Christmas Goodies

After spending close to two hours weighing and writing on spindles I took a mini vacation and spent the rest of the day making Ed’s grandmother’s Sour Cream Sugar cookies and his mom’s divinity. Playing in the kitchen was a good stress reliever, even better are the tasty results to share with family and friends. The old recipe uses 5 cups of flour so there are plenty of cookies for everyone.

Instead of the traditional frosting decorations I used a decorating recipe from King Arthur’s cook book.

2 egg yolks, 1 teas water and food coloring painted on with a paint brush. The only one I could quickly find was a cheap brush that was in a child’s watercolor set. These were done as fast as possible to get them in the oven and out in time to cool before tucking in a box and sending off to Idaho this afternoon in hopes they arrive on Friday.

My elementary ways with paint and brush produced nothing fancy but it was a most enjoyable outlet. Somewhere around 3rd grade I became keenly aware that there’s a disconnect between what I picture in my mind and what my hand can produce. Long have I longed to be able to capture people, animals, things, beauty… with pencils or paint. We lived next door to an art instructor at the local state university at our last house in Portland. He firmly believed that everyone has the ability to draw well, that the most wretched of students left his class at the end of the semester well on the way to a decent ability to draw. That was the year I learned to weave and had no additional time to take a formal art class.

Monday mail contained a most delightful surprise. An unexpected box containing a lovely hand-sketched card and a hand-whittled-from-an-alder-branch support spindle.

Ed admired both the card and the spindle then handed them over to me. I’ve done a bit of support spinning using a Tabachek Russian and a small handy sized Bristlecone one but hadn’t seriously spent the time needed to really get the feel for it. I love the rustic beauty and the feel of this spindle, plus there was some fiber included. 🙂 How could I resist?

I still have a long ways to go before I can claim ease and proficiency but it is an interesting way of spinning, plus it’s forcing me to be more mindful of drafting. The past two evenings I’ve stayed up way beyond my bedtime playing this this Scanlon spindle. Thanks Janet! We are touched and feel very blessed!  Please take a look at Janet’s great bag designs! They’re quick projects and a great way to use your handspun yarns.

After 6 weeks of pushing hard (excepting the Black Butte Ranch break) Ed has basically gotten caught up with most of the individual orders and has started pushing to make headway on the neglected store orders. But periodically he gets a bad allergic reaction to some woods, ebony most notably but this time he’s not sure what triggered the symptoms which starts out sort of like the flu but then he breaks out in hives and gets quite congested. Whatever it is it usually takes 10 days to run the course with the 4-6th days the most miserable. Sometimes he’s able to continue working through it but he decided to work only partial days yesterday and today.  He plans to spend the next couple of days making a batch of hairpin lace looms.

Last post I mentioned meeting up with a customer from Canada. Meet Allison! Check out the sweater she made. The pattern had stockinette sleeves but Allison carried the cable motif in the body to the lower arms making it uniquely hers.
It was so fun to finally meet her and hang out the better part of 2 hours. Part of it standing outside under the store awning after the yarn shop closed at 4. My huge regret is in not thinking clearly (I blame the cluster headache that had been pounding all day) I so wish I’d thought to find a phone and give Ed a call to ask him to join us at the Thai Dish which was only a few doors down the block. But somehow, with the darkness gathering it seemed time for her to drive back to her husband and relatives.

I would have loved to spend a lot more time getting to know Allison. Next time we’ll   plan to eat Thai food and maybe hike at Silver Falls Park!
I’ve been working on a Cat’s Paw scarf since Black Butte. It’s an easy pattern that I’ve enjoyed working on here and there but for some reason there have been numerous errors necessitating innumerable tinking. With all the knitting it should have been done 2 weeks ago. I took it to the yarn shop to meet Allison. Everyone there agreed that the most recent error, which had gone unnoticed until I picked it up to tuck in my bag, should be left and made into a design element. What do you think?Disregarding their empathetic advice I frogged back to the beginning of the wayward part (no need to tink that many rows!) and set about correctly knitting on the knit side, purling on the purl. And I still like knitting this scarf! Pattern: Northern Lace Cat’s Paw Scarf by Elizabeth Lovick 2006. Her notes tell that Cat’s Paw is an old Shetland pattern.  Yarn: My 3-ply handspun from the Schoppel Wolle roving Mandy gave me for Christmas last year. (picture of it while still in the spinning stage on the May ’10 post) Size US10 / 6mm needles
I’m happy to report that the scarf has progress far beyond that point is well down the last half.

And last, but certainly not least, I leave you with a picture of Ed and grandson.


Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

7 thoughts on “Christmas Goodies”

  1. Will you share the sugar cookie recipe it sounds delightful?

    May you both have a wonderful & blessed Christmas Season.

  2. I sympathize with Ed. I too react to sawdust, but it’s intermittent and unpredictable. Dh is a hobby woodworker and I just stay away from the workshop when he’s sawing and sanding. But I’ve had to leave Home Depot a few times without getting the goal of the errand.

    The cookies are lovely. Have you ever looked at Betty Edwards book about “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”? That third grade age is often when our own inner critic kicks in and stymies further drawing.

    Love the picture of Ed and grandson.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, Wanda!

  3. What beautiful trays of cookies…
    ( guess I would have repaired that beautiful scarf too if I saw the oops)
    I especially love the people photos, though.
    Thank you Wanda and Ed for all the hours and hours for us… (itches and all!)
    Merry Christmas
    and Happiest of birthdays,
    p.s. my “fine art” career lasted about as long as it took me to sketch those cards back in 87 was it? 🙂

  4. I totally relate to what you’re saying when you say that “there’s a disconnect between what I picture in my mind and what my hand can produce” – it’s the same for me! Still, I think your cookie designs are absolutely delightful!
    From the other comments, I gather that it’s your birthday… today? soon? In any case, I wish you a very happy one! (Mine is tomorrow, so I also relate to the very-close-to-Christmas birthday thing!)

  5. Aw you frogged it?!?! I probably would have too… knitting is one of those few things in life where you have complete control over, even if that means ripping back and making it perfect 🙂

    It’s so weird having my photo on someone else’s blog! Haha. You’re on mine too. It was fun meeting you!

    Merry Christmas to you and Ed. Hope he feels better!

  6. I love your watercolor cookies – they’re beautiful! And I love the pictures of you and of Ed – you both look so happy. Merry Christmas to both of you!!

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