Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Holiday Cookies--

What would the holidays been without cookies--the edible kind?  Over the next few days I will post some of my favorite recipes that have been passed down from friends and family.  Many years ago, when we had young kids, several of us would host cookie parties--invite 12 people who bring 12 plates of dozen cookies!  It was a fun event and you could bake your favorite recipe for 12 dozen and have different 12 dozen cookies to share with family.  Each evening, I would make up a plate of cookies and the family members would come together to share their day's adventures.  Hubby always made a 'mean' eggnog, which the kids enjoyed along with their cookies.  It was a great family time--

now, the kids are grown and have kids of their own--but, when December 21 rolls around and the family comes back together, we share this same tradition.

May your holiday be filled with delicious love of baking to share!

Today's recipe:  Russian Teacakes--Melt in your mouth good!!  You may know these cookies by other names:  Mexican Wedding Cakes or Snowball Cookies.

  Where did they originate? – This is where things get tricky. In the 18th century Russian Tea Cakes began appearing in Russia where they were used as a delicious confection during tea-sharing ceremonies. Tea was introduced during the 1600’s and the Russians used to traditionally consume sweet cakes and cookies with samovar tea. Who actually invented them or their exact place of origin is still unknown and actually causes quite a few headaches and heated debates among food and drink aficionados all over the world. Many believe Eastern Europe to be the main location of origin as many shortbread and cookie recipes were a part of Eastern European cuisine often being made by Eastern European nuns.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas Trees Sew Along

Okay--why didn't I begin some Christmas sewing months ago instead of waiting to 
the last month..................oh well, didn't (!) but here is an opportunity to
sew along with Lori Holt of Bee in my bonnet as she makes this 
delightful wall hanging of Christmas trees!
I can see all my favorite holiday fabrics here!
She also has the Cozy Christmas Sew Along that
you can find along the side panel of this blog.
or better--just hop over to her blog to pick up this free tutorial.
I'm heading to my fabric stash to see what trees I can create!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Check This Out!!

Definitely check this out!  Last spring Natalia designed a series of free-tutorials, she designed them all with bright fabrics and she is so excited for Christmas Natalia thought that it would be fun to go back through those and see what they'd look like in Christmas fabrics. So, from now until Christmas she'll be sharing some of my favorite free-tutorials, Christmas style! It's her little Christmas gift to you!
Of course, there is no way, absolutely no way, there will be much sewing during this time period
from my studio, but it's worth saving these lovely patterns for future reference.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Let's Crochet A Hyperbolic Plane!

You're saying "A What?"  This involves math--of that I'm not very good at; it also involves geometry--also not good at!  But, if you put these two things together with fiber--I'm good at that!   So let's try our hand at crocheting these handy dandy math involved scrubbies!  If you want to do further study of hyperbolic planes and spheres check out this website. 

Here is the pattern for the hyperbolic plane scrubbie!  I'm so glad there are math enthusiasts out there that can translate geometry to fiber and needles!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Spinning 101

Do you have a question about double drive , scotch tension,  and irish tension on your spinning wheel?
Here is an article from Schacht Spindle and company on understanding your wheel better to achieve the yarn you want to spin.
Scotch Tension

Double Drive 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday

Sooooo, are you out in the crowds shopping till you drop?
There was one year blond headed daughter and I braved 4 AM to
get in the shopping mode.  It was fun event--just that one time!
We timed our stores to find breakfast at one store, better bargains
at another--we stood in line, conversed with strangers, laughed
and was merry!  We weren't involved in any big fights--everyone was
happy and enjoying the day.
That was then--this is now!  I'm shopping online and let USPS, UPS or FEDEX
deliver my packages.  Of course, I'm a few years older and the grands are
adults so they don't want those special priced games or toys.
Here's wishing you a peaceful Black Friday!

Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (the fourth Thursday of November). Since 1932, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S., and most major retailers open very early (and more recently during overnight hours) and offer promotional sales. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe "The Day After Thanksgiving" as a holiday for state government employees, sometimes in lieu of another federal holiday such as Columbus Day.[2] Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the following Friday off, which, along with the following regular weekend, makes it a four-day weekend, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005,[3] although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate,[4] have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time.[5] Similar stories resurface year upon year at this time, portraying hysteria and shortage of stock, creating a state of positive feedback.

The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving in a shopping context suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. This usage dates to at least 1961. More than twenty years later, as the phrase became more widespread, a popular explanation became that this day represented the point in the year when retailers begin to turn a profit, thus going from being "in the red" to being "in the black,

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Gobble, Gobble!

To you and yours--a blessed day!

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada and the United States. It was originally celebrated as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well.


Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times.[1] The Thanksgiving holiday's history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated.[1][2]
In the English tradition, days of thanksgiving and special thanksgiving religious services became important during the English Reformation in the reign of Henry VIIIand in reaction to the large number of religious holidays on the Catholic calendar. Before 1536 there were 95 Church holidays, plus 52 Sundays, when people were required to attend church and forego work and sometimes pay for expensive celebrations. The 1536 reforms reduced the number of Church holidays to 27, but some Puritans wished to completely eliminate all Church holidays, including Christmas and Easter. The holidays were to be replaced by specially called Days of Fasting or Days of Thanksgiving, in response to events that the Puritans viewed as acts of special providence. Unexpected disasters or threats of judgement from on high called for Days of Fasting. Special blessings, viewed as coming from God, called for Days of Thanksgiving. For example, Days of Fasting were called on account of drought in 1611, floods in 1613, and plagues in 1604 and 1622. Days of Thanksgiving were called following the victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588 and following the deliverance of Queen Annein 1705. An unusual annual Day of Thanksgiving began in 1606 following the failure of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and developed into Guy Fawkes Day.[3]

In Canada

Main article: Thanksgiving (Canada)
While some researchers state that "there is no compelling narrative of the origins of the Canadian Thanksgiving day",[4] the first Canadian Thanksgiving is often traced back to 1578 and the explorer Martin Frobisher. Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean, held his Thanksgiving celebration not for harvest but in thanks for surviving the long journey from England through the perils of storms and icebergs. On his third and final voyage to the far north, Frobisher held a formal ceremony in Frobisher Bay in Baffin Island (present-day Nunavut) to give thanks to God and in a service ministered by the preacher Robert Wolfall they celebrated Communion.[5]

Oven-roasted turkey
The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are also sometimes traced to the French settlers who came to New France with explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who celebrated their successful harvests. The French settlers in the area typically had feasts at the end of the harvest season and continued throughout the winter season, even sharing food with the indigenous peoples of the area.[6]
As settlers arrived in Canada from New England, late autumn Thanksgiving celebrations became commonplace. New immigrants into the country—such as the Irish, Scottish, and Germans—also added their own traditions to the harvest celebrations. Most of the US aspects of Thanksgiving (such as the turkey), were incorporated when United Empire Loyalists began to flee from the United States during the American Revolution and settled in Canada.[6]
Thanksgiving is now a statutory holiday in most jurisdictions of Canada, with the exception of the Atlantic provinces of Prince Edward IslandNewfoundland and LabradorNew Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.[7]

In the United States

Jennie Augusta BrownscombeThe First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1914, Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts
In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly, but not universally, traced to a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. Pilgrims and Puritans who began emigrating from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England. Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the "First Thanksgiving", including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631.[8][9] According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden.[10] Now called Oktober Feesten, Leiden's autumn thanksgiving celebration in 1617 was the occasion for sectarian disturbance that appears to have accelerated the pilgrims' plans to emigrate to America.[11] Later in Massachusetts, religious thanksgiving services were declared by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford, who planned the colony's thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623.[12][13][14]The practice of holding an annual harvest festival did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.[15]
Thanksgiving proclamations were made mostly by church leaders in New England up until 1682, and then by both state and church leaders until after the American Revolution. During the revolutionary period, political influences affected the issuance of Thanksgiving proclamations. Various proclamations were made by royal governors, John Hancock, General George Washington, and the Continental Congress,[16] each giving thanks to God for events favorable to their causes.[17] As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God".[18]
In modern times the President of the United States, in addition to issuing a proclamation, will "pardon" a turkey, which spares the bird's life and ensures that it will spend the duration of its life roaming freely on farmland.[19]

Debate about first celebrations in the United States

The traditional representation of where the first Thanksgiving was held in the United States has often been a subject of boosterism and debate, though the debate is often confused by mixing up the ideas of a Thanksgiving holiday celebration and a Thanksgiving religious service. According to author James Baker, this debate is a "tempest in a beanpot" and "marvelous nonsense".[8]
Local boosters in Virginia, Florida, and Texas promote their own colonists, who (like many people getting off a boat) gave thanks for setting foot again on dry land. (Jeremy Bangs[10])
These claims include an earlier religious service by Spanish explorers in Texas at San Elizario in 1598, as well as thanksgiving feasts in the Virginia Colony.[20] Robyn Gioia and Michael Gannon of the University of Florida argue that the earliest Thanksgiving service in what is now the United States was celebrated by the Spanish on September 8, 1565, in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida.[21][22] A day for Thanksgiving services was codified in the founding charter of Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia in 1619.[23]
According to Baker, "Historically, none of these had any influence over the evolution of the modern United States holiday. The American holiday's true origin was the New England Calvinist Thanksgiving. Never coupled with a Sabbath meeting, the Puritan observances were special days set aside during the week for thanksgiving and praise in response to God's providence."[8]

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Advent Shawl 2016

I know that tomorrow is Thanksgiving in United States and most have their minds 
turning to family events and delicious foods to serve.
Now, is also the time to think of preparations for Advent.
Every year for the past several years I've been knitting for advent--it is a 
time for me to reflect on the season as I knit a few rows each day on a shawl.

This year is no different--unikatissima is providing the row by row, day by
day knitting pattern for this lovely shawl.  Maybe, you'll join us on this

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Advent Socks

This MKAL is for a sock pattern. They are knit in two colours, and have sections of stranded knitting. They are knit from the top down, and the pattern will be released in four parts, one each sunday of advent, which means the following days
27 november
4 december
11 december
18 december
The pattern is written in two sizes. Choose your size depending on the width of your foot and instep rather than the length of the foot. Most important is that you try on the sock several times when you knit it so that you are certain that you’re able to get it over your heel.
Yarn: Two colours of fingering weight yarn. I recommend 50 grams of Colour 1 (C1) and 100 grams of Colour 2 (C2)
Gauge: 32 stitches/10 cm (4”) of stockinette
Needles: 2,5 mm dpns or the size you need to get gauge.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Wovember Or Sheep, Sheep, Sheep!

WOVEMBER is about…

* recognising that WOOL is a premium textile which comes from an actual sheep, and
that – as such – the terms WOOL, WOOLLY and WOOLLEN should only be applied to real WOOL and not, for instance, to polyester or viscose.
* celebrating the important heritage and contemporary value of WOOL through our 100% WOOL stories, blog posts, pictures, textiles, and garments.
* educating and informing the wider public of the wondrous qualities of WOOL.
* creatively pushing the idea that the word WOOL should refer to sheep’s WOOL only.
*reconnecting the idea of WOOL to the animals and people involved in its creation and manufacture.
* campaigning for a clarification of trading standards to prevent further misuse of the term WOOL.

Enter the WOVEMBER COMPETITION by sending us a 100% wool photograph for the WOVEMBER gallery. (Fabulous 100% WOOL prizes are on offer!)
* Have fun WITH WOOL!!!

To involve yourself with WOVEMBER, you can…

* endeavour to wear as MUCH WOOL AS POSSIBLE throughout the month of WOVEMBER, and tell everyone about the unique qualities of WOOL.
* sign the WOVEMBER PETITION to support changes to textile trading standards and product descriptions.
* TALK ABOUT WHAT WOOL MEANS TO YOU throughout WOVEMBER on your blogs, sites, facebook pages, twitter feeds, and other social media.
* PUBLICISE WOVEMBER by sharing our button (below) and linking to this site.
* send us WOVEMBER stories about sheep, wool, knitting, weaving or other endeavours which celebrate WOOL in all its sheepy glory!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Winter Wanderings Stitchery

Yes, I'm late to the party, as usual!  There is a chance I can play catch-up and get into stitching with these gals.  There are only four blocks to this stitchery wall hanging--easy enough to do--right?!

First block from Ellie's Quilt Place  You can find the setting instructions
on her website.

This block #2 from Els-Bobbin 
There will be two more blocks, so tune into one of these gals website to
pick up those free stitching patterns.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Belfry of Hats!

I'm knitting away on my mystery hat patterns from Woolly Wormhead.  This is one of my favorite hat designers!  The features on the hat patterns are always unique and interesting.  I found this yarn in
my stash, of course.  It doesn't show the pattern too well, but it features several cables that decrease on each other.  Each Wednesday a new section on the pattern is released.
Look at this:  Free patterns from Woolly Wormhead!  Try your hand at one of her patterns.

How about this MAN HAT!  A quick and easy knit for that special man in your life.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Peace Project

The Peace Project goes live on November 28!  What a super idea--let peace begin with ME and YOU!
Full pattern is available on November 28 with the Peace-along beginning on December 1.
Peace, we need it now more than ever.
“Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”
Last year after conducting the first “peace-along” It was jokingly said “if we could get knitters around the globe to focus on peace for 21 days we might create world peace.” At this point , no joking, what have we got to lose?
This  cowl pattern was designed by Christina Campbell to have a bit of a soothing stitch pattern. It’s a 4-row repeat. Knit ~1 repeat per day and at the end of 21 days (or close to it) you’ll have a peaceful cowl. Optional i-cord edging.
What’s a peace-along? There will be a daily tip on how to infuse more peace into your life. These tips will be available on my blog each day from December 1-21. They’ll be simple things, some from me and others from a few guests.
What you need:
  • Stash dive or purchase something yummy for your soul. Approximately 450-550 yds of fingering weight yarn. I used 2 skeins of Brooklyn Tweed LOFT. I love the rustic feel…it’s the intersection of luxury and strength.
  • Christina had lots of questions regarding color choices. She made 3…one from Wonderland fingering weight (Goat’s Beard color way) which was light grey and white. It’s gorgeous but the stitch pattern doesn’t show up as much as the solid color versions. The other two are made from Brooklyn Tweed Loft.
  • can you use variegated? Why not? If it brings you joy and peace then why not. 
  • If you are buying for this project maybe pick a solid or mildly tonal.
  • size 4 or 5 needles (US) ~32 inches. gauge information forthcoming.
Can you help create world peace? Spread this information as far and wide as you can. How many knitters can we get involved?
“Buy” the pattern now and you’ll get an update when the pattern goes live on 11/28. 
“Fav” the pattern. 
“Start a project” 
Share on social media…tell all your friends. 
Use the hashtag #peacealong2016 on Instagram. 
Subscribe to my blog ( to get updates on Project Peace. 
Tell your LYS and have your own peace-along in December. 
 a thread on the Healthy Knitter Ravelry group, join us here: