There you are, an honest to goodness completed finished knitted object. Well it would be finished if it had buttons. I’m sure I’ll get to the buttons in time, I might even manage a proper wet block rather than a waft with a steam iron but it won’t be today. I’ve knitted this before, it’s DROPS b14-27 in left over sock yarn. It is about 23″ across the chest and I had hoped to squeeze it out of a single 50g ball of the light yarn but that was not to be, I came up short with four rows left of the front edge and three rows to pick up and knit around the neck. It was boring enough to make it an ideal tv project which is why it was finished so quickly. I did the same thing as last time and cut two lengths of each yarn that I used, knitting with one and winding the other into a ball. When I got halfway around I started using the ball that I’d set aside and all the yarns presented themselves in the reverse order so my stripes match.
I used the leftover light yarn to start another baby sweater from the sock scrap bag but it’s in time out at the moment for being too light coloured. I’d imagined it being the colours of pebbles on the seashore but now I’ve actually got that I’m not sure that I like it. I may carry on knitting, I may rip it back and throw the yarns in a navy dye bath, I may make the second side to match to here and then dye the remainder of the yarn. That’s something else that can wait, I fished around in the bottom of the washing up bowl yesterday feeling for the pot brush and found the carving knife instead. It’s only a shallow cut but it’s right on the end of my finger and I keep opening it up. Knitting is a bit hit and miss now because it depends on whether I have a scab or a gap that catches.
The woollen cloth from last time was transformed from a stiff piece of board into lovely soft cloth. It had two baths because after it was dry from its first wash it wasn’t quite right, I wanted it thicker and fuzzier. I like it now so it is washed enough. When I warped it I thought this was going to make two bags but now I’m not sure about that so I’m setting it aside until I’ve thought it through. Once I’ve cut into it there’s no going back so I want to be certain that I’m doing the right thing.
I’m still trying to bake my way through all the flour I can find. It turns out that the substitute for floppy white toast at breakfast time is going to be bagels and not croissants or brioche as I’d thought. That’s fine by me, as a parent I’d rather breakfast not be made of treats. I made a second batch of bagels to replace the first dozen that were eaten straight away and this time managed to get most of them in the freezer. I made a second batch of naan breads too, this involved far less pan scrubbing afterwards because I bought the right tool for the job. I started looking for a flat griddle pan but it turns out that a tava (tawa) pan is close enough and much cheaper. It’s slightly dished but not much, a liquid batter needs a flat griddle but breads aren’t going to run and pool in the middle.
The malt loaf I made was suitably sticky by the day after it came out of the oven. It was delicious, you should all go and make one providing that you can get hold of malt extract. The recipe says to make two small loaves but seeing as I only have one small loaf tin I had to use a single bigger tin and cook it for longer. That meant that the fruit had more time to fall through the soft mix before it set – the centre of the loaf had all the fruit at the bottom but the ends had a much better distribution. I know about coating the fruit with flour before mixing it all together but I think if the fruit has spent the night soaking in tea it’s going to need more than a bit of flour to hold it up. I’ve subsequently tried to buy another small loaf tin to match the one I had but I’ve had to settle for some teeny ones instead. The centre slices looked very average but it tasted fantastic so I will be making it again. The next time I make this I’m hoping that the smaller tins will make for a nice speckling of raisins all the way through rather than a solid lump at the bottom of the slice. It might not work out that way, having looked at the photo that accompanies the recipe I can clearly see that the unbuttered slice has a big fruitless gap at the top.
The oatcakes were a one off, I lived over the border so they are not a familiar thing from my childhood. I looked at my plate and my eyes were telling me “pancakes” and with every mouthful I was disappointed that it wasn’t pancakes after all. They even stuck to the pan that nothing sticks to and that didn’t endear them to me either. I may come back to these in another ten years and wonder why it was that I didn’t like them the first time but there again I may not. For the moment I’ll stick with adding bagels, naan bread and malt loaf to my regular baking and pass on the oatcakes.