A Little Lace, Some Baking and No Finishing Whatsoever.

October 30, 2006 at 3:49 pm (Baking, knitting, Work in Progress)

I once again had grand plans for my weekend. I was going to block my Flower Petal Shawl that has been finished since the beginning of September and was supposed to wearable for Fall (Fall is rapidly turning into Winter here in Upstate New York). I was going to attempt to finish the V-Neck Cardigan. These plans were not realized. At least Oliver got to run in the fields behind my parent’s house, sniffing woodchuck holes to his little doggy heart’s content, and I got to visit with my baby niece on Saturday. Happy (and sleepy!) puppy and a happy aunt. I did get a few hours in with the Flower Basket Shawl on Sunday morning. I really need to get cracking on this, as I am sloooowww with the lace, and I need complete peace and quiet in order to not miss any YOs. The quiet didn’t help this time, however. I finished the third repeat, and dove recklessly into the fourth without attaching a lifeline. I’m pretty sure you know where this is going . . .Flower Basket Mistake

Does that look like a flower basket to you? Yeah, me neither. So I need to frog four rows and begin the fourth repeat again . . . sigh. I really do enjoy the lace while I’m doing it, as frustrating as it can be. It’s completely engrossing and peaceful. I just have to find the quiet time in which to do it.

I also made some good headway on my Dad’s Irish Hiking Scarf. This is good TV knitting, so naturally it’s practically knitting itself 🙂 I also received the good news this weekend from my mother that the scarf doesn’t need to be too long as my father “doesn’t wrap scarves around his neck.” He just does the little foldover in front. That means I’m more than halfway done, as my father is only 5’7″ and doesn’t need more than a 45–50′ scarf. Yippee!!

Irish Hiking Progress

I baked this weekend too, a Chocolate Gingerbread cake from Nigella Lawson’s Feast. I’ve made quite a few recipes from this book, and I’ve really enjoyed all of the savory stews and soups. The cake and cookie recipes? Not so much. Something always seems to go awry for me. This recipe, however, turned out very tasty, dense and moist, and the gingerbread and chocolate go surprisingly well together. It smelled really good while it was baking too. There was a problem though, albeit a small one, but one that my Virgo anality did not appreciate. The recipe makes a rather watery batter, to which you add chocolate chips. Well upon baking, all the chocolate chips sank to the bottom of the dish and melted there, rather than being dispersed throughout the cake. Any tips on how to stop this from happening next time? I think I remember a Barefoot Contessa episode where she coated some berries in flour before adding them to a batter; would that work with chocolate chips?

Anyway, We finally have some decent weather today, highs in the 60s, and I definitely liked getting up an hour later today.

Window View

That’s the view out my office window. Please ignore the power lines and note the pretty blue sky. Hope you have a nice week!

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5 Comments

  1. firefly8868 said,

    If the chocolate chips all sank to the bottom, the batter was most likely too watery. You can actually vary the amount of flour you use in some recipes depending on how much humidity is in the air. If I were you I would try it again and use less liquid, or a bit more flour until the batter isn’t so watery.

    Good luck with it,
    ~firefly

  2. Karin said,

    We’re having a great day here too–nearly 70 degrees!

    I’m about 6 inches into my IHS. It really is a quick knit!!

    Hope all goes well with your shawl :/

  3. Theresa said,

    The joys of knitting for short people. My whole family is less than 5’7″ and it sure makes the projects go by faster!

  4. Leah said,

    Lifelines are a knitters best friend!! 🙂 I would never be able to finish a lace project without one!

    Hmm, that cake sounds awesome. Iagree with firefly’s ideas! It’s what I would do!

  5. Jen said,

    As a pastry chef – I’ll agree with firefly on adding in some additional flour to the liquidy batter. Coating the chocolate chips with flour before adding them in may help a little bit too. I haven’t tried any of Nigella’s recipes yet – even though I have had her book, “How to Be a Domestic Goddess” on my shelf forever! Two of my favorite sources for baking recipes are Cook’s Illustrated & Barefoot Contessa’s books. Haven’t been disappointed by a recipe from either yet!

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