Saturday, 3 May 2014

Bake Oven and White Projects

It's Open Doors at Westfield, on May 4th.  That means there is no entry fee to the museum!    Most, if not all of the buildings will be open as there will be lots of volunteers.   If you need something to do, it would be a great day to visit the site.    It will be the first day this year that the bake oven will be working.   If all goes well, 'cause baking outside in a downpour just isn't very much fun, there will be bread, cake and cookies in the oven.   Maybe even more in celebration of the first run of the oven.   I'm pretty sure the cookies will be an exploration of ginger.  There are so many gingerbread recipes in 19th c. cookbooks, with lots of variations, some minor and some extreme.   I'm also wondering about exploring the use of egg whites as levening but am not sure that I want to whip egg whites by hand for an hour, before I can mix my ingredients.    I was reading in one cookery book that it is noted that it is always mindful to separate the eggs and beat the yelks and the whites separately, adding the whites in just before baking. We'll see about that one.

Whatever I'll be baking tomorrow, I'll be sporting my new day cap, based on one from the Anitoch Historical Societies collection.  This is a wearable mock up, made in a very soft, white cotton.  Instead of using lace like the original, I used plain cotton for the ruffles and only did two of them. I think the original has at least 3 ruffles around the face and a separate ruffle at the back.  But to work the bake oven, where I've a good chance of getting, wet, smokey, sooty and smudged with batter, I want a plain cap that will wash easily.  From the look my DH gave me when I modeled it, I'd say it's about as attractive on me as it would be on anyone else.  However, the aim was for period acceptable and I had to admit, that wearing a cap does keep the hair controlled, tidy and cleaner. 

It seems to have been a week of working with white.   I finished spinning up two separate bobbins of cotton.  Okay, really only half bobbins full.  I plied them for this mediocre 2 ply cotton yarn for Level 5 dyeing.  If I'd kept going and done 3/4 bobbins full, I'd have had enough for all the dyeing, but there is only 300 yards here.  I still need 160 for one particular dyeing exercise.  I decided to switch up and spin some Ramie.  Ugh.. I so don't like ramie.  It's slippery and fussy.  While it can be spun both wet and dry, I find I don't like the feel of it wet.  I've been spinning it dry, which makes it a bit of a hairy yarn.   I've no idea what my yardage is yet because I didn't measure when I should have.   Instead, I'll guess and then spin up a second bobbin to match, hopefully having enough.

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