© Karen Dewitz
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I spent my holiday making a fancy feast for my family, knitting a few gifts, and ending it with my all-time favorite thing to do, curling up with a nice book and reading. It so happens that I started my holiday the way I ended it. I love knitting, but sometimes reading is what does the trick when I need a little bit of centering. What I chose to read to prep myself for hours of cooking complimented my holiday week perfectly.
I decided to spend a couple of hours indulging in By Hand by Andrea Hungerford. By Hand is a series of lookbooks, that focus on “making communities” around the country. They feature photo journals and interviews with yarn designers and dyers, local yarn stores, knitwear designers, fabric artists, and other makers. Lookbook No. 1 happened to focus on a range of Portland Oregon makers. I decided to flip through the pages before reading and by doing so I immediately stopped when I saw the piece on Sweetheart St. Johns. I’ve been an avid admirer of the beautiful pastry art that Anna Henrick creates, so I was eager to read about her background. Being that I have celiac I have never been able to try one of Anna’s creations. That has never stopped me from buying her treats for others and making them share every detail. Reading about Sweetheart St. Johns gave me the extra pep in my step for my baking endeavors that had been plaguing me. I was going to set-off to make individual cream cheese shortcakes with macerated cherries and an infused cream, so I needed all the centering I could get.
By Hand has less than 70 pages, but I took my time and enjoyed every photo, interview, project, and pattern. I loved all the interviews, but there were two that stuck out to me since I had never read about them before. They were JaMpdx and Work/Shop. I won’t share too much about them since you should read all about them in By Hand. I will say that JaMpdx involves ceramics and Work/Shop is a maker wonderland. After reading about them I had to check out their shops. There is a mug I must have from JaMpdx and there are more than a handful of classes I will be signing up for with Work/Shop.
I’m thoroughly happy that I started my holiday off with a little reading indulgence. It left me relaxed and excited to get my hands dirty and create a delicious meal for those that I love. It also left me anticipating the next By Hand release date. I heard it’s going to be on our Portland cousin over in Maine.