Tuesday, February 12, 2008

somebunny loves you!

This little guy was hand sewn using an old cashmere pants and sweater set that had long outlived its usefulness. In fact it was full of moth holes. So I washed it in the washing machine to try to felt the holes closed, but that didn't happen. It did shrink up a bit, but the holes were everywhere still. When I got ready to do this, I washed it one more time, but it still wasn't really felted. I cut out the pieces that could be salvaged, and boiled them in the spaghetti pot on the stove, to be sure that no little moth-babies were still alive. I dried the pieces in the clothes dryer for one last attempt at felt, but it was still quite soft and not very thick.

I traced a picture of a knit bunny from Last Minute Knitted Gifts as my pattern and adapted that idea into a flat rather than rounded shape, and I drew the face. Then I just hand-stitched the whole thing.

Kristen received it on a very tired Saturday evening after several stressful weeks in a row, and she fell in love with his sad little face.

And I still have enough pieces of semi-felted cashmere to make maybe a kitty cat!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Winter Dessert: "Baked" Apples

I love old-fashioned baked apples, the way my mother used to make them. She would core 6 or 8 apples and put brown sugar and raisins inside, then sit them up in a baking dish and bake them in the oven for an hour or more, and serve with Marshmallow Fluff melting over the top.

Well, my take on baked apples is faster and easier, and probably even more nutritious. I use Fuji apples, and without peeling, I cut them into quarters. Remove the seeds and then cut each section into 3 or 4 pieces. Place in small serving-size bowls and pour a small amount of real maple syrup over (use "maple-flavored corn syrup" at your own risk.) Cover each bowl with wax paper and microwave for 3 or 4 minutes. Carefully lift the wax paper and see if the apples are soft. Continue microwaving to desired softness, then remove carefully (bowls and steam are very hot.) Eat.

Trans-Continental Socks

These socks were started in Torrance, CA. They kept me company while I waited for my flight to Chicago, and they kept me company as I flew across thousands of miles of empty vastness. They kept me occupied while Kristen studied and attended meetings. They waited at Midway airport and again crossed the country, from east to west. then they accompanied me to Borders back here at home, and finally today, they were complete. Now they have been packaged up and dropped at the Post Office to make one more trip to Chicago.

I hope they will keep Kristen's feet nice and warm in the bitter cold and snow that Chicago is experiencing this winter. They were a pleasure to knit, with beautiful bouncy yarn. And I think I finally have the hang of the pick up and knit and decreases after the heel turn.

So time to get back to the Minimalist Cardigan. But it's also time to get back to teaching, so that will move along slowly. I thought I would complete it in January, but it just wasn't as suited to travel-knitting. Socks are such great travel companions! I have another lovely skein of sock yarn awaiting my attention, but perhaps I'll save that for my trip to New York (and possibly Maine)in April. And perhaps the cardigan will be done by then??

Las Vegas from the air