Wednesday, February 24, 2010

pork pie obsession

I've got my first attempt (and draft of a pattern) finished. Not bad, I'm thinking. What do you think? I know, it's different from that other one. I wasn't trying to exactly duplicate it, though. I was trying to come up with something that looks like a pork pie, of some sort. They come in all different shapes:

Personally, I think mine looks like the one in the upper left corner. Somewhat. That one with the little peaks, that could be a fun one to try to knit. I could do slits like the other two have on top, but that would mean, probably, knitting that circular top flat, instead of in the round, and then I'd have to sew it on later. I couldn't pick up stitches to connect it to the base like I did with this one. And I'd have to put something behind it, so the stuffing wasn't sticking out.

I think I can do without the ridge of pearl bumps on the bottom (idea taken from the knitted cupcake I like), because, as I found out, a real pork pie would have been baked in a jar or a mold, or even just on a cookie sheet, and the bottom tends to be more rounded, less like a crisp edge. Also, I think the ruffly bit is a tad larger than I needed, so I will scale that back, do fewer rows, maybe fewer stitches between the twists, too.

I'd forgotten that you can get them in different sizes. My knitted version is about the size of a Costco muffin, which is probably the most common pork pie available. (They aren't meant to be sliced up and shared like an apple pie, they were invented as a way for working men to have a hearty lunch they could hold in their hands. And to use up the parts of a pig you don't use for other stuff, like the head and the feet. The filling is a solid jellied mass of pork and...stuff. Mighty tasty!) They also come in roughly cupcake size, and even a smaller, two-bite size. So, accordingly, I should scale my pattern so you could do them all. Or, I guess, so I could do them all. As I'm probably the only one who'll be making any. The tops tend to be different, depending on which bakery made them, so maybe I need top variations as well? The base is generally the same rounded-bottom shape for all varieties.

I'm liking how I did that twisty thing on top. Seems like you could use that shaping for meringue, on another kind of pie. Or for the whipped cream on top of something. Struggling with how to describe what I did, though. It was easy, but how to put it into words? Maybe I'll have to do pictures to go with in the pattern. This designing thing is kind of fun, really. A couple months ago, I would have said that's not something I'd even attempt. You can imagine all sorts of things to knit or crochet or sew, but making that shape happen in the real world, that's the hard part. You have to know how the fiber will behave, and how to manipulate it to get the shape you're after, and sometimes, it doesn't work. Or you don't know enough to figure out how to make it happen. The more you knit, the more you can see what might work, so it's getting easier.

I've not started another attempt at the original free pattern, but I will. Probably it will work out if I knit it flat, instead of in the round. I just can't picture how. But I want to attempt it once more, on faith, in hopes it will make some kind of sense.

While I was looking for images of pork pies, so I could refresh my memory (the last one I consumed, I was in Golders Green, London, about 6 years ago), and have something more to go on than the one picture from the freebie pattern, I ran across something kind of odd. Would you believe it? They have a Pork Pie Appreciation Society! And they have a website for themselves, (at this moment, there are 3 guests online!) with a fun little slide show "Tribute" to pork pies, complete with sound effects, and a recipe running across the bottom. There's really something out there for everyone, isn't there?

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