Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Recipe: Oat Scones + Thoughts on Exaggeration in Design

In our house, we pronounce "scone" to rhyme with "gone". However, I often hear it with a long "o", as if to rhyme with "bone". I was curious about this, and did a little research. It seems that both pronunciations are widely in use, with more of the first (my) pronunciation in the UK, especially Scotland, and more of the second version in the US. I hear both here in Canada, which makes sense, given that we occupy a sort of cultural half-way house. What is abundantly clear is that people are quite passionate about the correctness of their own variation.
However you pronounce it, they are a fantastically quick and delicious little bread, better than muffins, because you don't have to deal with the cleaning up of those dratted muffin tins. I've been known to put a batch together when there's no bread left in the pantry. And there's nothing better to have with honey or jam and a mug of strong tea with milk. Here's our favourite recipe:

Oat Scones

1 ½ c large flake or quick (not instant) rolled oats

1 ½ c unbleached flour

½ c raisins or currants

2 tbsp white or brown sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

½ c melted butter OR canola oil

½ c milk

1 egg

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients, then mix until everything is just moistened. Form into a ball and flatten into a 1/2" deep circle on a piece of parchment paper laid on a cookie sheet or other flat oven-proof surface. Cut into 8 wedges. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until the tops begin to turn golden. Serve warm.

What's up in the knitting world? A bit of revision. After I've worn (or in some cases not worn) a sweater, I often make changes to the design, or at the very least to the fit. One of the advantages of sweaters knitted whole, as opposed to seamed, is that it is generally much easier to do this sort of backtracking. And the advantage of self-publication is that after you make changes, you can send out notifications to all purchasers on Ravelry that there's an update. I love having this degree of post-publication control over my work.
In the case of the Modern Gansey, I realized that I wanted to make the silhouette slightly more exaggerated. Performing musicians know about the principle of exaggeration. We know that it's easy to hear a phrase shaped in a certain way in our heads, but that in order for the audience to perceive the same shaping, we need to exaggerate it a bit. I think much the same principle applies to knitting design. For a design to work well, the silhouette needs some slight exaggeration, or for lack of a better word, "oomph" for its audience to get the same feel. 
With that in mind, I've decided to make the collar of my own Gansey (the feminine version) much taller--so tall that it will fold over into a loose turtleneck. At the same time, I'm shortening the body by at least an inch and a half. I may also lengthen the cuff ribbing; I've not decided that aspect yet. So, this morning, with frost covering over the window panes of my third-floor library/studio,

I've unravelled the collar, placed all the stitches back onto a needle, and the revision is underway. 

In spite of the cold, there's spring in the air. The sun is up much longer each day, and I want to be able to wear this pullover outside without a coat as soon as the weather is warm enough. The colour is an antidote to winter, even if its name (Glacier) suggests otherwise!