Why I’m not a better baker


I had great plans for today that got cancelled in the last minute. It’s sad but it gave me a opportunity to block my cardigan and the lace cowl. I know that the sleeves will be long enough and the body seems to have survived the hibernation but all that finishing, oh my. And, I didn’t cast off the shoulders, I put the stitches on a stitch holder instead and that might have been a mistake, I don’t know how drapey this cardy will be and kitchener stitch instead of shoulder seems might not be a good idea, the cardigan might be too heavy. Gaaah, the choices! I should probably just follow the pattern and cast off but if it’s not drapey and the cast off is unnecessary, I will have a much prettier shoulder. I wish patterns would tell why you do something in case you might be the sort who improvises. It’s the same with recipes. I wish they would take a moment to mention tricky parts and why you do things in a certain way and why it’s important. A lot of recipes in flashy cook books these days makes it sound so easy to make very complex pastries and candy and then you try it and it turns out terribly. If the recipe, or the pattern for that matter, had mentioned what you should think about and why, you will fast become a much better cook or knitter. If I was a better baker I would probably go more for those flashy new cook books but as it is I most often choose to follow the old classy ones, as long as you follow them to at least some extent, you will end up with good cookies. Sure, I can make a pastry over and over to learn how to make it, but really, who has the time? As with this cardigan, if I, after two and a half years of work in progress, end up with a cardigan that is impossible in every way, I’m not sure I will re-do it. I will get mad and move on without analyzing why it’s not working. This is probably a fault in my character but honestly, how fun is it to re-do things? How will I learn what is essential and what is open for improvisation if the pattern or recipe doesn’t tell me? Sure, experience and practise will do that but wouldn’t it be much faster if someone would just tell me why? Is that so much to ask for? They say anyone can bake or knit but is that really true if we keep things secret for everyone to figure out themselves? I’m not so sure about that.