Happy December 18: Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day! If you’ve never watched the film Elf, that means you answer the phone like this, “Buddy the Elf, What’s your favorite color?” Elf is a big favorite in our family. These socks are perfect Elf watching socks. Jingle All the Way pattern (Ravelry link)
I also have a Friday FO! I finished my Rikke Hat in Ramen Needles Christmas Village colorway.
Pattern is Rikke Hat (Ravelry link) I will probably make more of these. I’m also wearing my red Carbeth sweater. And it’s snowing! Festive!
These mittens are so festive and cheerful. They are also knit with Aran weight yarn, so they must knit up fast! I love the red and white Latvian braid detail. This is a free pattern. (Ravelry link)
Do you buy poinsettias at Christmas? I was curious where this tradition started, so I looked it up. Poinsettias didn’t arrive in the United States until the 19th century. The plant is named for the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced America to the poinsettia in 1828, after discovering it in the wilderness in southern Mexico. In Mexico, poinsettias are known as Flores de Noche Buena. (Spanish for “flowers of the holy night”). December 12 is National Poinsettia Day. I missed it! I don’t usually buy poinsettias because I can’t keep them alive inside. When I lived in Southern California, I knew people who planted them in their yards and they would grow to be big bushes.
I had a “lemonade from lemons” moment last week while driving my youngest to and from school. Her car is in the shop after the accident. This drive is significant, about 45 minutes each way. I noticed a sign for a tree farm I had never seen before. On the third driving day, I finally spotted the tree farm on the way home. It’s so cheery. We opted for an artificial tree this year for the first time. I miss the trip to pick out a tree. Do you think the tree farm would mind if we came in and walked around for a bit? Maybe they have swags for sale? I will let you know if I am able to visit the tree farm. Tree Farm Socks (Ravelry link)
Yes, there’s a knitting pattern for mince pies. I’m filing this one away for later. (Ravelry link)
This is the second year Bob and I have made homemade mince pies. I make the filling and he makes the crust. This year I’d forgotten how I made the mincemeat last year. I recreated it, but even better! I’m posting the recipe for next year when I forget again.
This is only the recipe for the filling since Bob’s gluten-free pie crust recipe is top secret.
For the mincemeat:
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped 1 cup dried, sour cherries 1 cup dried cranberries 1 cup dried sultanas 3/4 cup dried currants 3/4 cup dried figs, chopped 1/3 cup crystallized ginger, chopped fine 1/4 cup orange rind, chopped fine 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled 1 cup raw pepitas
Mix the above ingredients in a large bowl. Add and fold in:
3/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons Bob’s pumpkin pie spice (Ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, cardamom, and allspice) 1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 1/2 cups apple cider
Mix until ingredients are evenly distributed.
In a separate bowl, grate 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter. Add 4 tablespoons of gluten free flour. Mix with hands or pastry cutter until crumbly.
Add the butter and flour mixture to the mincemeat mixture. Stir well.
Turn into a buttered casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake in a 250 degree Fahrenheit oven for 90 minutes.
Cool mixture. When ready, fill pie shells. Top with lattice or cut outs.
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes for small pies, 40-45 minutes for a big one.
We filled enough pies for one of Bob’s gluten-free double pie crust recipe, and still had enough mincemeat to fill a one quart jar.
In the photo of my gingerbread cookies above, you will see an animal, of sorts. Bob always asks me why I have two different reindeer cookie cutters, and I always say, exasperated, “It’s a Julbock!”
“The Yule Goat!”
First of all, reindeer are caribou. And mountain goats are also caribou. Second, yes I will probably knit this Julbock some day. It’s my favorite cookie cutter and some sheep are also caribou. And that’s how we get to sheep. Julbock and Tomtaren pattern (Alan Dart website link)
The reason I chose all things Scandi for today is because it is St. Lucia’s Day, the holiday where children in Scandinavia make saffron buns and perilously wear a lit candle crown on their heads while serving their parents coffee with the saffron buns. (Wikipedia link) This Swedish Christmas Pillow is adorable. I really love looking at it. I will think about knitting it. (Ravelry Link) Note the Dala Horse in this pattern.
The Dala Horse is another cookie cutter my family is mystified about. This hat is super cute, but I would probably knit it in red and white. Karusellen (Ravelry Link)
I have no need for a tea cosy, but this one is a turtleneck sweater! And it’s super Scandi so I had to share it. Scandi Jumper Tea Cosy (Ravelry link)
This is a handsome Christmas stocking. I know many knitters knit their own stockings. So far I haven’t been tempted. But this one has sheep! Celtic Sheep Stocking (Ravelry link) If you knit this stocking, you might be tempted to fill it with more sheep, like these:
I’m tempted to make these, just for fun. Sheep! (Ravelry link) But what I will probably do instead is knit this Bobble Sheep Pillow.
Do you think knitting the bobbles will drive me nuts? Maybe. But hugging this pillow might make up for it. Bobble Sheep Pillow (Website link)
Hanukkah starts today at sundown. Although we don’t celebrate, when my kids were young we learned about all the holiday traditions we could, and celebrated those that resonated with us. My oldest loved Hanukkah. We gave them a menorah and celebrated for several years by lighting the candles, playing dreidel, giving little gifts, and making latkes. I find the story of Hanukkah fascinating. Here is an article from National Geographic if you would like to learn more about the origin of the holiday.
I love Mochimochi patterns and I hope some day to set aside some time to knit all the tiny adorable things. The dreidel pattern is free, and the dreidel works!
This hat and cowl set is super festive! I would wear the heck out of these, and they would be so fun to knit. I don’t have much in the way of Christmassy colored solid yarns, so maybe that’s something I should remedy. (Cowl Ravelry link) (Hat Ravelry link)
No wonder JoJo loves this blanket so much. It’s wool, it’s squishy, and it matches her eyes! Yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners The Croft. Pattern is Hip to Be Square Blanket (Ravelry link). I still haven’t blocked it.
Here is my Wednesday WIP. I went ahead and started a Rikke Hat with my festive Ramen Needles Christmas Village yarn. It’s making me happy. And there’s just a hint of purple, so I can wear this hat with my purple coat! Not that I care about matching or anything. 🙄