Sunday, March 1, 2009

Moving on

I finally bit the bullet today and went for it. I've been avoiding the tam all weekend. Yesterday, I went to the farmer's market, cleaned the house, started another batch of bread, did laundry, and knitted on the shawl. (Sweet peas are finally out at the market, and the house smells great.)
So it's not like I wasn't doing things that needed doing, but I must admit that part of the drive to stay busy was that I wasn't quite sure I was ready to commit felting.

This morning, I made cinnamon rolls from the last batch of bread dough.
I also made a loaf from my new batch, which we had for dinner.
All of these are coming from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book, which I checked out from the library after someone else tried it, and I'm so glad I did. I will definitely be buying this book for myself. The bread has turned out really well, and the time investment is minimal; to be fair, the commitment of refrigerator space is not minimal, but I can live with that. I like fresh bread, I like knowing what's in my bread, and I like being able to have fresh bread relatively quickly. And the book has all kinds of other things one can do with the bread dough (for example, those cinnamon rolls up there). Yup, I'll be adding that to my library.

I also worked on the shawl.
I've been wanting to get through the first chart, which I did this morning. That felt like a big hurdle, since the stitch count starts going down after that, which makes me feel like I'm on my way. The lace motif around the edge is just gorgeous.
And once that was done, there were no more excuses. It was time to felt. So I wove in all the ends, boiled up some water, dug out a bowl and rubber gloves, and got started. I scrubbed and kneaded, and shocked the wool by alternating between hot and cold water, and after about 12 or so minutes of work (with lots of stops to see how I was doing along the way), I decided that it seemed like I'd shrunk enough (it had gotten to just over the 12-inch-diameter mark), and it was time to stop. So I wrung it out (and can I tell you how weird it feels to do that to a piece of knitting?), and shaped it to dry. And then I asked Older Daughter to try it on again so we'd have a fair comparison. I think it's much better, and I actually like the texture rather better, too; it's weightier, and feels more windproof, which I'm happy with.
And for comparison.
Is it just me, or is that better? The first one looks much more like a hat, and much less like The Blob. I just need to hem up the ribbed edge, and it'll be done. Does this mean I can cast on for something else?


Willow said...

I approve. It looks better. The size is better.

You may now cast on.

Wool Enough said...

It worked! The felting worked! Houston, we have a hat! Hurrah!

Anonymous said...

Much better. Scary to felt something so precious, isn't it! You did great.
(Lurker - Beverly near Yosemite CA)

KnitNana said...

OH yeah. Much better, it does indeed look like a hat, not a blob.

...and going to the farmer's market, those sweet peas and that bread?
Spring will come here. Yes, it will. (convincing self)

I think you have good reason to cast on something else...

AlisonH said...

Oh, that's much better! Well done!

Those pink sweet peas look heavenly, and now I'm wishing I had some cinnamon rolls.

EGunn said...

Those cinnamon rolls look great. It's so worth it to bake your own bread!

The hat looks perfect. I'm so glad the felting worked out!

I like the shawl better in your cream color than the purple that it was designed in. That surprises me, because I usually like purples a lot, but I think the light color does a better job of showing the stitches.

What's next?

Lynne said...

Oh wow! Oh my! What a difference! Fantastic! Well done! You deserve a bravery medal and a knitting award! Oh my!

Northside Knitter said...

I'm not sure which is my most favorite scent.... warm bread fresh from the oven or fresh sweet peas. You are lucky to have them both in your home today.

Miss 376 said...

Wow, what a difference, it looks fantastic as does the shawl. Not sure if you have the same problem in your house as I have, when you make your own bread it disappears too quickly.


You are the Master and Commander of your knitting! Commendations to the (wait for it) Cast-on Crew.

Oh, that's bad.

Marianne said...

ManOMAN! The sweetpeas and the cinnamon rolls and the bread, mmmm, but then you toss in the lace AND the felted tam! which btw... I LOVE. I like it felted so much more, never mind the size issues, I just love the way it looks felted and yes, a much better size also. Your mum will be very happy with it! BRAVA!

Darcys Knotty Knitter said...

I think it is gorgeous and she looks lovely in it:)Hugs and well done.Darcy

twinsetellen said...

Yes! I am so glad it worked out!

Katie said...

I think the felting definately helped. It's a hat! Now could you pass me a slice of bread, please?

Rachael said...

ooh, I missed drama! It looks much better felted, congrats on a brave solution that worked out great!

The bread looks delish, I haven't tried anything past the straight bread recipe yet, I'll have to check out those cinnamon rolls!

knitspot anne said...

oh i LOVE seeing posts with photos, yay!!
sweet peas; i'm jealous. REALLY jealous!
the shawl; fantastic!
the bread; i'm green with jealousy now, but probably buying that book soon, too
and the tam??
omg it's amazing!

Alwen said...

Whoa, that's amazing what a difference that makes. Nice!

the boogeyman's wife said...

that looks tons better! i like how the colorwork looks a bit blurry now, as if the colors are melting together.