This is Bristow. Bristow is a cardigan pattern that I designed and knitted for Knitty, the online magazine. This is my first pattern that was published by someone other than me and I am just so excited to see my own design in Knitty! For those of you not familiar with Knitty, it is a free online knitting magazine that is published quarterly, with a special issue during the summer. It is mostly known for its patterns, but also has book and product reviews as well as technical articles that shouldn't be overlooked.
This pattern is named after my maternal grandmother, Bertie Bow Bristow Long. She passed away this September while I was knitting on this design and I just felt that it should be named for her. When I was younger, she had more energy than I did. I remember thinking she could probably walk faster than any plane could fly and never understood why we had to go to the airport to pick her up. I now understand of course that walking from West Texas to Eastern Tennessee (and later Colorado), was a bit too far even for her! She was a teacher and later volunteered at a Texas historical museum there in Lubbock. She raised two daughters, was married to my grandfather for over 50 years before he passed away, and stayed active in the church for as long as her body and mind allowed. Sometimes it seemed like she knew everything there was to know about Texas history but the thing that will always remind me of her are her buttermilk biscuits. Grandmommy made the best biscuits in the entire world. Caleb actually called her Bicca, which was his word for biscuit when he was little bitty, because I told him that she was the one who taught me to make biscuits - something he's been eating and enjoying since he was about a year old. Something about the smell of the buttermilk and the feel of the dough always takes me back to when I was younger, standing in Grandmommy's kitchen in Lubbock, helping her to cut out biscuits. She never knitted, but she had red hair until the day she passed away, at 96 years old, so it felt right to dedicate this pattern to her.
For those of you that are interested, here is her biscuit recipe:
Bertie Bow Bristow Long's Buttermilk Biscuits
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
- 3 cups flour
- 5 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp shortening
- 1 3/4 cups fresh buttermilk
Mix all the dry ingredients together until they are well blended. Cut in the shortening and mix thoroughly. (Its important to get everything as evenly mixed as possible before you add the buttermilk) Add the buttermilk and mix together quickly and GENTLY. If you take too long mixing in the buttermilk or mix it in roughly, you'll have tough biscuits. Turn out the dough on a floured surface and pat (don't roll) it out until its 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Cut it out with a round cutter - don't twist the cutter as you cut or you'll seal the edges of the biscuits and they won't rise as well. Place the biscuits on a greased cookie sheet (I actually use a pizza baking stone now and don't grease it) and put into the oven until the biscuits start to turn golden brown on the tops. I think this takes about 15 -20 minutes but I've never really timed it - I always just watch them cook. Serve hot, or once they are cool, they keep in a ziplock bag on the counter just fine (they never last more than 24 hours around here, so I have no clue how long they'll keep). I've found that if you put them in the bag just before they are completely cool, they stay a little bit fluffier or something.