At last I have declared the giant doily finished. Well, nearly finished. The crochet part is finished and it is on the floor of our little sitting room being tested for sturdiness and practicality. It has already passed the test for aesthetically pleasing as it looks great - all bright loveliness to cheer a gloomy December, but I think it it needs to be stiffer and more robust. I've ordered some navy hessian to use as a backing and I might throw it into the washing machine to see if it shrinks and thickens up a bit. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime I'm using the remaining bits of wool to make coordinating flower and hearts bunting. I'm using patterns found at the very inspiring Attic24 blog. Well done Lucy for providing such a resource. I have books and magazines with patterns but most of my books are in storage so not much use for browsing through and I seem to have very little time for devising my own patterns.
Last weekend, we spent quite a bit of time at the barns, but I did manage to make a sourdough loaf. It is such a forgiving breadmaking process as it needs plenty of time to prove, which just fits in with the time I have available for making it. For example, for the loaf pictured below I started it on Saturday evening with half the flour (freshly milled in the flour mill), some water and the sourdough starter and left it to slowly digest and bubble. At bedtime I put it in the fridge. The following morning I got it out of the fridge before I had a shower so that it could start to warm up again. Before breakfast I added the rest of the flour and mixed it in the Kendwood Chef for a couple of minutes, leaving it to rest for about 10 mins before adding the salt and mixing again. While washing up I mixed it a bit more, added some walnuts and dates (I go where the mood takes me for bread flavourings), and then shaped it and placed it in the bread basket to prove. I left it a good 4 or so hours while out at the barns and when I came home it was ready to bake. Easy Peasy and fresh bread for tea!