Why I Bake

Granola – before

Obviously, baking yields something delicious at the end but I don’t just bake for the result. It’s about the process, too.

My grandmother, my mom’s mom, always had something that she’d just baked on her pantry shelf. Always. She never failed. (The pantry also had a metal three-drawer cabinet that housed her “candy drawer” at the bottom where we could always go for a chocolate treat.) Chocolate frosted, only on the top and in the middle, yellow cake. The same yellow cake in cupcake form with chocolate frosting. Cream puffs, chocolate chip cookies … often the same but never boring.

My gram would take the time to bake with me and I think that’s why I love to bake. I so enjoyed being with her while we baked together and if we didn’t have time to bake together I always knew the love that went into it. Precious moments. Gram didn’t have a lot of money to buy stuff but she gave me the gift of time.

As I bake, my gram is with me. I can feel her in my heart and it makes me so happy. As I’m writing this my eyes are filling with tears which is a message that my words and feelings around this are true. (Bristol Ivy said I had “ocular incontinence” and she’s not wrong!) Baking centers and grounds me. It is something I shared with my children and with with my grandchildren; the ones of the heart and the blood ones if we are so blessed.

Granola – after

Meanwhile, it settles my heart in a bizarre year. I always know that baking something fills my belly and my heart.

Knitting does something similar but it doesn’t have the heart connection to my family like baking does. I love knitting, don’t get me wrong. I can sit and knit for hours and be “in the zone” where time is lost and my mind is focused. It’s good for my soul. I’ve been knitting a lot through the pandemic and have been experiencing a little soreness in my left arm – I don’t stop and stretch often enough. I’ve also been sitting too long and have worked over the past year to get up and stretch more to help my hips and back. Both passions have helped me to pass the lockdown time in a state of (mostly) contentedness and peace and they’ve been such a blessing. My husband enjoys the fruits of my labor on both fronts.

This week I’m rushing to finish his birthday socks. I’ve got one done and one to go.

Classic Socks for the Family by Yankee Knitter Designs in Manos Alegria

Gone knitting.

Frogs in my Atelier!

Oh for goodness sake! I can’t seem to knit a thing these days!

I said that I’d brought a few “new” projects out of the atelier closet and started them (again.) Well, now I’m going to be frogging them and starting over brand new … it occured to me that I’d made a rather large mistake – one too many yarn-overs smack dab in the middle of the back of the Noro shawl. Poop! It looks dreadful and isn’t one of those patterns that you can simply fix. So, frog it!

In my process of re-knitting and documenting the beautiful Senorita Lolita sweater that I designed for the Jimmy Beans Wool contest with Koigu KPPM skeinlettes, I have forgotten to write down as I knit – and for those of  you who are over 40, you’ll appreciate that when you don’t write things down and then leave them for a few hours, you quickly forget where you are and what you’ve done. So … frog it!

Starting over again? Well, I start each day, I start (and sometimes finish) books … sometimes I put them aside and start them over, too! So, I’m accepting that I’m starting these projects over and this time, I’ll be more patient and more aware and will write down and focus more on the process (and the shawl pattern directions!)

This Queen Bee is going knitting! (After lunch!)