Archive for December, 2010

Almost Christmas…

December 22, 2010

Today I made 23 loaves of Christmas bread (sweet white/oat yeast bread with chopped dried apricots & cranberries & mangoes) for teacher gifts for my children’s schoolteachers.  Whew!

I am still knitting on a hat from handspun shetland wool for my Father In Law’s Christmas gift.

I had a cunning plan of presenting a super-fast hat pattern on my blog, but although I make one hat sortof over and over again, when I went to write it down it didn’t really sound like a pattern.  And when I tried to take notes, I remembered that I can only crochet a limited amount with acrylic yarn before my hands get so dry that I have to give it up!  Anyhow, in case anyone finds it helpful, I will try to put down here how I make my “standard” crocheted hat, which is sortof a cloche or a pillbox hat.  Nearly flat on top and just covering my ears.  This is based on how Nadine taught me to do a hat when I forced her to teach me to crochet.

Excuse the picture I took of my own head, in my messy kitchen..  I CAN pull the hat down over my ears, too.

The very short “recipe” for this sort of hat (which I generally do in double crochet, but sometimes half-double crochet, and, in this photo, some mystery stitch where I have NO IDEA what I was doing and am unable to recreate!) goes like this:

chain 4

slip stitch to join into a circle

double crochet 8 times into the center of the circle/space

chain 2, double crochet TWICE in each stitch around (mark the beginning of your round with a piece of scrap yarn or something)

next round, double crochet in each stitch around

continue in this fashion (sometimes increasing, sometimes crocheting around even, based on how the piece “lays”, if that makes any sense to you–if it is bunching up, you have too many stitches, if it is curling, you have too few–aiming for mostly flat) until you have a circle that is the size of the top of your head, like a yarmulke.

then double crochet even around until the hat is deep enough to cover your ears. single crochet one stitch. slip one stitch.  cut yarn with tail, pull tail through last stitch & fasten off.  Weave in ends.


The RIGHT peanut butter cookies (recipe)

December 20, 2010

I saw a recipe in an online magazine for pb&j cookies, but, well, you know how I am…I wanted MY peanut butter cookies that I’ve ALWAYS made.  I am not even sure if this is my mom’s pb cookie recipe or one from a cookbook, but I’ve been making them since grad school (about 20 years).

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 c brown sugar

1/2 c (one stick) butter

1 c peanut butter

1 egg

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 t baking soda


I used a mixer to cream the sugars & butter, added the pb & egg & vanilla.  Then put in the dry ingredients and mixed by hand.  Form 1 1/4″ balls.

For regular (perfect!) pb cookies, flatten the balls on an ungreased sheet with criscrossed fork tines and bake 350 for about 10 minutes.

To make pb&j thumbprint cookies, make the same balls, but instead of flattening with fork, make a thumbprint & fill it with jelly or jam (we used strawberry).  Bake about 12 minutes at 350.

peanut butter & jam thumbprint cookies

More holiday batik shirts!?

December 14, 2010

I think the starlight mint is fairly cute:

starlight mint

And I did a menorah for Samantha


candy cane

snowman on blue

Christmas tree

Anyhow, I was delivering some shirts to school this morning and was asked if I am still taking orders.  If you don’t mind not getting the shirts until Friday or so, I guess I can take orders today (Tuesday, 12/14) and maybe tomorrow (Wednesday, 12/15).  I have a few “extra” shirts already made up and also have a LOT of large & xl tie-dyed and dragon shirts, if that is something  you’d like.

Let me know!  The shirts are $15 each (plus shipping if you live elsewhere).  You have to tell me what size you need and which design you like 🙂

Tick tick tick

December 10, 2010


Hey!  Are you Christmas shopping still?  I have stuff on my Etsy shop

NEARLY EDIBLE 2 oz of handpulled roving balls from handcarded handdyed down WOOL fiber for spinning
GOT FIBER ladies Small vneck earth green batik sheep tshirt
GOT WOOL ladies S orchid batik sheep long-sleeved tshirt
green purple red blue BURST OF COLOR tie dye adult xl tshirt
Red white and blue swirled tie dye adult med tshirt
Christmas tree batik tshirt youth xl adult small
batik snowman in tie dye snowstorm youth med/small
tie-dye snowman batik onesie green red newborn
Christmas tree batik onesie green 3 to 6 mo
GOT FIBER batik ALPACA messenger bag great for knitters spinners orchid purple
PRINCESS BAMBOO YARN pink and blue handpainted TIE DYE bamboo laceweight 200 yds
GOT WOOL unisex/men's Large grey batik SHEEP tshirt
FLYING DRAGON batik tshirt unisex Med green and dark grey
Dragon Batik t-shirt Unisex M grey
GOT MOHAIR or CASHMERE unisex MED earth green batik GOAT tshirt
CUSTOM Batik Fiber Animal tshirts Sheep Llama Alpaca Goat or Bunny YOU PICK color and size
FREE SHIPPING batik BUNNY 8x10 fuchsia pink drawstring bag for Easter knitters spinners
ENCHANTED CASTLE YARN pink and blue handpainted TIE DYE cotton worsted 100 yds
HERE BE DRAGONS girls earth green medium tank with batik resting dragon
GOT WOOL ladies XL fuchsia PINK batik sheep tshirt
GOT FIBER ladies v-neck XXL turquoise blue batik alpaca tshirt
GOT WOOL unisex XL grey batik SHEEP tshirt
GOT WOOL unisex M pink batik SHEEP tshirt
Orange and purple swirled tie dye tshirt youth med/large

and I’m taking special orders (Friday is the last day) for holiday soy-wax batik shirts.  I handpaint the soy wax onto the shirt and it acts as a resist against the dye.  I’m doing Christmas trees (green), candy canes (red), snowy scenes (blue) and snowman (red, blue, or green).  The snowman is also hand-painted to produce his features.  These are $15 each.  Let me know what size you need!  (scroll down for some pics)


I also have tons of tie-dyed shirts that aren’t listed on my etsy shop, so ask if you want something already made up…

Oatmeal Toffee

December 6, 2010

I made these several times last week.  Halfway between a cookie bar and candy, they are very fast (although they take a while to cool–over an hour at room temp before they are easy to cut up) and easy and yummy.  I found the recipe several years ago in an old green cookbook by Meta Givens.

Melt 1/3 cup butter in a 4 cup pyrex (or similar) measuring cup.  Add 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey (the original recipe calls for corn syrup).  Stir up.  Add 2 cups of rolled (original or quick) oats and 1/2 teaspoon salt and some vanilla and mix it all together.  Spread into an oiled 8″x8″ square pan and bake in preheated 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.  Remove & turn off oven.  Sprinkle with 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Put back in oven for 2 minutes.  Take out and spread the melted chocolate evenly over the top of the toffee.  Cool completely before cutting into small squares.  🙂

Special holiday batik tshirts!

December 6, 2010

Call or email or “comment” me if you would like to order one!  $15 each and let me know which design and what SIZE you need.  I will need the orders soon…!

I haven’t DONE a menorah yet, but it would be much like this one with VERY simple lines and flames added…

I also did a ball-of-yarn design that I liked pretty well: