31 October 2008

To measure or not to measure

Ask me to create something in the kitchen that entails sticking precisely to a recipe, and I can’t help but improvise. I’m the kind of person who thinks a “pinch,” a “handful,” and “until it looks right” are actual measurements.

So when I decided to make some biscuits a few days ago, I thought I would try this measuring thing. And I was going merrily along, as best I could - I knew I needed half a bar of butter, so I eyeballed it, trying to take into account the invisible third that had been used for something else. Tablespoons are no problem. And for the bigger amounts, I pulled out my handy measuring cup, and measured away. I always put in less sugar and less butter, which is usually okay.

About half way through I noticed that the dry measurements had all been in grams, a measurement of weight, not in ounces, a measurement of volume - obviously, ounces are on my measuring cup. This might have been fine if the measurement had been grams for everything - the proportions would have been okay. But, no: remember, I'd gotten the butter more or less right, and the tablespoons. So I switched to measuring the remaining ingredients in grams. Not my best decision ever.

Into the cooker go the biscuits! The worst part of the story? They came out really well - and I have no idea what my measurements were.

This is not dissimilar to how I do my calculations for knitting in my head - okay for one piece, but it becomes a little confusing when I've got a pair of mittens and a pair of sleeves to work on, all in the same time period. Why don't I write these things down?

So I'm writing it down now. The sleeves on my phildar pull: cast on 44. Remaining Druid mitten: cast on 42 for the cuff. Increase to full amount of stitches after cuff. Though actually, in the case of the mitten, I'm going to frog the first one and redo it.

1 comment:

Larissa said...

I highly recommend writing things down as you go along, although I'm terrible at taking my own advice. I always think to myself, 'oh, I'll remember for the next sleeve/front/sock/whatever' but I never do. Blocking is wonderful for stretching things out!