3 Knits & Some Scones

Lots of goings on lately! I have a thing on the needles (to be self-published in a few months), some yarn coming for a few more planned projects, and yesterday I did a photo shoot for a pattern to be published around November.

The photo shoot went really well, and I’m quite happy. We trekked down to a somewhat muddy, boggy area under the largest bridge in town in order to take the shots – it was a great location, and I’m really happy with the shots. Although, it was a bit of a challenge shooting around all the greenery. Since the pattern is going out in late fall (or if you’re in Alberta – winter), I wanted to create an autumnal feel as best I could while still shooting outdoors. I was moderately successful, thanks in part to my model being a real sport about putting on some layers in the 25C heat and shooting with a big giant woolen shawl.

I can’t show you any of those photos (yet), so instead here’s a thistle:

Marsh Thistle

I believe it’s actually marsh thistle, as opposed to our more pervasive Canada thistle, mostly due to the area we found it. Marsh thistle prefers the muddy, semi-forested area we were in, while Canada thistle prefers disturbed, dry ground in a sunny location. Whichever it is, both are invasive in Alberta, and you can see them growing all over the place, sometimes choking out the native plant life.

So, it’s bad. But, I love it anyway. I love the colours (although I’m generally not a purple person), but mostly I love how tough these things are. Delicate little plumes on leaves that will scratch the hell out of you if you’re tromping through in shorts (as I was yesterday!). Pollinators love them too. It’s a plant that has a lot of duality in it, which I appreciate.

It’s actually inspired yet another knit I have charted out, and one for which the yarn is currently on its way to me to knit after I’ve completed the one I’m currently working on.

Speaking of which, because it’s fun and I haven’t been able to do it with the aforementioned pattern that I went on the shoot for yesterday, here’s a little progress photo of what I have been working on, that I’ve named Dappled Shade.

Dappled Shade

The way the lace and the garter stitch rows work together remind me of the dappled shade in my garden – shadows cast onto the ground by my many (many!) tomato, corn, and bean plants. It’s being knit with Hearthside Fibers champagne lace, which is a really lovely delicate yarn.

I’m actually doing this pattern a bit more by the seat of my pants than I normally do. Generally I chart, and chart, and chart. Then I swatch, and swatch, and swatch. And then, finally, I knit. This one I picked the lace I wanted to incorporate into it and just cast on and went for it. A bit of a different method of me, but I’m really enjoying it. That’s not to say I’ll be doing it that way from now on, but sometimes it just works better that way, so you have to roll with the punches.

So that’s the three knits I’m currently working on, but the other thing tickling my fancy lately is…

Baking.

Cheese SconesSeriously, I’m not a baker. But I’ve been reading about the chemical processes lately (especially with bread baking), and I think I might be ready to delve in. But really the inspiration for this had been The Great British Bake Off, which I’ve been watching.

I don’t know what possessed me to start watching it really, I don’t like cooking or baking shows, but I absolutely fell in love with it and it inspired me to get my hands in some dough.

That’s not to say I’ve never baked before, I make a pretty mean Irish Soda Bread, but nothing much more complicated than that. Last week I made these cheese scones, which are full of butter and fat and are delicious. I actually got the recipe from a co-worker at a newspaper I worked at years ago, but never really mastered them and gave up. Last week, after feeling like I learned a thing or two about baking, I tried them again and was met with pretty good success.

Friday night I made an orange loaf, and while I feel like I could have baked it a bit longer, and put more orange zest in it, it was also pretty successful.

Not to be content with just those two, I’ve decided next weekend I’m going to try a bread. A real bread, yeast, kneading, and all. It might be extremely disappointing, but I’m keeping it very, very simple just to get the feel of it.

Also, I think I’ll like kneading and knocking back white a bit. Anything where I can punch and slap things around therapeutically is right up my alley.

Stay tuned, this blog might start to incorporate a lot more baking than I had ever imagined.