touch of mink.

That’s the name of this Plucky colorway. And I love it. I can’t believe this is my first time knitting with Sarah’s yarn. It’s awesome. (Thanks, Chris, for including it a prize package I won on your blog awhile back!) These are vanilla socks. I took the wound yarn cake with me on my research trip, cast on while waiting for my flight to depart, and then didn’t pick it up again until I was flying home. I hadn’t finished the ribbing by the time my plane landed, and since then, I’ve been knitting up a storm. (I’m turning the heel right now. Pictures of that tomorrow.) Anyway, despite showing up to my friends’ apartment with a 24-hour stomach bug, the trip was productive, fun, and energizing.

Last night I reheated one of the baguettes K. and I froze from our kitchen adventures this summer, and then cooked some komatsuna in olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. And then I knit some more.

Boh did this.

This might be my favorite picture from my trip, and fellow historians will understand why. I was looking at archival materials held in a place other than a formal archive — which meant I could keep my stuff nearby, and bring a latte to keep me company. Don’t worry — this picture is the closest that coffee ever came to that box of old stuff. After I snapped this picture, my lunch bag and my latte went to another table! I certainly understand why there are rules governing conduct in archives, and I am happy to follow them, as I like being able to look at stuff from a really long time ago. Days spent in archives, though, tend to be a little rough: I’m often strapped for time on these short research trips, and the rules mean I end up under-caffeinated, dehydrated, and hungry by the end of the day. It felt like a real treat to be able to fetch boxes myself, sip coffee at a safe distance from my materials, and interact with a wider range of people, by virtue of occupying space at a table in the middle of the office that was so kind to host me for a few days last week.

More (knitting) soon!

baguettes.

But first, a winner! I used a random number generator, and it picked April! She’ll receive a copy of Killing the Darlings, the latest album by Pearl and the Beard. Congratulations, and thanks, all, for commenting. [If you have thoughts about whether you’d be interested in seeing opportunities like this here from time to time, do send me an email.]

Now, baguettes.

Remember how I received a gift that keeps on giving (sourdough starter) for my birthday? Well, dear friend Ethel Louise came over last week to teach me how to make baguettes from my starter. The night before, she provided instructions for mixing the leaven and the poolish, and then I prepared the dough and gave it a few turns before she arrived. We shaped the dough, took Boh for a walk, carefully molded it into baguette loaves in a special way to maintain tension in the dough, heated the oven (and her baking stone and special beat-up cast iron pan for the bottom of the oven), and then, just before the loaves went in, she threw a handful of ice into the cast iron pan to make lots of steam. She is a rockstar. (Also, did you see that my new oven has an oven light? Fancy.)

I mean, these are awesome in normal vision, but don’t they look even more delectable in hipstamatic? (Yes. The answer is yes.)

Ethel is headed overseas for research for a few weeks, and is leaving me the baking stone, the cast iron pan, and her copy of the Tartine cookbook. We’ll see if I can recreate this magic while she’s away…

Happy Friday, folks! I’m off to campus.