Just Doing It.

That is kind of how I feel about my latest craft projects. Other than baking for special occasions I’ve been contemplating practicing my baking a little more. I’ve always farked up whole wheat bread. It was always hard, and flat. Nothing I tried worked. But recently I read something about “vital wheat gluten”, which is supposed to help wheat breads rise better. I’ve yet to actually try it but hopefully sometime this weekend I’ll get around to it.

I did manage to make some banana bread, though:
Banana Banana Bread

from this recipe.

I’m thinking I should have added that 4th banana in there. Some of the reviews do indicate that extra banana would improve the moisture but I didn’t listen. Or perhaps the addition of baking powder may have something to do with it. In previous incarnations, with a different recipe the bread was always kind of flat and that one didn’t call for baking powder either, so I figured that was the problem. This loaf is somewhat taller but not by much(I’m starting to think other people are using a smaller pan than my 9×5’er, which could mean nothing I do will yield a taller result). Oh well, it’s still very good, even if a little on the dry side. Nothing a hot cup of coffee or tea or a glass of cold milk won’t fix.

In knitting I’m also slowly starting up. Oh I’ve knit the occasional hat or mittens or some other whimsy but one of the things I’ve been wanting to knit more of is sweaters for ME. Sadly, though, I’ve been quite reluctant to do so because of the four disasters in my knitting past: namely, the felting of my Cheesylove pullover, the shrinking of my beloved Central Park Hoodie by my MIL, and the fact that I ran seriously short of yarn for the handspun Heather Hoodie. Not to mention, the failure of kiddo’s Basic Black.

Eileen back

Enter Eileen. I just decided to jump in and do it. Of course the decision was facilitated by a sale at Michaels. 😉 I went with a bold color that I love and so far the knitting is going ok. I was a little uneasy with the shifting charts; if you look at the back photo you’ll notice there is a center panel and two side panels. The side panel chart only has 6 rows but the center one has 8. The first repeat of the two charts started out with the same rows, only to have me start the side panel chart AGAIN before finishing the first repeat of the center panel. And there I was thinking I’d print the charts on the same sheet of paper and use one long strip of highlighter tape to track the rows. Sigh. Oh well. I guess I could still print them together since they’re small. But it hasn’t been a major hassle yet.

Now, while I did enhance my stash for this project I have been working from stash I already had.

Crochet Box

I had 3 balls of Lamb’s Pride Bulky laying around, seemingly forever, and decided now was the time. The other day I just started crocheting these rectangles, not even knowing what I’d do with them. I just needed to be doing something with my hands. My son came in the room and asked if I was making a box. I looked at the panels and just decided, yeah, I’m gonna make a box. And I did!

I’ve read that crochet is harder to felt than knitting and I’m seeing this may very well be true. I would have thought with the yarn being a single ply that it would felt lovely but, the crochet won out. You can still see some of the stitch definition. Also the finished item isn’t as sturdy as knit felt would be. There’s no way that box would stand up to the spindles, but this is even floppier than normal; everything is actually sitting in a hard plastic bucket the kids got a few Halloween’s ago. Eh, it works, right?

I hear Eileen calling so I’d better go see what she wants.


6 comments on “Just Doing It.

  1. […] Lady Bean posted today about baking bread and how she’s never been able to get whole wheat bread to […]

  2. alisonamazed says:

    I enjoyed your post! It inspired me to write about my experience with getting whole wheat bread to raise properly. Sometime, I’ll write about banana bread, which was common in the Canadian kitchens where I grew up!

  3. Necia says:

    Vital Wheat Gluten will absolutely help with the rise on your bread. Many people use it in conjunction with AP flour, and just add a T per cup, and just fore go the Bread Flour all together. An extra banana would’ve helped with moisture, as is a T of sourcream, yogurt, buttermilk and the like. You also could’ve added a little applesauce. Either way that banana bread looked amazing, and I wouldn’t have minded a slice or 4. Im glad to see you knitting again, and this is the year of the sweaters. Im confident this will be an amazing fitting sweater for ya. As, for the box, it works.

  4. spin says:

    Love your crafty endeavors! The box turned out really cool! I think I need to make a few of those for my son and daughters rooms! Great idea little Beanlet! 😀

  5. kimkrafty says:

    Wishing you success and satisfaction in your journey to Eileen. It’s a pretty pattern.

    I understand the sweater apprehension. I haven’t had as much success as I would like in that department either. It seems, though, that you definitely have the skills. This may be the sweater that changes it all for you. This may be the one to get you back into a sweater knitting groove.

    Wish I could have some of the banana bread. I hate bananas but love banana bread. I may have to check out the recipe and add the extra banana like you suggested.

  6. cici says:

    great post! I love how thorough you are. I for one would be so happy to have you back podcasting again. Can’t wait♥ I am thinking about another CPH, I just need to figure out which yarn to use. Eileen is a great choice, it’s definitely one I can see myself making, thanks♥

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