Saturday, March 27, 2010

Don't be jealous of my boogie

Here's what I looked like after returning home from a 10.5 hour shift at the oven Thursday morning (I'm not just grimacing, I'm both chewing a sandwich and grimacing).

Note the crust of flour on those clothes. I wear one set of clothes for three or four days and just let it crust over; this was after Day 1, so I'll let you imagine Day 4. In this state, I need a fix of fabulous... and in that vein, I can't believe I haven't mentioned that it's back. Ru Paul Drag Race. Of course I've been watching intently, but not as intently as I did last year when I was unemployed and it gave me a reason to wake up in the morning. And when Nina Flowers was in it. Not that the ladies aren't superstars this year (Raven particularly, in my opinion).

This is what I'm knitting now, in between design projects:

It's a basic unisex sweater that I've knit twice before, once for Chris and once for Chris' cousin Eric. All have been made in Greenwood Hill Farm worsted merino, and all I have to say is that this combination of pattern and yarn has led to beloved and constantly worn male sweaters.

To the right is some ciabatta that I baked last night; unbelievably delicious and nearly impossible to stop eating!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Bakery Tour

For those of you who are intrigued by the idea that I go bake bread from 9 pm to 5 am several nights a week, here are some visuals to give you an idea what that actually means.

This is the bread oven where I bake. At a bakery like the ones where I have worked, there are usually three bakers working any busy shift: One baker mixes the breads, one baker shapes them into loaves and baguettes and rolls and such, and the third baker bakes everything in the oven. At my previous job, I was primarily the "mixer." At my current job, I'm the "baker." Everyone helps to shape the bread.

One of the breads we bake overnight is the baguette. When the oven is full, it contains 144 baguettes. On a Friday night I bake about 600 baguettes in addition to hundreds of other loaves. Here is a small fraction of last Friday night's bake:

Here is one of the baguettes, close up. It's from two weeks ago, and my "cuts" (those slashes you see across the top) have improved a lot since then... I'll have to take more photos!

The outer brown crust is that traditional crispy baguette style, and you can see from the cuts that the inside is much lighter and chewier. My current bakery bakes the best baguette I've ever had from a major bakery in Boston, if I do say so myself.

So on Friday I dropped a bunch of bread boards on my left foot and either broke or seriously bruised one or two toes... thought about posting a photo of them here, but it's a little gross, so you can check them out on flickr here if you like. Ouch! More photos of my Washington DC adventure are also posted.

Knitting next post; I've finally made something I can show you!

Friday, March 19, 2010

All-new LAUREN!

With charted cables, an awesome schematic, and improved proportions for larger sizes. Hooray!

The cost is now $6.00, but for those of you who have already purchased the earlier version of the pattern, you should have received an updated copy for free. Let me know if you haven't!

It will be on display at Windsor Button tomorrow as part of the Red Line Yarn Crawl. I hope to stop in as well after I wake up (probably around 3 pm; it's all part of the *new* 9 to 5).

I was in Washington DC last week; photos and narrative in next post!
(The obligatory White House photo).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's spring, and I'm back to the 9 to 5

No, no, I mean the "other" 9 to 5. I'm working three overnight shifts a week now, primarily baking hundreds of baguettes and ciabatta rolls, small loaves, medium loaves, huge loaves.

Working nights leaves me the days free to be outside in the sun with the cats (who are now behaving more like cats and less like two huge furry white paperweights). Outside makes writing and grading patterns more pleasant.

GO DUTCH is now complete. A hint: Here are some of the swatches. But the final pattern is SO MUCH COOLER. I may wait until fall to release this pattern. Or I may not. Do people want mitten patterns now that it's sunny out?

Hope the weather has improved for you as well... I've been reading the blogs of all you northeasterners...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Brand Spankin' New Job

Yeah, shiny new job! And it's more baking! Since I didn't hate, and will go so far as to say I actually liked, the actual job activity content of my last job, I've decided to stick with it and not pick something random that seems appealing now but may lose its luster in a month or two. Here's some bread from New Bakery:

For your amusement, some job/moneymaking suggestions that friends and family have made over the 12 days I have been out of a job, as well as some jobs I've considered. In alphabetical order:

Cash4Gold (but I don't have any gold)
Catering Server
Community College Professor of Assyriology
Community College Professor of Math or Science (this would obviously require a return to school at a pretty basic level)
Copy Editor
ebay (I do have some of my office era duds up for sale)
Landscaper (I think my mom pictured me as the landscape architect, but of course all I'm qualified to do is wield a shovel)
Line Cook
Ranger (you know, the ones with the hats in National and State Parks)
Sausage Maker (okay, I actually applied for this one... it fits in, you know? Butcher, baker, and candlestick maker)
School Lunches Consultant
Wind Technology (supposedly it's a big new field with lots of jobs)
Website Designer (I was offered a temporary position doing this, but I had to admit I don't know how. Some things you can fake. "Code" is not one, in my opinion)

I have a shiny new Lauren, too. It will be on display at Windsor Button for the Red Line Yarn Crawl on March 20, and the fully revised and expanded pattern will be there for sale, too.

GO DUTCH mitts have been ripped twice, but let me tell you, they get better and better in each incarnation.