December 26, 2019

Welp . . . I thought I was back to some normal writing in this space but 2019 really did want to continue to challenge me!  Shortly after my last post there was a death in my husband's family.  I feel like 2019 has broke me open but I continue to find my mental health in making.  I thought I would share a few of the items I made this past week for the holidays.

It was a good year for my elderberries in our back yard that yielded over three gallons of berries so I made a batch of elderberry syrup.  I do love the smell of cooking elderberries and the syrup always takes me back to my childhood when my grandmother would often have a jar of elderberry syrup around for pancakes!  I used this simple recipe with berries from my freezer.  There are some sweet labels you can download also and she has directions for using dried berries if you want to make some.  I had the last of my Bonne Maman jars to recycle which looked very festive.

I also enjoyed make some candied cranberries that my sister in law introduced us to last year.  She had a friend from Russia that showed her how to make them.  I was taping into my Russian roots by making a batch of these on Christmas Eve.  I sourced some lovely cranberries and used a traditional egg white wash with powdered sugar.  My family approved of my first effort!

A last little share was some knit mushrooms that I made.  I have shared before the symbolism of good luck for the new year that fly agaric mushrooms represent.  You will see vintage postcards with pigs, mushrooms, clovers, and horseshoes from Europe.  I love it and wanted to make some little wool mushrooms for good luck.  This pattern is free and they knit up super quick.  I used some undyed Fibra Natura Shepherds Own wool from my stash for the stem in an oatmeal color and then some red Cascade 220 wool for the cap and finally some of my Moeke Romanian all natural wool for the spots.  I had so much fun making these that I might order some Lettlopi in other colors to make more for the shop.  I have been wanting to try out Icelandic wool and this might be a good entry.

I need all the luck I can get going into 2020.  My word for the New Year is "resilience" knowing that making will help me keep up a resilient spirit.  Welp, I am going to give a good ol' midwest goodbye to 2019 and hope to end this year with some wooly goodness the next week.  Cheers to you all-

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