Soft Molasses Cookies

We are close to releasing a new pattern. Alice is working on the pattern layout  and my sister Peg has a fox on her needles right now.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This fox has been knit multiple times. I have churned out 7 hats with tails and 3 large fox toys and a slew of mini fox toys. The mini fox takes only a small amount of yarn so I played with the dimensions and shaping while knitting it.

Short rows are perfect to form the large ears that stand at attention on the fox. A fox is always alert and listening when you see them in the wild. They are ready to pounce at a moments notice. They are very cat like in this regard.

I played with traveling stitches  to define the brows and decreases to make the snout. The way the stitches line up on the face makes the eye placement so easy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I found a gingerbread man  button at the local Ben Franklins I knew it had to be part of my fox toy. I am sure every child knows the story of the gingerbread man that ran away from home. He could run faster than anyone except for the clever fox whom he asked to carry him across the river.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I sewed a gingerbread man to the back of the hat so  you can button and tie the fox tail onto the hat. This way if a child doesn’t want to wear a tail on his hat he or she could take it off. Or maybe somebody would want to tie the tail onto the handlebars of their bike just like in the 50’s teens would tie a raccoon tail to a roadster and when they drove it would flap in the wind.

On the toys I sewed the cookie onto the pocket of the fox because we all know a little fox needs to have a snack in their pocket.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

while waiting for the fox pattern I thought it would be fun to share my family’s favorite gingerbread man cookie. I have tweaked this recipe a bit — the original recipe was printed on a card that accompanied a plate of cookies I bought at my son’s school bake sale.

Occasionally I will substitute sorgum for the dark molasses.If you don’t have buttermilk you can substitute yogurt or make sour milk by adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to milk. You could roll these out and cut them into squares or make drop cookies but cookie cutters are so much fun. I love old cookie cutters and find myself checking the bin of cookie cutters at St Vinnies every time I go there. There is just something about all the cute and unusual cookie cutters that draws me in. Who cares that my family is on a gluten free diet– I still add to my cookie cutter collection when I find an old one I don’t have.

SOFT MOLASSES COOKIES

cream 1 cup butter, 1 1/2 cup sugar, 1 large egg

add one cup molasses(or sorgum)

sift 4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt,  2 tsp baking soda

add flour alternately with 1/4 cup buttermilk

refrigerate to chill mixture(about an hour)

roll 1/4″ thick and cutout. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350* for 10-12 minutes.

be prepared for the wonderful spicy aromas that will waft through the kitchen as you bake these. I might have to make some of these even though I can’t eat them so I can enjoy the lovely smells. Maybe I could half the recipe and then give them to my neighbors to get the tempting cookies out of the house.

If you are a fan of spice cookies check out my TRIFECTA GINGERSNAPS for another tasty treat.

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Short rowing

it doesn’t look like much here but it is coming along nicely. it’s flat knitting I can finish a body in a couple of hoursafter stitching up the body I pick up stitches for the ears.

 

I am loving the rich colors of this yarn.

 

it looks so velvet-y ….the colors of this yarn are so woodsy and wonderful….perfect for this little mini. The yarn is Tippy Toes from Interlacement Yarns and the color way is Canyon Lands Plus.

once the stitches are picked up I work on mini short rows. I must say I like short rows for shaping. I love to play with short rows to see what it does to a flat piece of knit fabric. The results add an extra dimension. Did you notice I found some short short double point needles to work with? They are only 5″ long – I found them in a basket of vintage needles at the thrift store.

Learning and practicing short rows on a toy perfects your technique for when you want to add it to a sweater. I have a couple of cardigans picked out that I want to shape with short rows to better fit me. What better than a swatch that you turn into a stuffed animal for learning what a short row will do.Look at the way short rows make a perky ear on these fox.

hunting

what do I see hunting in the snowyou can barely make him out in the brush across the bay

but then he steps out in the open and cast a long shadow in the crisp white snow. hunting- listening for any little mice burrowing under the driftMeva waits to see if the fox will come in to our house to dig out the bones that Meva hides under the snow.

sometimes early in the morning the fox will come into our yard looking for food.once he even came to patio door and looked in for his friend to come out to play. on a snowy evening when Meva was a puppy she followed the fox for an adventure up into the hills behind our house. we put on snow shoes and followed their tracks. you could see where they played and rolled around then ran further away. finally she came back to meet us but I think she leaves food out in the yard just to tempt her friend to visit.today he just walks by.

*pictures are from 3 years ago when we lived at the cabin full time. we saw the fox nearly every morning. we did see a fox last week in Okauchee but it was a fleeting glimps as he darted across the road.

I finished monkeys and decided last night to take a break from the monkey madness. Oh I will knit more monkeys I want a whole string of minis but I have had this idea floating around in my head and I decided to try it –so last night I cast on in orangeand knit away. and this morning I cast on in an off white and knit some moreand in no time at all I sewed it up and had thisa cute little hat to go with my mini fox. It worked up fast using Lion Brand Jiffy. I know –I am a bit of a yarn snob I love my wool but, when you are knitting to give away sometimes wool just won’t do. Jiffy is nice and soft and thick and sure to keep a little noggin warm. Now if only I had a little noggin to model this foxy hat….oh well –this is the best I can do!