Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Feet!

I have made many pairs of Fuzzy Feet, and I finally have a pair of my own! One Christmas, I knit gifts for everyone (everyone!) and the only thing I could come up with for my uncles and male cousins was Fuzzy Feet. I had my husband sort of block them for me after felting (my feet were too small), and he loved them so much, I made him a pair. He wore those out, so I made him another. This all started two years ago, and I have just now made my own. They are fantastic! So comfy and warm.

The details:
Pattern: Fuzzy Feet from Knitty
Yarn: Cascade 220 in a light grey
Needles: Size 10.5 circs and dpns (for guys, I went up to a size 11 and knit the foot longer and that worked perfectly)

I love, love, love this pattern. It is quick, easy, and fun. And the end result is wonderful. Everyone loves these. Now I just have to make a third pair for my husband, who has worn through his pair from last winter.

And a happy story! Our next-door neighbor had asked us early last week if we had seen her cat, who hadn't come home the night before. She's an outdoor cat who comes inside every night. (This is why we're indoor cat people. But lots of people around here have roaming cats.) It's a credit to Matt's love for animals that he was really worried because Natasha is sort of his nemesis because she prefers our landscaping as her litterbox. We were thinking the worst for over a week, when my neighbor came knocking on our door and said, "I think Natasha's stuck in your shed!" I found the key and opened the door and we waited, and waited, and waited (for about 20 minutes) and Natasha came tearing out of the shed and ran to her front door. Our neighbor told us she ate and drank quite a bit and then wanted back out, but she's an indoor kitty for now. What's weird is she went missing on a Tuesday, but my husband was in the shed getting gardening gloves to carry in the Christmas tree on Sunday and she didn't come out. She is really skittish, though, since even with her mom calling her she waited and waited before bolting out. It was Friday when we found her in the shed. So, yay! Kitty's back home where she belongs.

Other knitting: I am making a Branching Out for my brother's girlfriend as a last-minute Christmas present. This is another Knitty classic that I make over and over. These make excellent gift scarves and are fun to knit. For this one, I'm using RYC Cashcotton 4Ply in Pretty, which is a pale blue that will be perfect for the recipient, who is elegant and blonde and now lives in San Francisco where it can get chilly enough for a scarf. I've done a smidge more on my cardigan, but when it got cold here, the Fuzzy Feet took top priority and now I want to get the scarf done before my brother's Christmas visit so he can bring it to his girlfriend.

Reading: I have been in another re-reading rut. I suspect the reason for this is twofold. First, I finished a pretty huge literary novel and I usually need some downtime. Second, re-reading is a de-stresser for me, like a bubble bath or chocolate. It's very comforting to re-read my favorites. It's been mysteries recently, the Donna Andrews series about Meg Langslow, the Dorothy Cannells, and now Suzann Ledbetter's Hannah Garvey series (starts with East of Peculiar), which I've recommended recently to friends and realized I'd like to read again. Hannah is the manager of a retirement community and gets mixed up with an elderly Mod Squad. Delbert and the other senior detectives are a hoot and these are very fun, good-natured mysteries. There's a newish one out, Halfway to Half Way, but the older four are out of print. Easy to find used and cheap on amazon and bn, though. I really want to re-read the Harry Potter series again and also the Thursday Next series.

Writing: No time :( So many ideas that my "Mystery Novel Notes" file is getting LONG. But I think I have a lot of good stuff when I get the time to re-write. You know, when Lilah's 18 or something.

Cooking; I mentioned the bake sale for my Playground Revival Committee over Labor Day weekend. It was a huge hit, so we decided to offer some of our high-volume sellers for pre-order so people could have them last weekend as holiday gifts or just to enjoy around the holidays. It went quite well and I had six pans of gingerbread and four loaves of rosemary focaccia to make. Wow. So dinner for us lately has been, "Honey, what do you want from the Chinese place?" and "How about veggie burgers again?". I did healthy up a banana bread recipe from Cooking Light (the Molasses Oat Banana Bread) for my neighbor with chemical sensitivities (she looked after our guys over Thanksgiving, and she actually comes over and spends time with them, which is wonderful). Basically, the less processed, the better, for her (and she can't have dairy either). So I used raw honey instead of sugar, white whole wheat flour, canola oil instead of butter, organic bananas, and such. It came out really welll. (For those who want to try it, subbing honey for sugar has some tricks--lower the oven temp by 25 degrees, use 3/4 cup honey per 1 cup of sugar in the recipe and reduce other liquid ingredients by 2 TBL).

Molasses Oat Banana Bread (Chemically Sensitive Version)
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup regular oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
2 TBL canola oil
1/3 cup dark molasses
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine flours, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Place honey, oil, and molasses in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, soy milk, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan lightly coated with canola oil. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean (check starting at 45 minutes). Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.


Knittypants said...

Your fuzzy feet look so cozy, I'm glad you finally got the chance to make some for yourself.

Rachel said...

You know, I have a couple skeins of light gray Cascade 220 in my stash that I haven't been sure what to do with...and I need some quick Christmas presents...I sense an idea forming.

So glad the kitty cat turned up! How awful it would have been if you'd discovered her too late. :(