Archive | October, 2013

Technical Difficulties

Cellular Data Cannot Be Activated

No Internet Connection

Safari Cannot Connect to Internet


This has been life in a nutshell lately.  AT&T has reported our cell tower as “degraded” which means we are operating on internet about the speed of dial-up – that is when we get it!  It makes uploading photos torturous.  Please forgive us here at Meduseld for not having posted more often!  As soon as the technical difficulties are remedied we will be posting with our usual schedule.  I have some lovely rovings to add to our store, which I hope will be worth the wait!


Meals at Meduseld – Holiday Spice Cake

Meduseld's Holiday Spice Cake

Meduseld’s Holiday Spice Cake

This is a lovely spice cake for the holidays.  Unlike some fruit cakes, this one does not have the candied fruits that many people find objectionable.  It contains currants, raisins, and abundant spices.  This is not a cake that will sit around long.

I make these every year for All Saints Day and often mail them to friends and relatives.  In order to help preserve them for shipping, I will put rum in a small spray bottle and coat the surface lightly with rum before boxing them up.

Since today is the feast day of St. Raphael the Archangel, I am baking the cake in a fish mold.  In the book of Tobias in the Old Testament, St. Raphael the angel instructs Tobias how to catch a fish and use parts of it to cure various ailments (Tobias Chapter 6).



1 cup currants

1 cup raisins (you can also substitute dried cranberries)

2 cups water plus one cup cold water

½ cup butter

1 egg

1 2/3 cup organic sugar

1/3 cup organic molasses

spices – 1 teaspoon each of allspice, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom (I use whole spices and grind them fresh in order to get the best flavor)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

4 cups AP or low gluten pastry flour blended with 2 teaspoons baking soda


Preheat oven to 350.

Place currants and raisins in a small pot. Cover with two cups hot water and cook about ten minutes. Toward the end of ten minutes, add the butter, sugar, molasses and salt.

Pour contents of pot into stainless or enamel bowl. Add 1 cup cold water to cool.  Add spices and stir in one egg.  When everything is well blended, gradually stir in the flour/baking soda mix.

Pour batter into generously greased baking form.  Bake for approximately one hour or until cake springs back when pressed.

Hint: You may add nuts such as walnuts or pecans. To make the fish scales in the photo, I coated the fish lightly with honey so that the scales would stick.

This cake freezes well.

New Pillows!

The wool-filled pillows were very popular at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, so I took some time this last week to creat some more!  In addition to the luscious tapestry fabrics, I have made two sets out of pure silk, and our Renaissance Trio is made of opulent red chenille!

Renaissance Trio

Renaissance Trio


Here are the two silk sets.

Silk Paid Duo

Silk Paid Duo

Closeup of Italian Tassel Fringe

Closeup of Italian Tassel Fringe


Silk Damask Duo - "My Lady's Boudoir"

Silk Damask Duo – “My Lady’s Boudoir”

These pillows, My Lady’s Boudoir and Silk Plaid Duo,  and more are available in Meduseld’s Online Store.  Whatever does not sell this week goes with me to an outdoor sale this weekend!  We expect these to go quickly!  Fabric samples for some of the pillows are available, and I’d be glad to send more pictures of any so that you can coordinate with your home!






Golden Gauze Shawl – Free Pattern

Meduseld's Golden Gauze Shawl

Meduseld’s Golden Gauze Shawl

Here is another shawl pattern that I have been asked for frequently. When I wore this shawl at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, someone literally offered to buy it off my back. She was even more disappointed when I told her that to my knowledge the yarn for this shawl was not available at any of the booths at the festival.

The shawl is generously sized, gauzy and light, and yet still warming. The sequins sparkle in their multitude of colors and no picture seems to do it justice. For all its beauty it’s incredibly easy to make one for yourself.


The finished dimensions are approximately 6.5 feet x 2 feet.

Materials needed are:

5 skeins of S. Charles Adele in gold (other colorways are available) click on yarn in Amazon store – will take you to Amazon where you can buy this in gold.

US 10 knitting needles

Cast on 90 stitches. Turn

k2, yarn around (brings yarn to p side), p2tog. Repeat this until end. You should end with 2 knit stitches. Turn

k2, yarn around (brings yarn to p side), p2tog….etc for the full length of shawl. It is really that easy.

By bringing the yarn around, it means a full loop around the needle bringing it to the front for the p stitches. This is more than a simple yarn over.


Notes: This shawl can be made in other dimensions. Make sure that you choose an even number of stitches that when you divide it by two gives you an odd number. For example about, 90 divided by 2 equals 45, an odd number, others examples are 50, 30, 26 etc… this provides for the two knit stitches on each side, giving you your border.




Icicle Shawl Pattern

Meduseld’s Icicle Trim Shawl was very popular at Shenandoah’s Fiber Festival last week, and I received numerous requests for the pattern. As promised, here it is, FREE!


The shawl is springy and light and the icicle fringe gives it the appearance of winter, or even like dew on a spring morning.  The body of the shawl is knitted and the trim is an easy crochet pattern.


2 skeins of Meduseld’s Lace Romney, approximately 500 yards

silver EE (#6) beads

US 6 Knitting needles

US G crochet hook

US 10-13 stainless crochet hook or beading needle


BODY – Place one stitch on your left knitting needle. Make one YO on right needle and knit the stitch on the left needle. Turn. YO, knit the two stitches. Turn, YO, knit the three stitches.Continue with this pattern until you have 164 rows. Each row will have one stitch more than the row before, and very quickly you’ll have a shawl with large loops at each side from the yarn-overs. Bind off the stitches of the last row keeping the remaining stitch and do not cut the yarn.

ICICLE TRIM – Insert crochet hook into the remaining stitch. Turn the shawl so that the side is up. * SC in first yarn-over loop. Chain three. **SC three stitches, placing a silver bead in each SC (see photos). SC in third chain stitch, Chain two, SC in same yarn-over loop. SC in next yarn-over loop. SC in next yarn over loop, chain three, ** repeat stitches between ** until you reach the tip of the shawl where you create an icicle in all three of the yarn-over loops. Resume from * and finish the other side of the shawl. Bind off and weave in yarn end.

Place a bead on the #10 hook.  Pull yarn through the bead.  This loop forms the next crochet stitch.  Put the G hook through this loop and draw a stich through it to close the stitch.

Place a bead on the #10 hook. Pull yarn through the bead. This loop forms the next crochet stitch. Put the G hook through this loop and draw a stitch through it to complete the stitch.


Place three beads this way.  You can see that each is separated by the closing stitch.  Now SC in the third chain stitch, and chain two more to complete the "icicle."

Place three beads this way. You can see that each is separated by the completed single crochet  stitch. Now SC in the third chain stitch, and chain two more to complete the “icicle.”

BLOCK – wash gently with a mild soap and block or lay flat on towel to dry, shaping the shawl.

Special notes: You will have yarn left over. You can make the shawl larger by increasing the number of rows.  Just keep in mind the approximate amount you will need to crochet the edge.

For beading, I use a US #10 stainless crochet hook which is used for making crochet lace. The #10 size is fine enough to go through most of the beads and still has a large enough hook to draw the yarn through. Kate Rabjohns, our expert knitter, uses a #13, which being finer fits through more beads. Note that the hook is smaller though.

Meduseld's Icicle Shawl

Meduseld’s Icicle Shawl

Pattern by Patricia Culver, Meduseld

Meduseld Store Update

I have re-opened the store following the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival.

One of  the most noticeable things is that honey and maple syrup are entirely sold out.  While my husband decided to go ahead and break into our personal supply of maple syrup in order to have some available at the Festival, that amount sold out as well.   Mark your calendars to be in touch with us in February for the fresh syrup, and around late May for fresh honey. 

You will also notice that some of the crocheted shawls have sold as well, which means it is time for me to get busy making more!

Sincere thanks for all your support!