Experiments II

An update on my 'Experiments' post about my fledgeling crocheted '3D' blanket, and my first foray into sourdough baking.

I've joined together the squares I've crocheted so far, and I think the blanket's looking pretty snazzy! I crocheted them together on the wrong side, which I think is slightly more fun than sewing them together.

Yarn-ends and all!

I've had moderate success with my two batches of sourdough bread - both tasted good and had a good texture, but were quite small. The second batch of dough, which I left to rise for about 24 hours, rose more than the first (which had about 16 hours rising time). So I'm going to stick to longer rising times from now on.

I also wanted to see whether using a recently-fed sourdough starter would make a noticeable improvement to the rising of the dough. My last two batches used starter that had sat in the fridge for a few days since its last 'feeding' with flour and water. This time, I made one 'control' batch of dough, 'Dough A', with starter that was last fed two days previously. I then fed the starter and left it out on the bench. After an hour or so I made the second batch of dough, 'Dough B', using this freshly-fed starter.

I put Dough A in a smaller bowl, as I expected Dough B to rise more (and need more room). Is that what happened? Nope:

Thing 1 and Thing 2 Dough A (left) and Dough B (right)

They've both risen, but Dough A is bigger. Maybe I didn't leave the starter to bubble up for long enough after I fed it, before using it to make Dough B.

After punching down the dough, kneading again, and leaving them alone for a few more hours, they're now almost the same size. I guess certain variables don't matter as much with a long rising time! Good to know. :)


I'm trying out something new: a crocheted blanket that will look cool through 3D glasses! I hope. :)

Crochet... In... Spaaaaaace!

After much drawing and pondering and tinkering with yarn, I've settled on a design that works, without being too complicated. I should have enough yarn to make a lap-blanket for the couch, with five of the large squares per side. When I lay the squares out in their grid formation (see below) and wear my 3D glasses, there's definitely a bit of 3D action happening. The centres of the small squares 'pop out' nicely.

I'm using Bendigo Woollen Mills' Classic 8ply, a basic crepe-style wool yarn. Once I'm further along with the blanket, I'll write up the pattern.

Two sizes of squares: 5" and 2.5". Yes, it's a tad fiddly...

The squares-so-far laid out in their grid

I've also been experimenting with making a sourdough 'starter' for baking bread. I got inspired by a mini article on sourdough in the extra curricular mag that Mum sent me for Christmas. I'm following the instructions on the Breadtopia website to make my starter, and it seems to be going ok as far as I can tell! Click on the pics to see the little bubbles (awww)...

The beginning: after mixing the first lot of flour with the pineapple juice

After 18 hours - a few bubbles already! I have named it Monster. :)

24 hours after adding the 2nd lot of flour and juice. More bubbles!

Tomorrow I'll be up to Step 3 (adding more flour and water). By the weekend, I should be able to try baking some bread. Go kitchen science!

Sunset on Mars

We discovered some fascinating rock pools during our recent holiday at Apollo Bay, at the bit of beach nearest our holiday house. The first time we explored them I was cursing leaving my camera behind, but luckily when we returned the following evening, the light was skimming nicely over all the crazy textures. I accordingly went a bit photo mad...

(click the photos to enlarge)

The shellfish make 'snail tracks' in their pools. :)


I love the honeycomb rocks!



...and outies!

Every bit of the rocks had a different texture! Such a magical place.

Elementary, my dear

My periodic table cross-stitch, in progress...

I started with the 'key' at the bottom left, mainly so I could try out all the colours, and make sure the back-stitched letters over the top are reasonably legible. I plan to stitch the element symbols in order, for added geekiness!

I've gone for a soft, vintage-inspired colour scheme, and I tea-dyed my white fabric to a light beige to suit. Instead of black, the back-stitched lines, letters, and numbers are a dark coffee-bean brown. I may add a decorative border once I've finished the table, we shall see...

Out of yarn error

Progress has been halted on my Chickadee cardie. I finished the left sleeve (adjusting the number of repeats for my freakishly short arms) and began the right sleeve, but ran out of yarn 1/3 of the way through. Never fear, I have another two giant skeins, but they're in Wellington. I didn't think I'd make this much progress while in Whakatane, so I under-packed!

With a dearth of ready-to-go knitting projects, I started my first cross-stitch project in years, using this pattern: Periodic Table of the Elements. Knowing me and cross-stitch, this will be a long-term project to chip away at.

I've also been pondering my next big knitting project, which I think might be this pretty jersey: Stasis Pullover.

I love Brooklyn Tweed patterns, and this is such a sweet, old-school design. I think some of The Little Wool Co's heathered 4ply wool would be lovely for this. Time to have some fun with sample cards!