In progress

by Stef on September 12, 2013

in Food, Knitting

Sourdough starter

Wool for knitting

Fan and feather knit scarf

Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash

Seymour, my first sourdough starter, died during our cross country move to Wyoming.  I tried to revive him for awhile but he never recovered from the strong alcohol taste.  I also (quickly!) got frustrated with high altitude baking and gave up, eventually forgetting him in the fridge until he turned black.  I’m trying again.  This new starter has only been brewing on the counter for two days, but field tests suggest that Wyoming sourdough is somehow a vastly different creature than Michigan sourdough.  My first starter took quite a few days to develop a strong smell.  Yesterday, day one, I checked this new starter to discover it’s already quite pungent.  I fed it a bit more flour and we’ll see what happens.  I definitely miss baking so I’m excited to finally figure out the mystery behind baking at altitude.

This year I’ve already decided to become one of Those People and give hand knit gifts at Christmastime.  I’m honestly not sure how it will be received.  Years ago I sort of gave up on the idea of adults giving presents to other adults.  I mean… I don’t not love gifts.  I totally love them, I’m not insane.  But… it’s just a transfer of money, no? Why don’t you not give me a gift and I’ll not give you a gift and we’ll just spend time together? I always prefer something handmade, either of the craft or baking sort, than a purchased present, but I don’t know of others feel the same way, so I’m super excited but also maybe a bit nervous about this idea. If you have thoughts, please share them!

The first bag contains Berroco Alpaca and a ton of my beloved Manos del Uruguay Maxima, which will become gifts for my brothers and sisters-in-law.  The neon pink is an impulse buy for myself which really shouldn’t have happened, but it did.  The project is a fan and feather scarf, no pattern necessary although I suppose I could make one, for my grandmother.  The last box, all Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash, will become stuffed toys for my niece and nephew.  Christmas gifts should be all about the little ones in my opinion, so I’m sure we’ll add a toy or book to the mix.  I’ve come up with ideas for my two brothers and their wives, my niece and nephew, my grandmother, and Alan’s Grammy.  I’m seriously considering making another (better) Falling Water scarf for her because I’m still second guessing the yarn I used.  I have colors in mind for the rest of Alan’s family but haven’t picked any patterns or yarn yet. It’s only September, but I’m preeeeeeeetty sure I’ve already over committed myself, so I may have to set a firm schedule to get everything done in time.

Oh! and the purple packages on the right of that Knit Picks box are additions to my interchangeable needle set.  I grabbed some longer cables and size 2 and 3 needles so I can finally try making socks.  My mom gave me an amazing book on two-at-a-time sock knitting along with stunning sock yarn, so that’s the next project on the list in, oh, January?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lydia September 13, 2013 at 7:57 am

One of the best things we ever decided to start doing is non-gift giving with my husband’s family. The first year we were dating, it was, literally, a swapping of gift cards. I suggested to him that he politely suggest that they do something different the next year. My husband made it known that we’d be taking the money normally reserved for his family member’s gifts and either donating it to charities or sponsoring a family during the holidays. In return, we asked them to do the same thing with the money they’d spend on our gifts. It was a hit. Instead of gift cards or gifts we couldn’t use, instead, we got stories of their experiences volunteering at an inner-city tutoring center (time instead of money), donating to a halfway house for veterans and donating to a charity for animal abuse victims. I worried that it wouldn’t be well-received, but it turned out to be really wonderful!

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Stef September 14, 2013 at 2:30 pm

I love this, Lydia. Not just that you decided against gifts, but that it was so well received!

Reply

Kate September 16, 2013 at 10:17 am

I’ve been very fortunate with my families. My husband’s all just takes a big trip together instead of exchanging gifts and my family draws names and does a homemade gift. We still buy things for the littles but just sharing a meal and relaxing with family on the holiday is the BEST!!

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