Friday, June 29, 2007

FO: Retro Redux Shrug

Yesterday was grey and breezy, much cooler than the 90 degree days which had been the norm for the past two weeks. It was cool enough that I was actually allowed outside (hives not responding well to sun, heat, or humidity) and I took a wonderfully rejuvenating walk with my mom. I was a perfect night for sleeping with the windows open and a light blanket, and this morning I woke to June perfection - clear, sunny, breezy, and mild. The perfect day for some FO shots. So I took a shower, dried my hair for the first time in weeks, put on makeup, slid into the aforementioned dress and tried my darndest to get some reasonable shots of the Retro Redux Shrug.

Not entirely successfully. I have bemoaned the fact in the past that I am not so good at taking pictures. And when you're on your own, taking pictures of oneself becomes a feat of ingenuity and engineering. They're not the best, but they're all I've got.

Retro Redux Shrug by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark
From Lace Style
Yarn: 2 balls Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Maize
Needles: US 8, 9, 10, 10 1/2 straights and US 8 circ
Modifications: Made 42" size, and shortened the back by a couple of inches. I probably wouldn't do that again, but it was wicked hard to get an idea of the fit ahead of time, and it just seemed like it was getting way too long.

I would totally make this again, and, in fact, I'm hoping too when the weather gets cooler. I think a heavier worsted weight would work better, and definitely in a wool or wool blend. I love the orange color of the original, so we'll have to see.

I don't know. I look pretty pleased with myself, don't I? I got some great self portraits today, though, so it wasn't entirely wasted.

I have recently discovered Orangette , and I am hopelessly smitten. I'm starting at the beginning and reading all the past posts in carefully measured bursts, to make it last as long as possible. It is my treat when I have finished practicing, a little something to make me dream.... I hardly need any encouragment to bake anyway. It's just, because of those challenges, I shouldn't really be baking. Or at least eating what I'm baking. So I'm taking advantage of these last weeks at home with my parents to bake up a storm. At least I don't have to eat it all.

Last night, I tried a healtier recipe for banana bread. Oatmeal Banana Bread, to be exact.

It smelled wonderful in the oven late last night, and looks fantastic, but the thing is, I already have a recipe for banana bread that I have developed over years. It's dense and thick and so flavorful that you'll swear off all other banana breads on the spot. Unfortunately, it's also a treat, as in not terribly healthy. This recipe was intriguing because it contained 2 interesting ingredients - eggs and oatmeal. I have found that eggs in banana bread makes it light and fluffy, which is not the consistency I personally look for. But the oatmeal, maybe that would counteract any tendency towards angelic texture and bring it back to the ground, where it belongs.

Well, it's not light and fluffy, but the crumb isn't quite what I like. It's a little... chewy... I guess. And it's not up to my personal specifications of banana-y-ness. But it's a start. I will be spending the next 6 months or so refining my banana bread recipe to be both awesome and healthy. Stay tuned!

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