Monday, 21 September 2009

Bread & Bubble

So this might not be any great revelation to anyone out there, but I have had an epiphany. I have made my own bread.

It was so unbelievably easy. It was cheap. It was quick. And it didn't involve a breadmaker (right now, I can't even understand what a breadmaker would do to make the process any easier, but there you go). I used this recipe from BBC Good Food. It smelled so so good when it was in the oven. Like unbelievably good. And then it came out, and it was a real, whole loaf of perfectly browned, perfectly shaped bread.


I had thrown a bit of rosemary over the top before I put it in the oven just to see what would happen. It sure did make the baking process smell good, but did nothing for the flavour. So now I am all riled up to see how I can improvise and try new things, but to be honest, it came out so lovely I am a bit nervous about messing with perfection. But we'll see. It's the day after and this loaf is almost gone...

And speaking of things that I love like only a mother could (not like a real mother, but you know, my food and my knitting are my babies...) I have finished another project! It's the Soft Kid Bubble from Boutique Knits (rav link). I was so worried about this poor baby while it was in the making, but it's turned out so lovely. I eventually learned to trust the designer and once I just gave up overthinking things and followed the instructions, it all came together. Here's a little peek:

Photo 37

More photos over on my Ravelry project page: meghanaf's Bubble Tunic.


Eating (with my bread, of course): Aubergine & Goat's Cheese Pasta
Listening to: Okkervil River

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Crochet Couture

Well, even if one of her arms was probably freezing, at least the rest of her was warm and cozy...

Cate Blanchett in awful dress

But I actually think she kind of pulls it off. Not a bad way to brighten a drizzly Melbourne day.

Here she is saying, "So I was at my granny's house without a thing to wear and then I said, 'Hey granny - give me that blanket, I've got a red carpet to get on'!" And Hugo Weaving is saying, "Hey. Nice one granny."

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Literary Knitting

Over a year ago now, I finished my MA dissertation on knitting in 20th C women's literature. While on my honeymoon. Romantic, I know. (I did give my new husband the courtesy of sleep though and did my writing/editing/panicking in the bathroom so the lights wouldn't bother him. Aren't I a good wife?)

Anyway, since I began that project, either because I am automatically attracted to books that are likely to have knitting in them, or because my eyes have been opened to the references, I have been seeing knitting everywhere in the literary realm. The texts I focused on in my thesis were the short story "Art Work" by A.S. Byatt (look out for even more knitting references in her other books) and Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. Byatt has written a great article in The Guardian, in which she "follows the tangled threads between text and textiles." All good stuff.

Not all stories have as many needlework references as these, but the references are certainly there. Right now I am reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. When I first picked it up, it really didn’t occur to me that it would have anything to do with textiles at all, which of course it does. In it, our heroine, Margaret, moves from the gentrified south of England to the rather rougher industrial north – where of course industry includes textile production. I am only about halfway through the novel (partly listening to it while knitting via – where books in the public domain can be recorded and listened to for free) and I can already see that a major motif is the contrast of the women characters' needlework projects with the large-scale industrial textile production that goes on in the town.

I'll have to let you know what I think once I have finished the book. In the meantime, other books that I have come across include The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, which is just so lovely - "It's a kind of trick, Dad, because it's just a long, long, fat string and it turns into a scarf ."

What else? I'll have to list them as they come to me and put them under the category of Literary Knitting. We could do this with movies too, but we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


Lots has happened since my last post. Lots meaning cardigans.

Here's the finished Herringbone (rav link):
Photo 1
I haven't worn it anywhere but around the house so far. It's almost too cold already for it to be of any use now, and I feel like in the summer it was a bit too warm. It shall be my "house jacket." When did I become a housewife?!

Far more exciting are my Garter Yoke Cardigan and my Duotone Cardigan, both from Vogue Knitting Fall/Winter 2008's piece on top-down raglans.

Photo 19

Photo 18

Cute no? Both really easy, both really cute. Definitely outside-world-wearable.

For the Garter Yoke Cardigan I just used a load of random buttons from my grandmother's old stash. They don't match and are all different sizes, but the gold in them brings them together and I am really liking the effect.


In other news (sort of), Murray and I just got back from the End of the Road Festival this weekend. I camped out. Seriously. But I did bring my knitting. The weather was glorious, so I actually didn't really need to actually wear any of my knitting - who knew the sun could come out in England in September? See below:


Anyway, glorious it was and I got started on what I will call my "Festival Socks" (Drops 103-11 Long Socks) because I had every intention of wearing them all weekend with wellies to keep out the mud, even though I never had to. See proof of said glorious weather in this sunset shot:



Eating: Garganelli with Pumpkin, Sage & Goat's Cheese (so autumn-y and lovely)
Listening to: old Tori (because I saw her last Thursday night!) and Vetiver (because they were one of the best at EOTR).