Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Felted Slippers

My favorite part of felting was shaving the slippers.  This picture was taken before they were shorn.

For about a year now Andy has been complaining that his feet are cold and pointedly showing me the layers of socks he applies to his feet.  Since it’s getting to be winter, and even in Tennessee it gets a bit chilly, Andy has been back at it and not so discretely letting me know that it was time that I got started on making his slippers.  He threatened to buy slippers if I didn’t get going, so a couple months back I bought yarn and a pattern.  I’m not sure why Andy felt confident in my ability to make him a pair of slippers, especially after seeing these.  It may have been my insistence that he not buy slippers, after all, why should I have a skill (I use that word loosely) if we’re not going to use it?
The dog is everywhere.

I’ve knit lovely things before, hats and socks, but those horrible slippers just threw off my confidence.  My biggest problem is not knowing what yarn to use, what size yarn and needle.  The solution to this was to go to the yarn store with a pattern that specified yarn weight and needle size and stick to the plan, I would not improvise.  No winging it!  I asked the lady who runs the yarn store where “worsted weight” wool was located and when I made my selection and got up to the register she said, “Oh, looks like you decided on the chunky weight instead.”  Chunky weight?!  I had no idea there was even a category called chunky!  The worsted weight yarns looked pretty chunky to me and I liked this so-called “chunky” color better.  Ugh.

That’s when my plan went out the door and the owner introduced me to a pattern for felted clogs (this pattern was written by someone whose first language is English), showed me correctly weighted wool that was on sale and helped me pick out the correct needles.  She ensured me that this was a simple pattern and that felting was easy (you’ve done it accidentally to a sweater before, right? ...of course).  I left the store with a brand new plan and a daunting skill ahead of me, felting.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Flock of Cupcakes

I received a request from my brother for cupcakes when he came down to visit.  He specified these cupcakes, which are indeed the most adorable and edible thing I’ve seen in a long time.  I actually just like to look at the picture to swoon about how adorable those little sheep are.  Adorable and perfect.

In reality I think my brother was joking about actually wanting the cupcakes, but he knows that I think sheep are wonderful and sent me the picture as a way to combine my love of food and my love of sheep.  He may have been joking but I interpreted it as a challenge.

And I am crazy.  I have no cake decorating experience and I had no idea how to even start on these amazing creations.  Unfortunately, Mrs. Stewart just supplies pictures of the cupcakes and no direction on how to make them.  The only advice given is that the “wool” is made of mini-marshmallows.  As my mom would say, “No shit Sherlock.”
If you look closely, you can tell the wool of these "sheep" is made of mini-marshmallows.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

An Ode to my Great Grandma and Applesauce

As a kid whenever my family visited my great grandma Murphy's house in Indiana she always made a feast.  It didn't matter when we visited, there would always be a spread on the table and everyone remotely related to us gathered around.  One dish that she would make that I adored can't really be thought of as a "dish".  It was homemade applesauce.  It was incredible.

I remember eating it hot.  It was sweet and chunky and I never had anything like it before.  Sometimes I wish really hard that I could remember those days better, visiting with my great grandma in her kitchen.  But I was young and more concerned with playing hide-and-seek with my cousins and exploring the edges of her yard that opened up to a field.