Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas Open House

Serenity Knits was lovingly decorated and Beth had arranged the festive treats in anticipation of our 3rd Annual Christmas Open House. Beth's traditional Sugar Plums are such a favourite and so many have requested the recipe that it is included for your enjoyment below.

Sugar Plums: From “Victorian Christmas Crafts”by Barbara Bruno

Sugar Plums are an ancient treat probably originating in the Middle East where whole figs were transformed into the original glace fruit by long and repeated simmering in sugary syrup. Victorians, always ready to guild the lily, added nuts, orange rind, a variety of dried fruits and brandy, to create the “Sugar Plum visions dancing in heads” in the Victorian Christmas poem, the Night Before Christmas.

3 pounds of dried mixed figs, dates, raisins & currants
1 ½ pounds of blanched almonds
½ pound unsalted shelled pistachio nuts
½ pound of crystallized ginger
finely grated rind of 2 oranges
white granulated sugar

Method:Finely chop and mix all ingredients except brandy and sugar. Use a food processor or grinder because you want the ingredients to be well chopped/ground. Add 2-3 tablespoons of brandy to help make the mixture stick together. If you would prefer not to use brandy, use the juice of one of the oranges instead. Mix WELL. Form the mixture by hand into small balls, approximately a tablespoon at a time. Roll them in sugar.
Store the Sugar Plums in a covered container. It is best to let them meld for a few days but they can be served right away. They will keep for several weeks in a covered container.
Merry Christmas, Beth
Our guests arrived for the fun, friendships, treats and yarn sales. It was a great time to stock up for Christmas knitting projects.
Erin brought in 7 month old Hayden for a visit. We were 1st "introduced" to him while Erin was taking a crochet class. She made a beautiful blanket to welcome him. He came back to the store as a newborn and now as an active, bouncy and so cuddly little fellow - that Karen can't help snuggling. He will be one of the best dressed babies we know with his talented mom providing the knitted outfits.
Some of our guests arrived on four legs. We always have a treat jar with dog treats right next to the candy dish. This is "Honda", a rescue greyhound accompanying her owner, Isabelle. She had been a race dog and after her career ended, Isobel provided a loving home for her retirement.
Serenity Knits 3rd Annual Christmas Open House Door Prize Winners
Entrelac & Lace Class with Gabriela: Edith Larkin
Sheep Accessory case with Tape & Eucalan: Lorna & Silvia Au
Two Skeins Koigu Sock Yarn: Mary Lou Strathdee
Scarf Kit: Sue Lavigne & Mary Joe Brown
Slip Stitch & Mosaic Knitting Class with Beth: Erin Mahoney
Great American Afghan Class with Karen: Kirsten Ruhland
Knitting Gifts Book: Lorna & Jayne Beardsmore
Little Box of Scarves: Nancy Prime
Go Knits Bag: Deb Yew
Ginger Candy: Edith Larkin
Stitch Technique Class with Karen: Julia Cheng
Getting Started Knitting Socks Class with Beth: Heidi Brautigam
Congratulations to all our winners.
Posted by Karen

Friday, November 14, 2008

Deck the Halls

We had plenty of fun at the store today decorating for the holiday season and preparing for tomorrow's Open House. This is our 3rd annual Christmas celebration that we plan to coincide with Newmarket's Santa Claus parade.
Gabriela designed a new seasonal yarn wreath.

We chose special door prizes for our customers, such as a series of classes, yarn, scarf kits, books, accessory filled sheep and more...
The shelves were stocked with new yarns just waiting to become a treasured gift. Our displays were overflowing such as this one with "Go Knit" bags that make knitting projects perfectly portable.
There were decorations to hang, including Mr. Felted Snowman.

With the decorating and preparations complete, Gabriela has "visions of sugarplums dancing in her head" - waiting for the arrival of Beth's homemade sugarplums that have become a traditional part of our Open House celebration. Customers can warm up after watching the parade with hot cider and enjoy other sweets and treats.
Now the real fun begins with planning the perfect knitted gifts from the huge selection of featured yarns, books and patterns. We look forward to welcoming the holiday knitting season with our friends tomorrow.
Posted by Karen

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yarn Crawl

Serenity Knits enjoyed an exciting day as part of the Newmarket area "Yarn Crawl". The area has become a centre for quality knitting stores, with 6 stores participating in the fun. Knitters spend the day "crawling" from store to store, picking up great deals and finding exciting yarn at each location. Many use it as a opportunity to have a special day devoted to a knitting adventure.
Everything in the store was on sale and there were bins full of featured yarns with even larger discounts. It was a perfect day for knitters planning their Christmas gifts or looking for a new sweater to make for themselves.
Mary Joe (right) had come all the way from Ottawa to take part in the event. Her friend, Jackie, brought us her specialty - freshly baked double chocolate cookies. The treats were enjoyed by many of our customers and especially by Karen and Beth. They were the perfect lunch - many thanks!

Several of our guests dressed for the occasion with beautiful sweaters that they had knit. Michelle wore a Kaffe Fassett Colourscapes sweater knit from yarn that her husband had bought for her birthday gift.
Rosalie had knit an incredible retro sweater from a pattern that she modified from a 1950's publication in "Bingo" chunky wool.
We appreciated all of the dedicated knitters who took up the challenge of visiting their favourite yarn shops in the "Yarn Crawl". You never fail to amaze us with your creativity and great knitting skills.
Posted by Karen