Monday, September 30, 2013

Will Knit for Pizza: Socks for Phin

As frustrating as it is to be away from my sewing machine when I travel for work, it's nice that my knitting can easily come with me. And, although I like travel, the very best part of any business trip is the joyful homecoming at the end.

One of the ways that Phin lets me know I've been missed is dinner. This week, he spoiled me with pizza. And I'm spoiling him with hand knit socks.

My sock blockers are too small for his socks.
Better on.

The knitting deets: These are completely frankenpatterned.  The cast on, toe, sole and heel are from the Manly Aran Socks from Toe-Up Socks for Every Body, except that I did an eye of partridge stitch on the heel. I think it makes a stronger heel, which also looks good. The ribbed wave pattern on the insole and ankle is "Surfin'" from Socks a la Carte. I made a simple k2,p2 rib cuff and bound off with Elizabeth Zimmerman's Sewn Bind off, which is very stretchy. Perfect for socks.

Surfin' wave pattern.

I should note that there is a small but crucial mistake in the Surfin' pattern. The M1 stitch (make one) should actually be a kf&b (knit front and back). It's incorrect in both the chart and the written instructions. The pattern simply won't work if you follow what's written. Once I figured this out (thank you, Ravelry), it was smooth sailing. This was a very easy pattern.

Smooth sailing with Surfin' Socks.

Anyway, as I mentioned, my welcome home dinner was pizza. Figs were ripe at the farmers market, and so Phin made a fig and goat cheese pizza with serrano ham and arugula on his homemade crust.

Fig, goat cheese, serrano ham and arugula (aka rocket)

Homemade pizza is easy and delicious. Most Fridays, it's what's on the menu, although fig and goat cheese is a bit more gourmet than our usual toppings.
Phin's Pizza Dough

15-16 oz flour (we use half white whole wheat and half bread flour or AP)
1 cup or so of warm water
1 1/2 tsp yeast
2 pinches of salt
large glug of olive oil
Add all ingredients to stand mixer with dough hook attachment. Mix until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl (2-5 min) -it should be slightly tacky. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few times, shaping into a ball. Let dough rise in a warm place in a greased bowl covered with a tea towel for 3+ hours (until you are ready to use). When you are ready to make pizza, cut ball in half and stretch dough into the shape and thickness you like on a sheet pan. (You can freeze the other half.) Top as you please. Bake in 450 oven, rotating pan once, until as crisp as you please (We like thin, sort of crispy crust and bake for 14 min total).

I know, there are a number of variables.  But you get the hang of dough by doing. If you want to make sure your pizza is cooked, use a spatula to lift up an edge and peek underneath to see if it is browned. Whatever toppings you choose, I strongly recommend a blend of fontina and mozzarella for the best flavor, and top every pie* with a sprinkling of Parmesan or other salty hard cheese.

I'm not sure which of us gets the better deal in the "he cooks, she knits" balance. But this past week it was nice to be home, spoiling each other. 

* Pizza comes by the pie or the slice in NYC.


Clio said...

Apart helps us appreciate together. ;-) Yeah, I just love when figs are in season!

Clio said...

How sweet! I love the color of them. How long did it take you to make them? I'd love to make my boyfriend some socks, but I'm a little discouraged as I've just finished one of a pair of knee socks for myself and that took me almost two months. Of course, he wouldn't be getting knee socks and he only wears a size 7 but I still feel like they'd take me forever.

Clio said...

Mmmmm, pizza looks delish and so do those socks. BTW did you ever settle on the PERFECT mac and cheese recipe???

Clio said...

It's a little hard to say how long these took - small needles and fingering yarn = slow knitting. I cast them on about 2 months ago, but I've been simultaneously working on 2 other knitting projects, one which is a little more complicated. So, these were very stop-start. I think I'm going to start timing myself. If you are feeling discouraged, why not try one of the patterns for a thicker yarn? I've been contemplating making something like these -

Clio said...

Such manly socks! That pizza looks absolutely divine. I am crazy about figs.

Clio said...

Those socks are fantastic!! And the pizza looks divine :)