Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cranberry Gloves and Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake!

I love immersing myself in the rhythm of the Seasons. The colors and flavors of Fall particularly resonate with me. There's just something about this season that touches the inner Pilgrim in me. I know that Steve would disagree, but I'm sure that I would have made a good Pilgrim. For example I could have made all my own clothes, like the gloves that I'm wearing!

These gloves are not what you think, though. There is no knitting involved. They are my own design and I made them with my own handmade felt! While handmade felt is very popular in Norway and other European Countries (probably something to do with the climate) it is rarely seen or used for clothing in the United States. For those interested, I'll be explaining more about the process of making handmade felt in upcoming posts and I'll explain how gloves like these are made. But I want to see how well these wear and any changes that I need to make before I do that.

Particulars: Cranberry Felt Gloves (my own design); handpainted merino tops purchased from Ingermaaike on Etsy; this is a seamless design using a resist; the cuffs are embellished with sheep locks. My inspiration for making handmade felt has largely come seeing the beautiful designs by Ingermaaike who writes Daily Felt and Sherry who is known as Pink Knitter on Flickr and Ravelry. For a great beginner resource that I found helpful I recommend Uniquely Felt by Christine White.

P.S. If you love wearing fingerless mittens as much as I do, then I recommend you look at the beautiful selection of free knitting patterns for fingerless mittens just published by Theresa at TDoesWool. I'm having a hard time deciding which one to make first!

Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake

It is the practice in American college towns for the local residents to open their homes as informal Bed & Breakfasts to handle the influx of visitors that descend on game day and for graduation events. My parents flew to South Bend, Indiana to see me graduate from the University of Notre Dame, School of Law, and stayed at one such B&B where they served this Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake for breakfast. It's a taste of the American Midwest and I hope you enjoy it!


1/4 C. Butter (unsalted) - softened (1/2 stick)
1 C. Sugar
2 eggs - well beaten
2 C. All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 C. Sour Cream
1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
* *
8 Oz. can Whole Cranberry Sauce (I prefer mine with lots of filling and use more like 12 oz. (almost all of a 14 oz. can)
1/2 C. Chopped Walnuts (very finely chopped is best)


1. Cream butter and Sugar together. Add eggs (one at a time) and beat well after each addition.
2. Mix together the dry ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream stirring with wooden spoon after each addition (begin and end with dry). Stir in the Almond extract.
3. Ladle 1/2 of the batter on the bottom of a greased tube/bunt pan. Swirl 1/2 of the cranberry sauce over the batter. Sprinkle 1/2 of the walnuts over the sauce. Repeat layers once more. N.B. Do not add any of the cranberry/nut mixture before adding the batter as that will simply stick and make it hard to remove from the pan.
4. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees 55 to 60 minutes. Start checking after about 45-50 minutes as you don't want to over bake this.
5. Cool for 10 minutes in pan and then turn out on a wire rack (you may have to loosen with a knife). Serve warm with fruit and coffee.

Until next time, be well and love well ~ and look around and enjoy the bounty and beauty of the harvest ~ Fall is here and will soon be gone.

P.S. Thank you for all your comments and concern about Simcha. His surgery went very well and he is doing great. He had a somewhat unusual condition where neither testicle descended so his neutering required abdominal surgery, but I was very motivated that he be neutered for a variety of reasons. I have my fingers crossed because if this doesn't settle him down there is nothing left to cuff off.


t does wool said...

I am not quite sure where to start...cranberries..well those in themselves are wonderful..
and when you add you OWN design,in felted wool..and add some of those to that mouth watering cake..
I think it's time to celebrate something,Claudia! every bit of this..and thank you freind for the kind mention~xx

Monika said...

I'm so glad Simcha is doing well! Your felted mitts look wonderful, especially with your painted nails. :o) I don't wear fingerless mitts much, it's either too cold, or not cold enough to wear mittens or not. Anyway, we used to do lots of crafts with felt. I love Cranberries in cakes, or muffins, not so much the dried ones.

Allie said...

Those gloves are so beautiful, Claudia, and look at you, you're a designer! The recipe sounds wonderful, and I'm very glad to hear about Simcha - how old is he now? My friend has a Schnauzer and everyone tells her between 16-18mos, she'll calm down and get a brain. It's a long haul.

Willow said...

I will certainly check out the fingerless gloves patterns! I've been looking for the 'perfect' pattern.

About Simcha--how old is he? My dd's puppy (actually VERY big puppy)is now about 9-10 months and he is 'becoming' (more) aggressive. The dog trainer said it's probably due to age because that's when the 'protective' instinct kicks in.

Anonymous said...

Claudia, you are such an enabler! First, felted mitts would not have appealed to me in any other hue (I am a color red lover) and second, that cranberry swirl appeals to my midwestern-upbringing, cranberry-loving self. I am starting to salivate on all counts.


Tracy said...

LOVE the gloves, Claudia! The color alone is wonderful, and you design is terrific. I will be looking forward to your next felt post! Felting is hugely popular here in Norway, and has been for a very long time as a way of using wool to make warm, durable clothing and more. I've dabbled a bit in making felt, and it is a lot of fun. Sometimes you really don't know what you're going to end up with, and that's part of the fun. I just LOVE cranberries too! Your cake is wonderful... very much a celebration of this season. Thanks you for sharing. :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Channon said...

Okay, so felting is right up there with dyeing (which is to say low on my radar), but that cake!? I think I have the ingredients to make one tonight!

subliminalrabbit said...

beautiful! may i rechristen you "classy knitter"? or "the classy crafter"? everything you make is just... so classy!

(and that coffee cake looks YUM! glad to hear simcha is doing well!)

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Thanks you guys ~ I'm so glad you enjoyed the post!

To answer a couple of questions on Simcha's age, he's 10 months and it should take about a month before the reduced testosterone is noticeable. I like to joke about it but his puppyhood has been difficult, and, as I'm pretty easy going by nature that says a lot.

Subliminal Rabbit ~ so sweet of you to say. I enjoy a wide variety of knitting/crafting projects and am not aware of any unifying theme - LOL

At Home Mommy Knits said...

That coffee cake looks divine. We do a lot of entertaining with houseguests over the holidays and this looks like a perfect addition to everything else I will be making. Thanks for the recipe.

Jules said...

Gorgeous--those gloves fit you so well, and they look warm, too. I know nothing about feltmaking, but it looks fun. I also find more inspiration in fall than any other season, especially in knitting. Will have to save that recipe for guests this holiday season. . . looks yummy!

gMarie said...

First - so glad to hear that dear Simcha's surgery went well. Hopefully things will settle down now.

Second - love those gloves! I adore needle felting and I love how you have embellished them.

My sewing group learned wet felting just yesterday and we covered rocks. It was tons of fun.

Finally - thanks for sharing the coffee cake. I enjoy cranberries almost as much as pumpkin! g

raining sheep said...

You have like the best hands for gloves and perfect finger nails. I usually hide my fingernails. The color is delicious. Cranberry is my favorite red :) So glad Simcha is doing well...and certainly hope the neutering has 'that calming' effect you are hoping for. The dog whisperer is a big believer in neutering large, male dogs. I just got back home so trying to basically get myself sorted out. I have four more weeks of school and then I can truly chill out during Christmas. I get a whole 17 days in a row of time off. Yipee!!!

betty said...

I'm glad to hear that Simcha is doing well. Your recipe has inspired me to make some homemade cranberry sauce today, and I will use it and try your recipe tomorrow!

knittingdragonflies said...

I really love the mitts! As someone who has an abundance of fiber, I think this is just what I need to investigate! Thanks for the link!
Also, I am a cranberry lover, I'm in search of the perfect cranberry bread/cake recipe!
Trying this out as soon as I get some cranberries!
Take care

Rebekah said...


I'm glad to hear Simcha is recovering well. Poor guy! But its better for all parties involved, I'm sure. :-)

Rachel said...

I was just talking to a lady today about 'felted fabric' which I'm thinking is very similar to what you did here...I'll be curious to see more posts on the process. They are cute gloves!

I bet that cake is delic...thanks for sharing. And so glad to hear Simcha is doing better!

Hilary said...

Those are gorgeous, Claudia! On a whim, I bought some handmade felt at a yarn shop while I was on vacation over the summer, but I haven't been able to figure out exactly what to do with it. I can't wait to hear more about your experiences working with felt and how you made those fabulous gloves! The contrast stripe is really a fantastic touch, and the locks at the cuffs are so pretty!

betty said...

Following up on my comment -- I baked the cake and it was delicious!

I used about 3T less than 1 cup of sugar, but I tend to do that with a lot of recipes. I contemplated using low-fat sour cream, but decided against it since the recipe only calls for 1/2 stick of butter, and I figured that it needs a certain amount of fat to give it lightness.
That recipe is definitely going into my recipe binder!

Larissa said...

Your mitts are gorgeous! I have a felted scarf that i bought from sara of thistledowns wool design and i love how warm and silky it feels. Thanks so much for sharing the coffee cake recipe - all that goodness and only 1/2 stick of butter. SO glad simcha is feeling well.

amanda said...

Such a fine combination. As ever you are just the perfect hand model too. So, so classy.

KnittySue said...

Love the FL mitts the color is perfect for fall..well for me anyway. Thanks for the recipe...I love cranberries and this will make it to my table this year.
Hope Simcha is doing better.

Murielle Creative Knitting said...

Oink oink and oink in every way!!! The wristwarmers are gooooorgeous and I MUST have that pretty cake, Methinks I'll make it for Thxgiving! Thanks for the inspiration :)))

Renee said...

gorgeous fingerless mitts, Claudia!!
Definitely going to try your cranberry swirl coffee cake, looks so delicious!

ingermaaike said...

The wild cranberries I always pick here in the forest are frozen by now, but one day I will certainly make this delicious looking cake.

I am so glad you are enjoying felting so much :)