Thursday, December 03, 2020


A dispiriting day. I am waiting for a delivery. It’s Amazon, so it’ll probably turn up, although it has exceeded its time-slot. It’s cider, so I can’t just go to bed and let them leave it on the doorstep. No nap. I’m weary.


Helen came this morning. The weather has turned. We even had a bit of sad snow. We didn’t go out. She walked me around the house until I cried for mercy. Better than nothing. She says that the latest sourdough loaf was the best yet. Here is a picture of it:


The speckles are because I was using bread flour with seeds in.


So I am greatly encouraged, and mean to go on baking once a week. Perhaps it actually liked my taking more time for the levein (see Monday). That meant that all the other processes were a bit more leisurely, too, because I started first thing in the morning, instead of waiting half the day for the levein to be ready. And the final proof, in the refrigerator, was also prolonged. I kept being afraid of over-proofing – which is a danger to be avoided – but not this time, at least.


The Evendoon (spelled right, this time, I think) is progressing steadily if not exactly briskly on two circulars. Five stripes to go, of which the final one is the wrist ribbing. I found myself with all the stitches on one needle only once, so far.


No reading. That Italian thriller has left me with my withers wrung. I’m afraid to start another of his (Carlo Lucarelli) for fear it would be even scarier; not what one wants in these dark days. I am re-reading Il Gattopardo, where at least I know what to expect.


  1. I'm glad the two circs are working for you, Jean. I was never able to get the hang of then; somehow my tension at the change-point went crazy and I got ladders, which never happened to me with either DPs or Magic Loop. Anyone have suggestions for what I am doing wrong? I've watched a lot of videos but still have no idea.

    1. I tend to knit two of three more stitches off the next needle, avoiding the ladder effect somewhat. Arne (Arne & Carlos) says to give an extra tug after the second stitch on the next needle, and that seems to help a lot.

    2. I use 2 circs for all my socks. The trick is when the 1st stitch of the new needle is a k, be sure to insert the right needle UNDER the previous needle; for a 1st stitch p, come OVER the previous needle. This makes for the shortest yarn path each time. Of course, this trick works for Dpns, too.

  2. This is not appropriate to the sweater you're knitting, Jean, but Mary Scott Huff recommends casting on the first sleeve, adding steek stitches, casting on the second sleeve, and adding steek stitches. I've done it once and it worked well. My next sweater will be a complicated cable, so I will do it again. You do have a sleeve seam, but you also have a much better chance of two identical sleeves.

  3. Anonymous10:22 PM

    I am greatly impressed by the sourdough loaf! perhaps it enjoys the leisurely approach?

    Helen (anon)

  4. =Tamar3:52 AM

    Here's hoping the cider turned up.
    I overslept a Zoom call today, drat it.
    I need one of those clocks that tells the day of the week, but with an alarm setting.
    Congratulations for doing the walking! And the sourdough looks delicious. My brother says letting it work longer does improve the flavor.

  5. I'm just re-reading a Barbara Pym - "A Few Green Leaves" on exactly the same grounds. Closely observed life in a small village suits me at the moment.

  6. Anonymous2:16 PM

    Giving bread is such a heartwarming thing, isn't it, Jean. My one bread baking event used a recipe for two loaves. I gave the second one to new neighbors just moving in, sight unseen (I just had a hunch). We've been friends ever since. Chloe

  7. The bread looks perfect! (Imagine my Paul Hollywood Yorkshire accent.) As so often Jean, I learn from you. I never remember hearing the expression 'withers wrung" and find it's in Hamlet at least. As someone who spends time each week looking at a horse's withers, I was mystified!