Friday, July 31, 2009

Free-Range Top Knitter

A few months ago I had the privilege of meeting Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, also known as The Yarn Harlot. For those of you not familiar with her work, she writes books about knitting. Not pattern books, not books on spinning or construction of wool products, but books about knitting. Essays about her trials, tribulations, insights and joys when it comes to manipulating string with two sticks to make something wearable, useful or artful. She spoke at a nearby independent bookstore to promote her newest book Free Range Knitter. Sometimes reading her stories is just a little to real. Chapter four has got to be my favorite from this book. It is entitled Left-Leaning Decreases: Stories about Women, Politics, Knitters and Looking at Things in a Different Way. My whole life is like looking at things in a different way. So if you are looking for a book about knitting to take your mind away from consider picking up one of her lovely little books.

More exciting than actually getting my copy of Free-Range Knitter autographed (as well as one from my visiting sock monkey, but that's another story) is that I got to listen to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee talk about what it is like to work one's way through the publishing world and society's view of authors of non-standard genre. When you think about it, her niche is very small. She writes books about knitting. So for those that don't knit these books probably don't make much sense. For those who aren't interested in looking at knitting with with, wisdom, and the continual FGO's that go with knitting her books will probably be seen as juvenile or a waste of time. But for those of us who understand knitting and how it reflects life, living and life's little lessons in ways that we can relate.

So in cooking news, I am attempting the fearful. As I mentioned earlier I can't bake biscuits. In fact there was a rumor going around at one time that the Detroit Red Wings were considering contracting with me for hockey pucks. This morning, armed with my newest digital scale and my copy of Ratio, I set to make a batch of biscuits. They aren't bad. They still aren't my grandmother's light and fluffy biscuits, so I'll keep trying. For this batch I used 9 oz flour, 3 oz. butter and 6 oz buttermilk. The recipe actually called for just milk, but I only had enough for a bowl of cereal and if someone woke up and wanted cereal and milk they could still have some. My grandmother always used buttermilk, so that's what I used, but then my grandmother also would oscillate between shortening and lard for the fat. I may try shortening next time rather than the butter and maybe add in a bit more baking powder. They were a tad thick. But at least they were edible.

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