Give me crisp days and cold nights and I am hankering for yarn. Thick socks. Wooly sweaters. Bright scarves. That is, of course, until the temps climbed to 85 degrees this weekend. No matter, a temporary inconvenience because the leaves are crunching underfoot, the smell of wood burning is in the air and I hear the call of clicking needles.
Meditative, tactile, visually stimulating - the repetitive nature of knitting is soothing and undemanding. From what is basically a ball of string and two sticks comes an object of warmth and beauty. This month I am looking forward to finishing a project put aside after my father died two years ago. It's a lovely sweater in a juicy magenta mohair, and wearing it I will be enveloped with sweet memories of time spent with him.
And there is such pleasure in knitting with friends. On a recent evening at Pam's, we curled up in front of a crackling fire, bags overflowing with yarn, everyone gabbing and working away.
As the days grow shorter, be good to yourself - gather some wool and needles, a steaming cup of tea and a few lemony cookies, and knit-purl yourself something cozy and beautiful.
LEMON POPPY THINS
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. With a mixer, beat lemon zest and sugar on medium speed. Add butter. Cream with sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, another 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in lemon juice. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined and no flour pockets remain. Chill until firm, about 45 minutes.
3. Roll rounded teaspoonsfuls of dough into 3/4-inch balls; place 2 inches apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheet after 5 minutes, until the edges are just set. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Makes 60 cookies.