Knitter Extraordinaire Celebrates a Special Birthday

Happy Birthday Bonnie. May your special birthday be the beginning of a happy new year. March 24th is the day!

When Bonnie was preschool age, her mother gave her fabric and a needle to work alongside her while she sewed. Various aunts and relatives taught her to crochet and then later to knit. being a crocheter first, she knits Continental, holding the yarn in her left hand. Her skill is exemplary.

Last week I photographed Bonnie and many of her lovely knitted things- I met Bonnie a couple of years ago at an in-person Sunday Afternoon Stitch Group held at McWalker Yarns store in Millvale Pennsylvania. This past year during the Pandemic we have “met” online a couple times a week on the Zoom Sit and Stitch groups sponsored by McWalker. Some of you from the Pittsburgh area may have shopped for yarn more than a decade ago in her former store – Bonnie Knits in Monroeville. She has a vast knowledge and experience and is always willing to answer questions or help another knitter decipher pattern directions. Need a little math assistance to figure out gauge? Ask Bonnie.

I haven’t been inside anyone’s home for a long time. We spent a couple of happy hours together and she gave me a peek into her knitting life and home. There are drawers, bins and closets filled with beautifully hand knitted sweaters, skirts, dresses,socks shawls, mittens , gloves and hats Handmade rugs from her mother and a gorgeous quilt made by her great grandmother were heirlooms to admire.

Bonnie welcoming me to her home.
Knit in Rowan Felted Tweed.
Heart Leaf Boxy Jumper by Dee Hardwicke
Four generations photographs. Bonnie is the baby in the middle photo. And the dark haired mother on the right in the far right photo. What a treasure to cherish. Her daughter Kate framed the three photographs together.
Here’s the tile -now look at the rug her mother made below.
Bonnie’s mother made this hooked rug, based on the above tile’s design.
Bonnie showed me her current project.
An Oslo Hat by PetiteKnit -Fibernymphs Grant Avenue colorway Bedazzled Yarn paired with Rowan Kidsilk Haze Mohair from McWalker Yarns
Bonnie’s Bell Collection
Her great grandmothers 48 States quilt embroidered with state flowers.
Pattern
Y-680 Ladies Jacket by Eisaku Noro & Co.,Ltd knit in 2different color-ways of Noro Kuryeon
State Flower Quilt detail
Meet one of her cats- Kisa. Loki was in the basement waiting until I left to come out and sniff where I’d sat on the couch.
Wonder what pattern Bonnie will knit next?
Planted in 1971, her crocus return ever year,

Happy Birthday Jack

Born March 21, 2007

Jack -Five days old
Jack on his Birthday Eve

Perpetual Puppy Barks– click to see 10 second video

I’m happy to be here to celebrate your birthday!

Love,

your Grandma (AKA FF Ruthie)

Birthday Wishes on 10-10-2020

Happy 17th Birthday dear Anna.  

I remember the day you were born here in Pittsburgh, just before dawn.

The first grandchild.   I went to school that morning and was so excited.  Everyone at school was happy for our family.

Love, FF Ruthie

(Left photo with Murphy taken at Sears photographer unknown.

Right photo 9/26/2020 Pittsburgh weekend )

 

 

1984 Ceramic Pumpkin saved from the Trash

About 18 years ago Erika, my daughter-in -Law, was pitching this little ceramic pumpkin she had created in elementary school. They were cleaning out the basement. I said No, no no and took it out of the trash. “You have to save it and give it to your children, show your kids someday.” Well her eldest is 17 at the end of this week.

I found this in the back of my China closet. I can’t wait to give her daughter the little ceramic pumpkin her mom made circa 1984. Hoping it doesn’t end up in the trash again

And

Happy Sunday Birthday to Erika.❤️

Happy Day Cake Recipe

HAPPY DAY CAKE RECIPE

It’s my sister’s birthday today.

The Happy Day Cake Recipe post is from a birthday post I made for her ten years ago.  For many family  birthdays it was the 1-2-3-4 Cake recipe or the Happy Day Cake recipe on the back of the Swan’s Down Cake Flour box, frosted with Penuche icing.  My mother would put the saucepan filled with boiling brown sugar and butter, into a sink of cold water and then beat it by hand once it cooled.She’d add Confectioner’s sugar to it. I can hear the ring of the metal loop at the end of the pan’s handle.  She added a dash of vanilla extract.  My dad would pour milk over a stale slice of cake and eat it with a spoon.   Cake and frosting recipes below photo.

Mary bought me this vintage cake pan when we were visiting our brother in Okanogan Washington

Happy Day Cake

2½ cups sifted cake flour

1½ cups sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shortening, at room temperature

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

Sift flour with sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir shortening to soften. Add flour mixture, ¾ cup of the milk and vanilla. Mix until all flour is dampened, then beat two minutes at medium speed. Add eggs and remaining ¼ cup milk. Beat one minute longer. Pour into two 9-inch layer pans that have been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove from pans and cool thoroughly on racks.

This cake also may be baked in three 8-inch layer pans for 25 to 35 minutes, or in a 13- by 9-inch pan for 30 to 35 minutes. Batter may be spooned into 36 medium paper baking cups in muffin pans, filling half full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Penuche Frosting   Butter is Key

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, more or less
  • hot water, optional
  • vanilla extract

PREPARATION:

In a saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Add the brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually add sifted confectioners’ sugar. Beat until thick enough to spread. If too thick, add a little hot water. Frosts top and sides of a 2-layer cake or a 13×9-inch cake.

Happy Birthday Mary.

 

I didn’t count the cake posts I’ve created in the last 12 years but if you have time on your hands and like cake  you can look at some photos from theblog tagged CAKE here

September 4, 1887

My Maternal Grandfather was born on September 4,1887.

Judd Dewitt Van Sickle.  Durand, Illinois

John Christopher Van Sickle 18511927and Lucy Maria Judd Van Sickle 18501915 were his parents. He was the one of their seven children, to reach full adulthood, passing in 1975.

The inscription on the back of his baby photo is in my mother’s hand.

 

108 years ago today

Born in Durand, Illinois on September 3rd, 1912. It’s the anniversary of my mother’s birth. One hundred eight years ago. Next week marks  twenty years since she passed. The early years, from my grandmother’s album.

Marian Van Sickle Hendricks

15 Already? Wow!

Happy Birthday dear Michael,

I know you’ve grown taller since I saw you the end of June. I wish you a very happy new year, a wonderful first year of high school and in just 6 months you’ll get your permit! Oh my.  

Love you, FF Ruthie 

 

    Everyone loves to hold Michael