Working away

Today I baked bread for the first time since Passover. I felt like there ought to a a b'racha to recite for that first bread baking. There isn't one as far as I know, but i felt grateful to get back to that familiar task.

Perhaps it was the pickled beets I had made to accompany last night's dinner but I thought it would be nice to make pumpernickel bagels. As per my usual way of doing these things, I didn't consult with a cookbook. 

I know from extensive cook book  reading that the color in pumpernickel bread comes from chocolate. I added two hefty tablespoons of cocoa to the dough and some caraway seeds. The cocoa changed the texture of the bread dough to sort of resemble Play-do. it wasn't unpleasant, it was just different.
Next time I might add a bit less cocoa to the dough. This is definitely something I would do again.

I went back to work on Eliana's tallit. her mother had sent along some fabrics to be used in the tallit. There was a baby bonnet which I am not using, and a length of pale blue Ultra-suede. 

Early in the tallit making  process Eliana came by and tried on a nearly finished tallit in the same silk that I am using in hers. She loved it but hated the feel of the seamed edge. I thought that I could cover that edge with some of the ultra-suede. the color didn't quite work with the colors I had dyed the tallit. 

So I came up with a solution.

I used a bit of screening as a stencil and then colored the fabric with oil paint sticks. You can see the fabric before and after here.

Here are my fingers, after.

I let the color set for a couple of days and then heat set the pigments by ironing the fabric between sheets of tissue paper. Once the color was set I cut and sewed bias strips and bound the edges of the tallit with the bias strips.

The added texture works well with the texture of the silk. It will be soft for Eliana and is also a constant reminder of her mother's love.

Both Eliana's bag and her sister's bag will be made out of the Ultrasuede. 

I began construction on Aliza's tallit and have been thinking about how to incorporate the Ultrasuede into that tallit as well. 


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