Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

The New Post

Filed under: Cooking - Folkcat in the Kitchen,Crafting Miscellany,Knitting — folkcat at 6:45 pm on Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New Socks

Mere minutes ago, I finished weaving in the ends on Gryphon’s second sock (Socks for Gryphon: Pair 4(SG:P4)).

SG:P4 - Done!

Pictures of them being modelled by actual Gryphon feet next time!

New Projects

Now that Gryphon’s socks are done, I’ll be starting on my Adult Surprise Jacket. I’m going to make this from acrylic worsted weight yarns I have in stash – and believe me, there’s plenty of that. It will be a scrappy jacket of many colors, which suits me just fine!

New Pets

Sourdough Starter
My First Yeast Colony

Mere minutes before writing this post, I stirred up this batch of sourdough starter.

I’ve been wanting to cook more real foods. But with Gryphon working second shift, and not home for dinner 5 days a week, there’s little incentive. I almost never get to prepare a dinner and set it on the table for everyone both of us to enjoy together.

We usually manage a special meal of some sort on the weekends. But I want to flex my cooking muscles more than that. It finally hit me – bread! We use bread regularly, it’s not that difficult to make, and it doesn’t need to be consumed the moment it comes out of the oven. (Though I’m sure that, until the novelty wears off, much of it will go that quickly.)

My favorite is a good sourdough bread. I know I could have thrown caution to the wind and hoped for a good yeast species floating around in our air – here in downtown Wilton, right on several main roads, in an old apartment complex where I doubt anyone has made real bread in decades. I decided that sounded a bit chancey, though, and went for the Fleischmann’s Sourdough Starter that I found in the recipes in MasterCook. (Once I can figure out why my FTP software isn’t loading, I’ll be able to provide a link to a TXT version of the recipe.)

Basically, it’s a big pot of glue – warm water and flour – with a packet of yeast mixed in. Put on the lid and leave it alone for a bit, and theoretically, I’ll have a sourdough starter I can keep perpetually alive to make bread from.

Fingers crossed!

New Crafts

This is a lucet:

Homemade Lucet
Homemade Lucet

It’s a homemade one, at least. A proper one would be nicely hand carved from wood, with aesthetically pleasing curves, a nice grain, and a soft sheen. This one is made of 18-gauge steel wire with a plastic coating, a piece cut from an empty supermarket gift card, and a bunch of blue self-adhesive grip tape. (The tape is usually used to wrap fingers and/or hands to protect them from injury in sports or manufacturing jobs.)

MacGyver would be proud, don’t you think?

A lucet is an ancient tool, used to make a flexible, non-stretchy cord. As you can see in this detail, the cord made with the basic technique is square. There are other techniques I’ve seen on the web that produce flat cords, and one very advanced luceteer (not sure if that’s a real word, but it should be!) that I found in England has discovered ways to make buttonholes and lacy trims on her lucet.

Lucet Cord in Progress
Close Look at the Cord

I have known vaguely about lucets for many years, but had no clue how they were used. (The Wikipedia article linked above has several links to online tutorials.) When I needed a cord of some sort, and couldn’t just use a length of yarn, my practice has been to make a crochet chain. But that’s asymmetrical, and not very attractive. Using a lucet, I’ll be able to make symmetrical cords that are non-stretchy and nice to look at, and I can make them to go with any project.

Then I saw Dave at Cabin Cove posting about his lucets, and the cords he makes with them. I was hooked! He has a pair of beautiful, wood, hand carved lucets. Luckily, he also provided a link to the merchant who made them – Lynn the Weaver. Lynn is a Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) merchant and woodworker in the Pacific Northwest.

Let me tell you, I searched the web for the best lucets I could find, and seriously – I never found any as nice as what Lynn shows on his website! I’m going to call him with my order for a lucet made of Purple Heart wood later today. Meanwhile, I’ll continue practicing with my little homemade one.

That’s what’s new with me. Crafty endeavors of one form or another, mostly, and I’m enjoying every bit of it. What’s new with you?

1 Comment

Comment by Carol

March 5, 2008 @ 8:39 pm

Nice pair of big socks 🙂

Trust me, the novelty of warm bread doesn’t really ever go away. It’s one of those basic things that is wonderful. Mmmm warm bread……

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