Sunday, December 30, 2007


A couple of years ago I put whole grains in my diet and took processed flour out. I tried baking with whole grains but the stuff I made was awful. I bought cookbooks and searched the web for recipes but I was still unhappy with the results. So I stopped baking… it made me sad.

Then King Arthur Flour came out with a whole grain cookbook that produced baked goods that I actually wanted to eat. I started baking again and now the great smells of baking bread and cookies fill the house. I am happy. The recipe for focaccia is worth the price of the cookbook.

My success led me to try and convert a recipe for English Muffin bread from white flour to whole grain. I had been making English Muffin bread for years from a 1970’s Fleishman Yeast recipe. After a few tries of turning out muffin bricks I think I have a good recipe. This is a mix it up, spoon it into a pan, proof it, and bake recipe. So easy even a knitter could do it.

This bread tastes like an English muffin. When sliced, it has nooks and crannies and is delicious toasted.

Stir together in a large bowl:
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour (6 oz)
2 cups oat flour (6 ½ oz)
1 TBS sugar or Splenda
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
4 ½ tsp dry yeast

Heat until very warm (120-130 degrees):
2 cups skim milk
3 TBS orange juice & water to make 2/3 cup (5 ¼ oz)

Add liquids to dry ingredients and beat well to make a smooth batter.

Stir in until well blended to make a stiff batter:
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour (10 oz)

Spoon evenly into two 5”x8” bread pans that have been greased and sprinkled with cornmeal. Lightly sprinkle top of batter with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on a rack. Because this bread has no fat, it should be used in a day or two. It freezes very well and can be put in the toaster without thawing.

Friday, December 21, 2007


After my last sweater disappointment I avoided fitted sweater patterns. Until I saw the Wool Bam Boo Cabled Cardigan in the Classic Elite Yarns Luxe book. I imagined myself wearing it to work paired with a slim black skirt, oh so proud of my style and skill. So I decided to try again. I know I’m not the only knitter with sweater fitting shame. I’ve read enough blogs to feel comfortable in my misery.

The yarn is a 50% wool, 50% bamboo – so soft yet substantial.

The irregular cable pattern is easy but interesting so the reverse stockinette doesn’t get boring. There is a fair amount of decreasing and increasing which I hadn’t done much of. As they say in the Florida Panhandle, Boy Howdy! - more skills enhancement.

I am using the new Knit Picks Harmony wood needles. Do I ever like them – light weight, smooth, and very pretty. I’m not moving too fast on this project. But I have finished other projects – significantly, an Einstein coat from Sally Melville’s The Knit Stitch (no pictures to post yet).

It’s a good thing I finished the coat. Temperatures are hovering around the mid-sixties. Brrrrr…

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Felting a Trellis

I finished this felted
Trellis Tote a while back. It was fun to knit and the pattern introduced me to a couple of new techniques. The use of a triple wrap for the slipped stitches to create the trellis effect is very creative. The slipped stitches just float in front of stockinette rows but magically attach when felted.

It is knit in the round and the flap is the result of binding off half the stitches and decreasing.

And such cool decreasing it was – the stair-step pattern emerged so easily I amazed myself.

I used a Malabrigo worsted recommended at my LYS. Just like everyone else that has knit with the lusciously soft Malabrigo, I kept petting the yarn. It’s hard to see in the pictures but the background is a variegated blue. I like the subtle color change and the overall unified look.
I felted the tote by hand, which I prefer over machine felting. I like controlling the process and I like the exercise. My reward is a glass of cabernet.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Knitting with Pink

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone at home?
- Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb

Welcome to my first blog post. My name is Marie and I live in North Florida. I’m a bit nervous about starting a blog – will anyone visit? Will they stay to read? Will I be boring? Only one way to find out, I guess. Hey, if it’s a bust, I can just stop. No harm, no foul.

A little about me – I started knitting three years ago because my two BFFs made me. They had a plan, a sneaky little plan. Under the innocent guise of visiting warm Florida in December, these two devious Ohio knitsters brought yarn, needles, and a pattern and forced me to knit a dishcloth. They had knit for eons and it just annoyed them that I resisted knitting’s charms.

I was captivated. I love the rhythm of knitting. I love that knitting is math – ones and zeros, on and off, knit and purl. Combinations make patterns and that is fascinating to my structured, logical psyche.

I’m working on several projects.

Cascade 220 waiting to become a University of Michigan Lola Bowla (pattern from Vyvyan Knitting in a Happy Camper). I love this pattern – it’s fun to make, works up real fast, and can be felted by hand in 30 minutes.

More project photos in my next post… Thanks for stopping by and reading all the way to the end!