December 29, 2011
Despite high hopes for beating this cold bug back by now and attending to orders and mailing out items, it has still got me down. Just not enough energy, or the gumption to do much other than some puttering around in the office for a bit this morning trying to work on tasks that need doing before the year’s end. Still have some more book work and office supply orders that must be done tomorrow, along with all the orders which I must mail. Realizing that without taking it easy and getting some rest I could be prolonging the cold so have firmly shut the office door for the rest of the day. Aurora has planned a birthday party with good friends Saturday morning and in the afternoon I planned to make rolls for the New Year’s Day brunch/service at church. Sometime early next week a customer from Alaska wants to deliver some wood she brought with her on her trip to the lower 48 to visit relatives who near not all that far from us.
Ed is feeling better. He’s put in a few hours in the shop the past couple of days. So I continue to hope that today will be the last of feeling miserable.
My mother made almost all of our bread when we were growing up. She had a stand-by whole wheat bread that always garnered rave reviews from all who were lucky enough to eat it. She used fresh ground wheat that my dad picked up at a local mill and granary, real brown sugar brought home in a 50 pound bags, also from the same granary, and home-churned butter made from the cream produced by our prolific Jersey cow.
She also had a stand-by soft dough recipe that she always turned to for special occasion dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls. The dough divided in half after the first rising is enough for one batch of rolls and one batch of cinnamon rolls.
Tender Cinnamon Roll/Dinner Roll Recipe
Here’s the recipe as from my mom
1 Cup Warm Water
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Teaspoon Salt
7 Cups Flour, more or less by feel – not a stiff dough
Let raise for 1.5 – 2 hours until doubled in size. Roll and cut into rolls. Let rise again. Bake at 400°F – 20 minutes, until brown.
(The cinnamon/sugar part is towards the bottom of the post.)
Mom didn’t write out the instructions knowing that I understood the process. Bread baking is really very simple, it takes quite a bit to mess up a loaf of bread! Delicate rolls need a more gentle hand and less flour. Most important: For the best flavor, do not rush the process, yeast loves a good long lay in warm gooey goodness. It may look like a very long process but all together, start to finish, I can have a batch of rolls ready to eat within four hours – and a good deal of that time the dough is rising while I’m free to do something else.
Here’s the full method.
Set egg on counter to warm up a bit while making the sponge
1 Cup Warm Water (between 105 – 115°F / 40 – 45°C)
1 Tablespoon yeast (Active Dry Yeast found in most grocery stores, not rapid/instant rise)
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Flour
Mix the water, yeast, sugar and flour until well blended in large mixer/Kitchen Aid type of bowl. Cover with towel and let rise in a warm, draft free spot for 20 – 30 minutes.
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Butter (1 Stick)
Gently warm together, either in pan on stove or in microwave, until the butter softens and the milk feels quite warm, but not hot.
Stir down the sponge mixture, add egg and mix thoroughly
Stir in a Cup of Flour and combine well.
Slowly add the milk/butter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add 3 more cups of flour and let the mixer run for 3 – 5 minutes.
Turn off mixer and left the dough rest a few minutes.
Add 1 teaspoon Salt, Mix well
Stir in a cup of flour at a time, completely incorporating the flour into the mixture before adding the next cup of flour until the dough is still soft but starting to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Add the last cup or so slowly as you may need only 6.5 cups of flour. There are many factors that go into how much flour each batch of dough will need. You don’t want a stiff dough as when making a loaf of bread, it should still be slightly sticky when you begin the kneading process.
Flour a pastry cloth, turn the dough out onto the floured cloth and invert the bowl over the dough and let rest about 5 minutes. This will allow the dough to relax. Dust your hands with flour, sprinkle a bit more over the dough and begin to knead. Treat bread gently and it will reward you with tenderness, especially rolls! In kneading, think of how kittens knead when they’re happy and transfer that motion to your hands. With spread fingers take hold of the far side, pull it up and towards you, folding it over the middle of the dough. Bunching your hands into relaxed fists (hands are side by side – hmm, I should make a video!) and with the fleshy bottom part of your palms push down and away. When you’ve pushed the dough away, turn the dough one-quarter turn (I turn it clockwise, it doesn’t matter but be consistent) and repeat the entire motion. The whole process is a very rhythmic, rocking motion that is very soothing. If needed add a bit of flour occasionally but no more than absolutely necessary. The dough should remain slightly sticky. As you knead it will change under your hands becoming smooth, elastic and satiny feeling. I like to knead dough about 8 – 10 minutes in a very relaxed manner. Butter a large bowl, gently scoop up the ball of dough and place in the bowl turning once so the topside gets buttered. Cover with a clean kitchen towel (smooth flour sack type works best) and let rise for 1.5 – 2 hours in a draft free spot. If your house is cool you can turn the oven on briefly and let it warm to 100°F, turn it off then set the bowl of bread dough inside.
When it’s doubled in size punch it down and divide into two equal portions. At this point you can either make one batch of rolls (pinch off 12 equal portions of dough, place in buttered pan and let rise about 45 minutes then bake in 400°F/ 204°C oven about 20 minutes) and a batch of cinnamon rolls of a dozen each or make 2 batches of cinnamon rolls – approximately 24 rolls.
For 24 Cinnamon Rolls:
1 C soft butter (about 1/2 cup for each ball of dough)
1 C Brown Sugar, approximately
Cinnamon (More if you prefer – I prefer cinnamon to be on the lighter side so all the flavors come through)
Using the floured pastry cloth, Roll one half of the dough (invert the bowl over the waiting ball of dough) into a long rectangle maybe about 8″ wide x 18″L (app 1/4″ thick / 3mm). Periodically while rolling the dough stop for a minute or two to let the gluten rest which will allow it to roll out more easily. Spread softened butter over surface, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon covering the entire surface. Starting at the long edge closest to you, using the palms of your hands roll along the entire length tightly. (Similar to making clay snakes when you were a child) Pinch along the length of the seam to close it then turn it seam-side-down on the cloth. With a thin, sharp knife (some people use dental floss) cut across the rolled log into pieces about 1.5″ wide.
Melt about 1/4 C butter in pans (can be round cake pans, or 9×13 type pans) and place the rolls into the pans leaving about an inch between each roll to give them space to expand and rise. Cover with towel. Repeat process with second half of dough. This last rising won’t take as long, usually about 45 minutes. If you’d like to serve these rolls for breakfast you can thoroughly cover the pans with plastic wrap, let them rise only about 5 minutes then place in the refrigerator for overnight. In the morning take them out of the fridge and place in a nice warm spot, or warmed oven and let them rise. It may take a good hour or more, coming from the cold fridge but it’s well worth the wait for fresh from the oven cinnamon rolls.
Preheat oven to 400°F/ 204°C, take off towels and place pans in middle of oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, until nicely brown. Place a parchment papered (or buttered) cookie sheet over the pan and immediately invert rolls onto the sheet leaving the sugar/butter in the baking pan to drip down over the tops of the rolls for a couple of minutes. If you like to add cream cheese frosting, go for it! I don’t recall ever eating a frosted cinnamon roll while growing up and still prefer just the plainer brown sugar & butter drippings.
I’m always shocked when writing out a bread recipe at how such a simple process looks so complex in the writing. Really, it’s easy! Just takes time and patience but there’s really not much to it! Give it a try and let me know how yours taste!
December 26, 2011
The Drawings took place much later than anticipated. The evening was suddenly filled with birthday phone calls and a Skype call from the grandkids.
Thank you all who left comments! I thoroughly enjoyed reading each one, smiling at many of them, both the first time you commented and again late this afternoon as I read back through all of them to be certain I hadn’t missed anyone for the drawings. I hope to directly reply to each of you in the next few days.
By far and away there were many slips in the Aegean bowl, in fact we decided it’d be better to use a paper bag to shake them all so everyone would have a fair chance. When our cat, Hank, heard the rustle of the bag he immediately wanted to be involved.
In the order that the Jenkins Woodworking items had been posted starting with the Loom, for which only one person submitted her name:
Hairpin Lace Loom
Tambootie Turkish Delight
Olive Aegean Spindle
Due to so many people putting in for the Aegean Ed felt he just had to add in a bonus drawing for a second chance win at an Aegean. So, all the slips with names for the Aegean were tossed back into the bag, minus Restless Knitter, shaken well and one more tag drawn out…
I will be contacting each of you in the morning with details and asking for mailing addresses.
Please don’t get too anxious if I don’t email as soon as you’d like: The cold that’s had Ed miserably down for the past two days is threatening my head and throat. I’ve been drinking plenty of hot green tea, a packet of Airborne and taking zinc and Vitamin C trying to ward it off.
Several ounces of wonderful fiber found their way into presents for me today. Thanks to Ed understanding my wants, and a wonderful friend who thoughtfully sent wool from one of her beloved shetlands. I scarcely know which to begin with. Umm, really, I ought to finish up the last third of a bump I’ve got on the wheel and also decide which spindle wants the honors of spinning which fiber.
My birthday haul! A Yarn container at the back; Camel andCamel/Merino bumps; white mystery wool – Ed couldn’t remember what he’d ordered from our friend Jim and Pam of Herndon Creek Farms and I’m waiting to hear back from them; a healthy bump of Shetland wool. Isn’t it lovely! The white wool is shouting to be made into an item for Aurora’s baby due in March.
Several readers asked for the cinnamon roll recipe, thank you! I will post the recipe in a few days.
As for the maple dressers Ed made for Haymaker and Aurora. When they were married he made them a bed with our local bigleaf maple for their wedding present. They’ve been making do with one small dresser for these past 2.5 years and he felt it was time to make a matching dresser. The maple is from a farmer 1.5 miles up the road from us who has a small portable sawmill. He used local alder for the drawer bottoms and side. Aurora’s dresser is taller than the one picture with 2 side by side drawers. Needless to say they are thrilled to have the dressers.
Thank you all for entering the drawings! I wish we could give each one of you something. Maybe I shouldn’t wait so long for the next drawing. Let’s see… hmmm, my very first blog was written March 11, 2006, a blog anniversary could be a good reason. We shall see…
December 25, 2011
It’s bed time for people east of us and I want to post this to give people another chance to get another name on a slip for the drawing. Thanks to all who’ve been leaving comments! What fun it’s been, although I’m remiss about replying to each person. Don’t worry! Each time you’ve commented on an individual post I’ve added your name to a slip of paper for the item you wish for in the drawing.
Because it’s much later than I’d originally intended for this final post of the contest I’ll extend the comment acceptance until tomorrow morning at 10 Pacific Time. Hey, tomorrow’s my birthday, I can slightly change the rules to benefit as many as possible. Hope no one grumbles at this time adjustment.
We had a very good Christmas day. Just about perfect. Having celebrated with our daughter and s-i-l yesterday, since they were expected at his folks home today left us with a quiet day to enjoy pondering the birth of Jesus some 2000+ years ago.
It was good to help in singing carols and to listen to the familiar, beloved record of Jesus birth, with the elderly people at the rest home. There weren’t many as most had been taken to homes of family and loved ones. By the time I left for the rest home Ed realized it wasn’t allergies messing with his sinuses as he’d thought for the past few days but a full blow cold, which developed into coughing this evening. It was a true blessing that we had nothing pressing on the schedule for Ed to endure. A restful day at home reading, napping, watching an old movie was exactly what he needed.
I’d planned to gift the handwarmers to Aurora but they’re not yet finished. She did get to try on the completed one yesterday and seemed very pleased with it. I’d gotten up at 5 in the morning knowing that with 2 hours of free time I’d have the second one nailed, with plenty of time for a quick soak followed by blocking action (assisted by a low blowing hairdryer) and they’d be wrapped in the nick of time.
Unfortunately they endured more tinking and reknitting then should have been necessary for a relatively simple, straightforward pattern. If I could have kept count of how many extra pattern repeats I decided to do on the first warmer. Or, taken the time to size them together before sailing merrily along the thumb gusset only to find I’d done two more repeats than on the first warmer. Eight rows to be taken out. No, 12 rows for the gusset needing moving down another set to come in at the right place. And suddenly the daylight was shining in the window and rolls needed to be made and put to rising.
There’s only the picot edging and the few rows of the thumb and they will be finished. Tomorrow they’ll be soaked and blocked.
Last Thursday’s morning drive mentioned in Friday’s post? A Christmas surprise delivery while the people of the house were away at work.
A washing machine? Dishwasher?
No! Ed made these (2) for Aurora and Haymaker:
I’ll be back tomorrow!
December 25, 2011
Posted by Wanda J under Uncategorized
| Tags: Christmas
|  Comments
Thanks to all who have left comments on previous posts. Your names have been added to the bowl(s) of your desire, drawing will be tomorrow evening about 7pm Pacific Time! If you want a chance to win:
1 Crochet Hook
1 Pair of Knitting Needles
1 Hairpin Lace Loom
1 Aegean Spindle
1 Turkish Delight
Today (until midnight) is the last day to leave a comment on the previous posts. (Please see previous posts, going back to Dec 18th, for rules and items.)
This year saw a major change to our Christmas tradition, we had our main Christmas Dinner yesterday. Aurora and Haymaker came for Dinner and an evening of gift giving and quiet fellowship. Having the Dinner and gift exchange yesterday gives us a day quiet rest and enjoyment instead of all the usual hustle and bustle. We are headed out the door soon to help a young friend with a Christmas Service at a nursing home in the next town over.
One tradition was kept! Enough dough was made yesterday morning for dinner rolls and the Christmas morning cinnamon rolls.
Scrumptious!A blessed Christmas day filled with peace and joy to all my friends around the world!
December 23, 2011
Looking into sunrise/sunset times has me chasing down a rabbit trails when the clock is quickly clicking to Christmas. Lene’s Dances with Wool Dec 22 post took me on an even longer jaunt trying to wrap my mind around the vast variances in sunlight/darkness around the Northern Hemisphere. (basing it only on the NH since this is where I live.)
My simple explanation of the sun rising later each morning until January 7th while it is setting a tad earlier each day has generated plenty of interest. Really, it’s fascinating stuff, as a young friend will say. The earth tips 23.5 on its axis in relationship to the sun. As it orbits around the sun, this tilt makes all the difference in the world (heehee) between what time the sun rises and sets in your latitude and longitude and how long it may take for the days to lengthen, how quickly the time reverses in both directions. (I’m at the latitude and longitude of 45°2′31″N 122°40′2″W)
(Taken at 10:17 am on Dec 21 , when the fog was finally lifting.)
Where Lene lives near the Arctic Circle in Finland there are the sun rises and set at the same time for 3 days: Dec 21, 22, and 23rd – which they call the Nesting Days. After which the days lengthen at both ends. Finland is on the sunward side of the tilted planet.
Point Barrows, the northernmost town in Alaska is on the dark side of the tilt during the winter months, thus they have an even longer period of Nesting.
On Nov 21, 2011, the sun rose at 12:54pm and set at 1:38pm and there it will continue to rise and set at the same time until Jan 21, 2011! Two dark months with scarcely one and a half hours daily of the sun skimming the horizon. Once that date is hit the change is very rapid there in Point Barrow, within three days the sun will rise at 12:08 pm and set at 2:59.
Fascinating stuff!View down our road at 10:45 am yesterday morning. We had a number of errands to run and so loaded the pickup and drove from our mostly sunny small valley (due to a ridge on the east the sun actually rose yesterday at 9:14, and sank behind the southwest ridge shortly before 3:30pm)
Looking towards the Abiqua Basin, picture taken about 5 miles from our place at 11:04am.As we headed further west into the Willamette Valley the fog became denser, skimming the ground. Later we drove north to Portland and passed through areas of frozen fog (not snizzle) where the temperature never got above 33F, finally reaching sunny and warmer Portland. How varied the weather in a relatively small area!
Even in the darkest days of December there is color in our area; the varied greens of winter and red tipped blueberry plants.
Tomorrow daughter and s-i-l, Aurora and Haymaker will be coming over for an early Christmas Eve dinner followed by attending the evening service at our Friends’ church in this village. Tonight we’re heading over to Haymaker’s parent’s to celebrate our granddaughter, Gail’s birthday. I need to stop here, run to town to pick up eggs I forget to get while out and about yesterday, bake brownies to take tonight and a pecan pie for tomorrow. I’ll wait until tomorrow morning to make rolls and all the other items for the dinner. There are still presents to be wrapped and some laundry to tend. Good times!
December 21, 2011
It was a surprise to learn that our days don’t lengthen at both ends on the 20th of December as I’d always been taught. In fact, in our area the sun won’t begin rising earlier until January 7th!
Dawn, forty-five minutes before the sunrise on December 16th.Yes, the earth has begin its slow tilt on its axis back towards the south and the sun actually began moving back one minute on Dec 16th when it set at 4:30 pm, after 11 days of setting at 4:29 pm. (Referring to my zip code area which is close to the 45th parallel in western Oregon.)
Sunrise will continue to linger later and later. New Year’s Day Sunrise is at 7:49, Sunset at 4:39 (16:39), it will continue rising at 7:49am (setting a minute or so later every day or two) until January 7th when it finally rise a minute sooner and begin the countback to incrementally earlier dawns.
Here’s a good website for figuring out what time the sun will rise and set in your zip code area.
What makes it so? As I understand it there are a couple main factors: the earth is tipped on its axis; the earth journeys in an elliptical pattern, a figure 8, properly known as the analemma around the sun. The path it takes during the yearly orbit brings it closer to the sun in the winter. Here‘s a better explanation for those who are curious.
Another fun fact deduced by astronomer & mathematician Johannes Kepler some 400 years ago is that planets speed up when closer to the sun. No wonder Christmas always arrives sooner than we can scare believe. Um, not really: the spin-rate of the earth stays basically constant.
Have you left a comment yet? For the drawing? (See previous post: Dec 18th for pictures)
To clear up a bit of confusion
1) Please state in your comment which of the five items you’d like most to win. This way your name will go into the corresponding bowl for the drawing of that specific item.
2) Each comment on subsequent posts will get your name added again. If you comment on 3 different Fiberjoy blog posts from 18th through Dec 25th you will have your name put on 3 slips of paper. If you comment 10 times on one post you’ll still only get one slip of paper with your name on it for that post.
Yes, I have been knitting a Christmas gift. It should have, would have been finished by now but I keep getting off on lace row counts necessitating ripping back 2 rows. Handspun yarn from Picperfic Roving “Twinkle” spun in June ’11.
Time for a cup of tea and knitting whilst listening to Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey at Librivox.
December 18, 2011
In one week we celebrate the birth of Jesus! In one week and one day, I will celebrate my 55th birthday. And today, I write the 155th post on this WordPress blog.
So, to let you in on the celebrations we, (Ed and I & Jenkins Woodworking) be having a drawing on the evening of my birthday! All who leave a comment between now and midnight of the 25/26th will be entered into the drawing.
What are the prizes???
Yes, there will be several!
1 – Walnut Hairpin Lace Loom (minus the yarn!)
1 – Circular Knitting Needles
Note: This is just a sample picture, if you win you will choose the size, and length: From US 11/8mm to US 50/25mm with the length you’d like. 45″ is a very popular length with the larger needles – great for quick stashbusting knits!
1 – Crochet Hook
Again, these are just samples! If you win you will choose the size: G/4mm – K/6.5mm will be made from either Pink Ivory or Kingwood, or L/8mm and M/9mm with Eastern Hardrock Maple, or Sizes N/10mm – U/25mm will be made with our beautiful local Bigleaf Maple, perfect for big, fast projects!
1 – Turkish Delight, Tambooti wood
Isn’t this one a beauty!
1 – Aegean Spindle, Olive wood
Ed’s latest rendition of branches and stars!
Each item will have one dedicated bowl. In your comment please state which item you’d like to win and your name will be placed into the bowl. You may comment on each post I put up between now and then, each person’s comment per post will get that person’s name in the hat again. (i.e. If I post 3 times and you leave three comments – one per post, then three slips of paper with your name will be in the bowl.)
Wishing all of you a calm, peaceful Advent week!
December 15, 2011
A few days before the mini-vacation I suddenly realized that not only would I get to see my sister, Polly, whom I hadn’t seen in over two years, her birthday was quickly coming and I wanted to make something for her.
Six years and the rug between our beds separated us. We shared a bedroom and closet, a love of books, horses and cows but six years is a wide gulf to span. I remember some fun times of chasing each other around, and under the kitchen table, playing tiddy-winks and Authors. I don’t remember having heart to heart conversations. I had to go to bed long before she turned in and often I’d sneak books into bed and read – I was a very early reader – while listening to her and my older brother playing outdoors in the long summer twilight hours wishing I was old enough to be allowed to stay up. For the most part she did her best to ignore me. By the time I was eight I thought she was the perfect daughter who dutifully did her chores, diligently picked berries and beans in the summer, cheerfully woke up at five in the morning all year long to milk her cow before heading to school or to the fields.
She’d haul me up behind her saddle on the spirited horse she bought after saving all her money four long years and across the fields we’d dash, me clinging desperately to her waist asking her to please slow Mitzi down. Until she threatened to not ever take me riding with her again if I complained one more time. What she never understood is how pain clawed at my side from the thrust of the horses hindquarters bunching and bounding beneath my seat jostling my mere 60-some pounds to and fro. I loved riding with her, and I hated it.
She still thrives on busyness and activity. She holds down three jobs and loves them all: on-call all the time as the chaplain for the police and fire departments, the only one for the large, spread out county where she lives; the ordained deaconess/preacher for a small Episcopal church some 30 miles from her home which has not been able to find a priest to come serve their small community church; counselor to women of domestic violence and other life-wrenching issues. Periodically, when she needs to go out of the area her husband will be the on-call chaplain but he too is very engaged with the church which he shepherds and as chaplain for the community hospital.
Fortunately, about Thanksgiving before I came across a mention in Knitspot (Nov 26th post) for some knitted jewelry earring that had me racing over to Laurie Nelkin’s Etsy shop and placing an order on the spot. Not for the earrings but for the Butin Collar. Bless her, she was away over the Thanksgiving holiday and I can only imagine how full her inbox was with orders by Monday morning, amazingly she mailed my kit that very Monday and it was in my hands by Thursday. I steeled myself against its sweet call and continued working on Feather’s sweater to have it finished to take to the coast. Saturday, Dec 3rd, the sweater was blocking and I reached for the kit to make a gift for Polly.
It whipped up in just a few hours, start to finish. Here it is on the pattern after it was gently hand-washed and blocked. I am charmed with the design, beauty, the clasp, and the ease of the pattern.
On a roll, I spun some yarn and crocheted two pageminders, one for her Polly’s husband and one for Ed’s dad – both avid readers.
Polly was delighted with the necklace. Unfortunately I only took this one blurry photo of her before gifts were exchanged.
Today she shares a birthday with my good friend, Grace – who was Polly’s horse-comrade and friend when they were young.
Happy Birthday to two wonderful, excellent women who each live life to the fullest and love God with all their hearts.
December 14, 2011
Snizzle. The fog had been thick from our place through the valley to Salem where suddenly everything looked snow covered. We were truly puzzled, a micro-climate of snow in a small three-four block area near the heart of Salem? We barely had time to debate whether or not it was snow when we were back to fog drenched world, driving over the Willamette River, winding through the western side of the valley with stretches of wildlife and bird refuges, and finally climbing over the coast range into bright, glorious sunlight.
The evening weather report talked about Snizzle – yes, there is such a word, as well as snizzling. It happens when the fog is so thick with moisture that it has to release it and it becomes a dense drizzle (oh, so common in Oregon!). When the temperature is low enough the drizzle actually turns to a form of snow: snizzle.
Three days away from home hanging out with our kids and family in the middle of last week. Last year our son arranged time for our families to celebrate a combined Thanksgiving/Christmas at Black Butte in Central Oregon, this time he secured a house on a hill overlooking the ocean south of Lincoln City. Normally December shrouds Oregon in either pouring rain or heavy fogs but this year the Oregon coast has been kissed by the sun.
View of the ocean from the kitchen window early afternoon.
Late in the afternoon I took the grandkids for a walk down the road which lead to the house as a perfect way to burn some energy before a potato soup and french bread supper. (Had a hard time capturing the steepness of the hill.)
Rising early Wednesday morning I made a batch of yeast rolls to rise in time for the mid-day celebration dinner. Gus eagerly waited for them to come out of the oven.
We played fun “Minute to Win” games.
Feathers tried on the sweater that had been started when we visited them at the end of September.
She loved it. But, the arms were too tight for her liking, and she wanted lots of butterflies. Sigh. It’s not a wasted effort, there’s a young girl cousin who will be born in March who will likely inherit it.
I did have fun making it and learned a few things:
1) Stranded color-work benefits from a size larger needles, especially stranded knit/purls (the lower sleeves) which draw in even more.
2) Even though the item nicely fits a dummy model of the child, the child has undoubtedly grown in the 2 months.
3) Each time a sleeve is frogged it knits up even quicker.
4) It’s time-consuming trying to chart the pattern/design while knitting. (Frogging and redesigning left such efforts in the dust.)
5) At my stage in knitting sweaters (having previously knit only two other sweaters, one for newborn Feather, one for when she turned 1), I really should stick with a pattern instead of stubbornly trying to go it without a pattern.
6) Lene of Dances with Wool is a tremendous font of inspiration! The butterfly patch is a nod to her. I cut a small piece of thick cotton muslin for tracing and embroidering the butterfly.
A walk on the cold beach before heading back home to work.
December 3, 2011
Posted by Wanda J under Music
| Tags: Christmas
|  Comments
Over the past couple of years a handful of committed community members have been giving the old city park a make-over, installing a small pond and building a covered bridge over it. They decided our small village needed a tree in the city park and to have a proper Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The Scotts Mills Friends church was asked to lead in the singing and music.
Ed and I walked over about 20 minutes early so I’d have time to tune with the others and get our music in order. Even though it was early with the evening rapidly growing dark and the temperature falling quickly through the 30′s people were noisily making their way to the park in happy anticipation.
We set up to the side, encouraged our fingers to be warm and nimble while papers with the words were passed around to the gathering crowd. With little advanced notice and no time to practice together we were an odd assortment: 2 accordions, 2 guitars, 1 fiddle and 2 singers. What fun we had making merry music, the people singing along with the well known songs and carols while waiting for the tree to light up and Santa to arrive. (ahem, why yes, with an ever expanding schedule he does need to make early appearances!)
A small speech was made by the mayor who handed the switch to the town’s informal matriarch, a woman who has volunteered her whole life to making this town a better place and seeing to it that people’s needs are met even when her own health has been poor. She’s a humble person and only smiled before lighting up the tree. “O Christmas Tree”
Two large, black horses jingled forth with a waving Santa.
While the faithful steeds steamed in the cold night air,
Santa handed out bags of goodies and listened to children whisper their wishes.People sang, visited with friends and neighbors, ate chili and cookies, and drank hot chocolate.
The songs were sung but music thrummed through the veins of Hairfeather, an accordion player who is a retired music teacher, and she kicked up an impromptu lively piece which soon had us jamming along with her in high spirits as she yodeled and sang la-la in her fine voice. Such fun!
Santa needed to continue on his rounds, and families were dispersing to put little ones to bed. Those who were still there assembled for pictures and goodbyes.
Such a wonderful start to this wonderful season when we look forward to the Advent of the Christ Child, and pray for peace on earth.
PS, this small park is next to the home lots that are for sale shown in the previous posting.