3.14.17 Sourdough cake, no Pi

I wonder if there is a sourdough pie recipe that I could make on Pi day next year? By then I may well be long past this sourdough madness phase. Yes, we have sourdough!

A day or two after my last post I saw an elderly widower neighbor at the community center who I’d heard makes terrific sourdough biscuits so I asked him for some tips. His face lit up as he launched into a detailed explanation on making a starter and the ingredients for his biscuits. He tore off a piece of paper and with a stubby pencil pulled from a shirt pocket (My dad always carried a pencil in his shirt pocket too.) jotted down the threads of his recipe. Once home I muddled through his spare writing then stirred up another ceramic bowl of milk and flour, this time with a smidgeon of honey. I covered it with a scrap of woven cotton cloth left over from a shirt and set it on the back of the stove for a couple of days then added more flour and milk to the bubbly mass to sit another three days. That evening someone knocked at the door just as Ed and I were finishing supper. The neighbor, Elvin, held out a lidded container, a copied pamphlet of sourdough recipes and his handwritten recipe for his sourdough biscuits. He had no idea how old his starter was — he and his wife had used it for years.

Plenty of food from supper was still on the table so we invited him to eat. For the next couple of hours we had a delightful talk as he told about sourdough, cooking, and growing vegetables. He’d grown up on the farm, only a couple of miles from here, which his grandfather had homesteaded in the 1800’s. He’s filled with lots of stories, local information, lore and legends.

As we visited I measured out enough starter to let sit overnight, eager to try his starter and recipe.

Delicious!!!

I’ve made three more batches of biscuits, and another attempt at bread. This time the bread was a bit more successful, thanks to Jocelyn‘s comment about not adding too much flour but it’s still not the lofty bread I hope to make sometime soon. Making biscuits has helped to get a feel for just how wet the dough can be / should be in order for the feeding frenzy to happen in the dough and the bubbles to form.

Two batches of starter reside in the fridge; the one Elvin brought over and the one I’d started from scratch from Elvin’s instructions. They both smell wonderfully tangy sweet. Elvin’s has a deeper, more intense tang but considering my starter is less than a month old it’s coming along nicely. I’ve been alternating between them so they’re both being used and refreshed.
Melt in the mouth tasty.

Early this morning as I was setting out the starter for biscuits to have with our soup supper I remembered seeing a Sourdough Chocolate Cake recipe. Since Tuesday is cake baking day and I’d already planned to make a chocolate cake I hunted up the recipe (King Arthur’s baking book) then measured out the half the amount needed from each jar of starter, added more flour and milk into the starter jars and set them on the counter along with the two bowls of dough; one for tonight’s biscuits, one for the cake.

The cake rose beautifully in the oven. It’s been very tempting to nibble at a corner but I’ll wait until morning when it’s frosted. A small corner might be missing when Ed takes it to the Wednesday supper crew. I hope it tastes as good as it smelled when cooking!

Why yes, I have been spinning. Next post…

PS Sorry for my lapse in replying to comments. I’ve had a heck of a time disciplining myself to replying even though I have the best of intentions and I love reading all your comments! I’ll try to do better.

Advertisements

Favorite treats

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Growing up I wasn’t crazy about Valentine’s Day. The stress of making cards for everyone, worrying whether I’d get any cards or candy from friends and classmates made me dread the day. As a young married adult I began to appreciate the day for what it symbolized – a day for showing love, especially to my family.

One thing that made it stand out in the calendar year of celebrations is that it wasn’t highly commercialized, there weren’t great expectations for gifts, fixing a huge feast for family or going anywhere in particular. We keep it simple, sometimes giving each other cards, candy and/or flowers but for the most part the goodies are homemade. I don’t expect a card from Ed or my kids; if they surprise me with one I’m thrilled. Ever since the early years of our marriage I’ve made Rice Krispy Treats with a twist: pack the marshmallow rice mixture into a well buttered funnel for huge Kisses. This year I added some Strawberry Milk syrup to the mix. 004
Ed’s mom & grandmother used to make Gobs for special occasions. His mom sometimes grumbled about the amount of work that went into something so quickly devoured by the family, none the less, she took pride in making them and made sure that I had the recipe shortly after we were married.

As soon as Violet went down for her morning nap the milk and flour mixture were being stirred into a thick mass on the stove then poured on to a plate to cool. (Detour to put on the last coat of finish onto spindles then wipe them off and remove them from the drying rack which Ed needed, & continue to feed blank dvds into the duplicator to burn more Learn to Spin in prep for the show on the 23rd.)  Next step, measure out the dry ingredients, mix the coconut oil (instead of shortening), sugar, add eggs and boil some water. The buttermilk chocolate cake recipe uses the old fashioned method of adding liquids and dry ingredients in alternating batches. The oven was heated and parchment paper laid onto cookie sheets and I was just about to  start blending the dry ingredients and the buttermilk when I heard a wee voice calling from the bedroom. Good timing! For once the process begins it’s good to get the cakes into the oven as quickly as possible. Violet was happy to hang out in the sling I’d made two weeks ago when she took to speedily crawling everywhere, and supervise the mixing of the cake batter. Watching the spoonfuls being dumped onto the cookie sheets was just as entertaining. Then to her utter astonishment, she had her first taste of chocolate lickings. No doubt about it, this is good stuff!
002

005During her afternoon nap the filling was completed and spread between two cakes. Part way through I added strawberry milk powder, for color and flavor. Hey, one can’t really go wrong with a strawberry cream cheese spread.
008

Ed likes Gobs kept in the freezer, the way his mom kept them, so some were placed in a large container and put in the freezer, some were placed in a large cookie tin for Aurora to take home. (I was surprised to learn that most people seem to know these as Whoopie Pies.)

Here’s the recipe which Ed grandmother used to make when her children were young, my modifications are in parentheses.

1st part of Gob Filling
1 C Milk
5 Tablespoons Flour
Bring milk and flour to boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly (ignore the temptation not to stir) until thick. It usually takes about 10 minutes. Have a cup of coffee at hand, and even a book to read – as long as you keep stirring. Pour onto a dinner plate, cover with plastic wrap (try to keep it from touching the filling) and put into the fridge until ready to make the filling.

Gobs Heat oven to 350 degrees, grease two cookie sheets (parchment paper)
In Mixing bowl:
2 C sugar
1/2 C shortening  (Butter or natural coconut oil – which is solid at room temperature)
2 eggs
Beat sugar and shortening (butter) together, add eggs and beat until light & fluffy

In medium sized bowl:
3 3/4 C Flour
2 teas Baking Soda
1/2 C Cocoa
1/2 teas Baking Powder
1/2 teas Salt
Sift together (Mix with fork)

1 C Buttermilk or Sour Milk – add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice to 1 scant C of milk and let stand. (Or, Buttermilk Powder: mix it in with the dry ingredients and use 1 C water)

Add flour mixture alternating with Buttermilk (Water if using powder) Mix about 1/3 the dry ingredients into the sugar/butter/egg batter, stir well, add 1/2 the buttermilk incorporate well, add another 1/3rd dry mixture and mix, add the remaining buttermilk and mix well, add the last of the dry stuff and mix thoroughly.

1/2 C Boiling Water
2 teas Vanilla
Add to the batter. Stir until well blended but don’t beat.

Drop by generous spoonfuls onto cookie sheets and bake until done.  About 12 – 14 minutes, test with a toothpick, you don’t want these gooey. Remove immediately and place onto cooling rack.
Since these are big and will spread a little you’ll need to do them in batches. I usually get around 32 – 36, half the number when put together with the filling.

When they’re completely cooled spread on the filling:
Gob Filling, Part 2:
Scrape the refrigerated Milk/Flour mix into the mixing bowl and beat well to remove any lumps
Add:
2/3 C Butter (1/3 C Butter, 1/3 C Cream Cheese) Room temperature
Beat well, add:
1 C Powdered Suger
Beat for about 5 minutes then add,
1 teas Vanilla

Spread onto half of the cookies and put together. Freeze if you like. Or, Eat Immediately! 🙂

There are a lot of steps and it can seem daunting but they’re really not hard to make, just somewhat time-consuming.

For another Valentine treat I made Raw Almond Chocolate Balls which Aurora declared that she would not share with anyone else.
1 C Raw Almonds ground into flour (a coffee grinder works great)
3/4 C Cocoa (aka Cacao)
1/4 C ground coconut, or coconut flour (optional)
1/2 C Honey
Mix all together (hands work great for mixing this!) Roll into balls and roll in more almond flour or coarsely chopped almonds or ground coconut. Enjoy!

Tender Cinnamon Rolls

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  Egg
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.
Sponge
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!
Happy baking!

A Simple Coconut Cake Recipe

First, a word about the duct-tape shirt form I made for Feather in the previous post. Sadly I can’t track down Charity’s blog post about when she and some friends made theirs. We flew by the seat of our pants when taping Feather and hoped for the best. Yeah, it worked.  This evening I searched for Duct Tape Dress Form and came up with this terrific how-to post at Threads Magazine. There are four different approaches to making a form for yourself complete with photos. Years ago, shortly after I’d taken up weaving, I subscribed to Threads Magazine and enjoyed all the inspiring articles. I’m delighted to make its acquaintance once again.

Progress on Feather’s sweater has slowed down due to the need to spend more time practicing the violin. The local strings group I play with has taken on some new pieces: Molly on the Shore (fun!), Sonata 1 and 2 of Telemann’s Six Sonaten, and Vivaldi’s Allegro in D for Strings. And today we were handed St Paul’s Suite by Gustav Holst. The timing in that piece is very tricky for me. Fortunately, my stand partner today was completely up to speed with her sight-reading abilities!

Last night I dreamed of coconut. Seriously. I woke during the night with the thought of sweet coconut scenting the house. This morning while checking Facebook a friend linked to an article on Emily Dickinson with a picture of a recipe she’d written on a piece of paper:

No instructions, only the ingredients:

1 Cup Coconut
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Eggs
1/2 teaspoonful Soda (baking)
1 teaspoonful Cream Tartar

How’s that for timing!
Understanding how cakes should be put together the batter came together quickly. The sugar and butter were blended until creamy then the 2 eggs were added and the mix well beaten to incorporate as much fluff and air as possible. The dry ingredients were measured and stirred together in a small bowl, and the milk briefly warmed.

I stirred in the flour and milk, alternating with a third of the flour mix, followed by half the milk, thoroughly mixing them in between each addition. (Mixing on slow speed to help keep the flour tender for the cake.) Last I stirred in the coconut until blended.
Judging by the amount of batter I buttered a 9×9 glass pan and put it in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. It ended up baking about 40 minutes.

Next time I’ll use a 9×11 pan so it won’t take so long to bake, this time it is a bit on the thick side causing the edges to cook more than I’d have liked. And I’ll try soaking the coconut in the milk first, just to help it become as moist as possible before baking. It’s oh so ever slightly a touch on the dry side – probably from the extended baking needed to get the center firm.

One departure from Emily’s recipe – frosting! I often don’t frost our cakes but in celebration of Feather’s fifth birthday it seemed in order, even though she’d not here to eat it. Also, on Wednesday I had sent a German Chocolate cake with Ed to serve at the community dinner the next town over and he’d longingly looked at the frosting. Coconut-Pecan frosting was a perfect additional for this not-too-sweet coconut cake! 🙂

Overall, it is easy and delicious, definitely one that will become a regular in this house.

Cookie Recipe

With only one day to finish Christmas preparations, a day to turn the mind to the reality of the birth of Jesus Christ, I don’t expect anyone to stir up a batch of these cookies tomorrow. The great thing about these cookie is they are perfect year round. These were the stand-by cookies that Ed’s grandmother baked for her family.

Ed’s mom, one of the oldest of 13 children, was born in an Iowa farm community at the beginning of the Great Depression. Her father was killed when she was 13. Her mom had no more skills than other ordinary housewives of that time who had only a basic education and no means of a steady income. Times were still very tough and for a year or two some of the younger kids were farmed out to various families in the community until Edith was able to find a means to support her family. But through it all her humor, strength, endurance and love stayed intact. She never remarried and as an older woman lived with one grown child after another, staying a year or two at the most then moving to the next. She always kept a crock full of these cookies for her children. Sour cream and eggs are cheap when living on a farm so these were about the only cookies she ever made. Ed’s mom in turn brought her three kids up on these cookies and by the time I came to know him, Ed’s dad almost always had a couple of these cookies during both his morning and afternoon breaks. He will be a recipient of a box of them (fresh ones!) when his birthday rolls around in a couple of weeks.

Grandma’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Shortening (half butter is okay but these hold better with some type of shortening – I used a cup of solid Organic Coconut Oil for this batch – yummy!)
2 Cups Sugar (I use 1/4 cup less)
2 Eggs
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Enough flour to make a stiff dough, usually about 5 cups depending on the flour, plus extra for dusting the pastry cloth or rolling surface.

Sugar and nutmeg (optional)

Ed’s mom just dumped all the ingredients into one bowl and mixed them together by hand. I prefer to beat the more conventional method:
Place first 3 ingredients in mixer to incorporate as much air as possible, add eggs and beat some more. (4-H cooking tip  learned ages ago that may be useful to someone reading this: To measure ingredients such as shortening or peanut butter, fill a 2-cup glass measuring cup with water the same amount as the shortening, ex., 1 c shortening fill the glass with 1 C of water then spoon in the shortening until the water level reaches the 2 C mark, pour off the water and dump the shortening in the bowl.
Stir the Baking Powder, Soda and Salt into 2 cups of the flour and blend into the creamed mixture. After it is well blended add the rest of the flour, a cup at a time blending each before adding the next. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to a day.
Heat oven to 350

Working in small batches, roll dough on a well floored surface dusting the top as needed with more floor to thickness desired. Our family likes these cookies to be on the thin side,  crisp but with  a bit of chew, not so thin that they’re brittle. I have a friend who loves them rolled thick and still almost white from the oven so they stay soft. I can get over 110 cookies from one batch when rolling thin, 80-90 when rolled thicker.

Sprinkle sugar & nutmeg over the rolled dough before cutting. (Often I will omit the nutmeg, or use cinnamon for variety.) Ed’s mom and grandmother used to place an empty evaporated milk can, with the paper removed, on top of a hot burner for a few minutes then pry off the bottom; it makes the perfect size of cookie.

These will take 8 – 12 minutes to bake depending on the thickness. Ed and his dad like the cookies just done with a pale golden, I like mine golden brown with the edges almost overdone.

Grandma’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies are most excellent with milk!

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.