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February, 2010:

What I did on my vacation from knitting

Believe it or not, I have actually finished a knitting project! Not that I have any proof, mind you. I was so excited (and overdue!) about giving it to its recipient, that I gave it away before I had a chance to photograph it. Bad blogger!
You will be seeing it soon, though; my Mom and I are both test-knitting it because I’m writing it up as a free pattern. It’s just a little winter accessory that’s quick to knit up. I did a lot of thinking about how I wanted to design it, but the actual knitting only took a couple of sittings.
So what the heck have I been up to if I haven’t been doing any knitting?
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Well, lately my crafty ambitions have been tending much more towards baking than knitting. Knitting is a creative activity that appeals to my brain, but baking has always been my comfort activity. When I’m under stress or feeling overwhelmed, that’s usually when I usually start baking a lot. I don’t know what it is – something about it feels so natural and basic and comforting to me.
I’ve been working my way through Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day and have made six or seven loaves in the last few weeks. I just can’t get enough of it. This book really makes it easy to make time in your life for homemade bread. I whip up a batch of bread dough on the weekend and let it rise for a couple of hours, then throw it in the refrigerator. Then a couple of times a week, I grab a chunk of dough from the fridge and bake a loaf. My favorite recipe so far as been a loaf made from whole wheat flour, steel cut oats, and dates, with some raw sugar sprinkled on the crust.
I also have the itch to sew something. I finally checked out the store Crafty Planet in Northeast Minneapolis and feel like I’ve been missing out on a treasure. I knew it existed but somehow the way I imagined this store does not do justice to the actual place. I think because it has both yarn and fabric, I imagined that neither selection would be great. Instead what I found was a carefully edited selection of fantastic yarns and fabrics. I left there dying to sew something. Unfortunately, I have a bad track record with sewing. Everything takes forever and I feel like I’m constantly asking for help. Knitting is much more my speed, yet I lust after all the beautiful fabrics out there; so I think I need to spend some time increasing my sewing confidence. Does anyone have recommendations for easy sewing projects to start me out?