Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Instant Gratification

I crossed two more WIPs off the list last night--the two pairs of slippers (aka Fiber Trends felted clogs).  I swear these things are like magic.  It's insane how fast over 1000 yards of yarn will turn into big floppy shoe-like things, and even more magical that a little hot water and agitation turns them into warm cozy slippers perfect for knocking around the house all winter. 

I made a pair of these for myself a couple of years ago and they were so perfect for my cold floors that I made Mike a pair soon after.  Both of us have lived in them the past few winters, and we've worn holes through the soles. We've been overdue for new pairs for awhile; now I can check that project off the list.

The WIP tally is officially at eleven.  On the chopping block for this week is yet another pair of socks and one of my bigger projects--the Leyfi pullover.

Looks done, right?  Close, but not quite.  I finished the body and first sleeve this weekend, but there is the whole second sleeve to go.  I think I can do it in a few days.  If I knock out the socks and sweater, the tally could be down to single digits by the end of the week.  I think once I get down to five I'll be allowed to start a new project. But, really, I'm not getting ahead of myself or anything...  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Roger Socks

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and while my mind is mainly on stuffing recipes and turkey preparation, it is also that time of year that most of us reflect on things for which we are thankful.  My wonderful family and husband Mike top the list, of course.  There are a million reasons for me to be thankful for Mike, but today he was presented with one more reason to me thankful he has me.  Four words sum it up:  merino cashmere handknit socks.
Pattern:  Roger Socks by Anne Hanson
Ravelry Project Page
Yarn:  Sanguine Gryphon Bugga!--Autumn Tiger Beetle
Needles: 2.5 mm
Cast on: July 2010
Finished:  today!

I've used the amazingly beautiful and soft Bugga! yarn for a sweater and a shawl, but these are the first socks.  They certainly won't be the last.  They are soft and squishy and amazing, and it's a good thing they are too big for me otherwise I might have to keep them for myself!  Luckily they are not going far so I can continue to visit and more importantly, carefully supervise their washing.  Ah, pretty pretty socks...

These socks are part of my new dedication to clearing out the knitting works-in-progress.  I recently did an honest count of my WIPs.  Not counting two blankets or the "hibernating" projects (two sweaters, a vest, and three socks), I was at fourteen.  14?!  I clearly got completely out of control somewhere in September and let the trend keep on going, and going, and going.  I've been the Energizer bunny of starting new stuff and putting it down, and now I have this pile:
 The tally includes two sweaters, two fingerless mitts, two baby sweaters, two pairs of slippers, one skirt, four socks, and one scarf.  Yikes!  The pile has been neatly put away and the projects ranked.  I figure if I focus on a few at a time, more will get finished and I'll have less chance of getting too bored.  For this week, I'm focused on finishing the Roger socks (done!) and the slippers, which will bring me down to 11.  That's something at least, but I'm determined to finish up most of these projects before the end of December.  Hopefully for the next few weeks, this blog will be a parade of finished projects.  One can dream...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

You spin me right round, baby, right round....

I've been spinning.  It's not as easy to pick up and put down as when I'm knitting a sock, but I am trying to spin a little each day.  I'm drafting more smoothly, my yarn is getting more even, and, well, I'm starting to think a wheel could be in my future.  I finished spinning about 2 ounces and have plied and made actual yarn.
I've learned, however, that I'm not any more monogamous of a spinner than I am a knitter.  Three spindles = three different yarns in progress.

I've got a little of everything going:  some rough practice wool, fluffy merino roving, and a merino/tencel blend (swoon).  It sort of works for me having a few options when I want to spin.  Different fibers for different moods?  Maybe I'm just a fickle crafter.

I recently was lucky enough to be one of the random winners for a knit-along.  My prize was a custom journal made by Becky's Paper Creations.  I figured that with my new interest in spinning, it would be fun for the journal to be for spinning.  I gave Becky a picture and a few thoughts, and on Saturday, this arrived at my door:
Isn't it the cutest thing?  I love it.  I figure I'll use it to keep samples of fiber and yarn and to record yarn specs.  Now just to keep spinning so I have some more to put in it.  Thanks Becky!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I don't get a chance to bake all that often anymore, but every once in awhile....

Today was the annual pre-Thanksgiving potluck at my office, and I contributed one of my favorite recipes.  I hate that I'm old enough to say I've been making something for almost 15 years, but I seriously have been making these Turtle Brownies since 1996, and they've never disappointed. 

There's just something about chocolate, pecans, and homemade caramel.

Mike and I are staying home for Thanksgiving this year, and it will just be the two of us, but I already can't wait to start cooking.