I started cutting the tee's after breakfast, and by 3pm was done, all finished and wearing the Me-shirt.

Bread, nearly two weeks ago Neurula sent around a recipe for no-knead bread recipe based on a famous Cooks Illustrated one. The dough was easy to make, quick to clean up after, tasted fantastic, and had a wonderful thick flaky crust, thanks in part to the long (12 hour +) rising time, and a small amount of beer. We are talking small amount - 1/4 cup or so, which meant that there was pretty much a whole opened bottle of beer to deal with whenever I made it. Being not one to down beer for breakfast (Bubbles on special occasions yes, beer not so much), I went looking for a no-beer version and found this. No knead bread, so easy a four year old can make it, and no beer. Today was the first loaf by the new found recipe. Now I'll admit its less of a ciabatta than the beer version, both are super crusty - but this is more of a cottage rustic loaf. Yum! Both are yum, but now I don't have to be in the mood for beer to bake this sort of bread. I'm only going to change one thing - I'm not using a tea towel, no matter how well floured, 'cause I floured mine well, and still I had sticky dough to clean off it. Next time I'm just oiling the bowl, like I do when I make other breads.

And Plum sauce, yes when I woke up today I didn't know I was going to make plum sauce .. but then I was nearly tripping over the kilos of plums in the laundry left by my Dad, and in today's newspaper a recipe for Plum sauce. We put two and two together, and there were Toby and I making a shopping list (cayenne pepper and malt vinegar were all we were missing), and making plum sauce. The house smells spicy and vinegar sweet, and warm, and just like I imagine harvest time the world over.

After a day of knitting something I'd usually not knit, well ... I seemed to be a little 'off knitting today', so I weighed out some more Perendale, Alpaca Cria, and Angora, and tried sideways carding. Last month the Yarn Harlot caused much debate and exploration in the spinning world by reporting how she saw Judith MacKenzie McCuin carding fiber sideways into the carder. Today nearly one month latter, I tried it, I think it blends better, I imagine it would card washed fleece better, much better. After two passes thru the carder my batt carded sideways might have been a little better blended than the batts I have sent twice thru the carder with the ends straight on. It did seem to pull the fiber in better and transfer it to the large drum better - but when you can only card one batt at a time, well, it all becomes subjective.

so that is pretty much me, I'm off to have a nice cup of coffee, and perhaps fold some washing, and put away the plum sauce, and then ... well I might even knit ... something on 3.25mm needles (not 12mm). Something more me.

One last thing, a new video showing how I knit a two stitch I-cord bind off. I-cord bind off is a neat, flexible and fairly painless way to finish an edge, I like it on moss or 2.2 rib, but it tends to roll on plain stocking stitch.

na Stella

* Cleckheaton natural cotton 4 ply, 50g 145m
** Eloomanator's Diagonal Dish Cloth, sorry its still a Rav link 'cause I still can't find it on her site.

1 comment:

Knitting Linguist said...

I love that shrug -- it looks fabulous on you, and is an excellent use of old tee-shirts. The plum sauce sounds yummy, I can almost smell it from here. And that bread looks really good! I love homebaked bread; it tastes so much better than store-bought..