Friday, February 17, 2006


Generally speaking there are few disasters around here. There is little ruined that cannot be repaired, and little completed that cannot be re-purposed. Too big? Felt it and find someone it fits. Wrong size? Make it a cat bed/hand bag/dog toy. This is not true in the world of baking. My most beloved husband is meeting a friend for lunch and did not need one prepared (yes, I do indeed prepare his lunch every morning). I was slacking right along side him, snuggled in and contented, thinking how great it was to have nearly all the baby shower shopping done, and how simple to just get up this morning and bake the cakes, make a quick run to good old Target; so glad I did my duckie test runs, confident in my knowledge as a baker as only years of experience can make one.

The day was all planned out. Bake cakes. Knit while baking. Cool cakes. Knit while cooling. Run to Target. Finish last minute baby shower shopping. Return home and prepare gallons of buttercream icing, color icing in appropriate duckie colors, knit more, and frost the cake early tomorrow morning. Leave at 11:15 Saturday morning for shower location set up. I had not counted on this:

Something is pouring out of the front of my oven within seconds of the pans going in...what is that?'s SMOKE, of course! And not a little bit either. A ton. A whooooole bunch! I tested the pan - TWICE. I've been baking for as long as I can remember, longer than I've been crocheting but slightly less than I've been able to read. It appears that Mister Duckie is leaking around his eyeball area. Shoot the duck. It is reminiscent of a previous smoke incident...all was in readiness: Melissaknits (who was then just plain old Melissa-works-at-a-nursing-home-homeschools-her-kids-sews-crochets-cans-bakes-and-makes-dolls) would enter the Homemaker of the Year contest at the local county fair. Just a friendly little competition between people who bake, can, craft and sew. I'd even taken a day off from work to focus. Baking completed, all was in readiness but for some lace on a nightie. I was attaching it when I smelled it. Smoke. And not just a little smoke. A LOT of smoke, like a house fire, a hay barn fire. A huge, monstrous hay barn fire, practically in my back yard. So close, in fact, that by the time I registered what was going on and began to plot my escape with dog, kids, and fair-bound items in my Subaru, I was trapped by fire trucks. Smoke poured into the house, over the cooling baked goods, the sewn goods, the crafted items...smoke everywhere. The desolation I felt...well...that's about how I feel right now. Burnt Duck. No one wants to eat a charcoal flavored french vanilla sheet cake topped by a charcoal flavored devil's food duck. Back to the drawing board. A trip to the store, more cake mixes (no scratch, I am busy knitting), more baking...time table thrown off by hours. Babies Suck.
I need something knitterly to improve my day. OK, here's a good one - I gave this to my friend S for Christmas and she loves it. She carries it everywhere containing a current knitting project, a small Bible, and a wallet - the essentials of life in one bag. This makes me feel better. Also my Rogue Hog - here he is before felting, still not done and not felted nearly as much as I would have liked, but I adore him all the same. AND last night in BJ's I saw a woman I thought I recognized, and knew I knew but was not sure how I knew her (this happens a lot, and I've told all my students - I will never remember your name, but I will remember your project, so if I look clueless, HELP ME, and tell me what you were knitting), and she called out "Knitter Lady! Melissa, my sock teacher!!" (thank you thank you thank you, now I know exactly who you are, one of my compulsive students who showed up at the second class with six cuffs done desperate to learn heels). She thanked me again for teaching her how to make socks, and told me she's made 32 pair. THIRTY TWO PAIR OF SOCKS since late fall. Very gratifying. I need things like this today. I need reminders that I do not totally suck as a human being. The smoke is clearing. Finally. It did not reach the smokes (which are not the kind you can just smack down with a broom, they're the hard wired, super loud, go on forever kind) thankfully. So we adjust the day and move on. I vented here instead of knitting. I could not even stay in the kitchen, I had to walk away. I've got 7 inches of the lace cardigan done, and can't wait to see it finished. It's still in a place where I love it. A few more inches and I will begin to be disatisfied and by the time it's on a dummy in the store I will hate it. I still can't walk past the shawl collared cardigan without getting queasy, to say nothing of the v-neck blue pullover and the felted bag. It's as if, once done, they distress me like adolescent kids who've join the dark side.
I am going to go do what I love. I am going to take a knitting break before running off to buy more cake mixes, Baby Price Is Right game items, a baby book, and six Target gift cards. I am going to sit and knit and for a minute pretend that's all in life there is for me to do.


Persnickety Knitter said...

Wow. That sucks. So what caused all the smoke?

By the way, love that colorwork bag.

Melissa said...

It appears our avian friend developed a brain leak of some sort on entering the oven. Possibly he tipped a bit, I am not sure, but there's obvious drip marks from the head area. This is a two piece pan, you wire it together into one so he's a dimensional duck. The duck cake is fine, the sheet cake tastes and smells like smoke so I only have to replace one, not as bad as it could be.

THAT BAG!! I loved making it but did not like it done and it was in the "get rid of it" pile. S. saw it, fell in love and I said "Well, good, then, Merry Christmas. I was going to give you yarn to make a bag (curacao) - you can have that instead!" I am GLAD she loves it.

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