Month: September 2014

Felted Slippers

Back in 2002, I made my husband a pair of the felted clogs that were all the rage then. They were made using this pattern by Bev Galeskas for Fiber Trends. They lasted about 4 years without leather soles.  I ended up making them for myself and one of my kids too. Mine and then Joe’s. I added leather soles to Joe’s and they have worn well. The next pair I made for hubby, I put leather soles on and he wears them in the yard and garden and taking out the trash and everywhere. They have lasted about 8 years now, but they are wearing out from the inside. I decided I would try a new pattern and my hubby, who does not do well with change, graciously said he would love any pair of slippers that I made for him.   So I decided to use Julie’s Men’s Felted Mocs at Lavender Hill Knits.

I had some yarn that I purchased many years ago on a trip to Vermont, it would work perfectly. I had already made a hat for a friend from it but I was pretty sure I would have just enough to make the slippers.

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Using the yarn doubled to get gauge I had just enough to make two soles with sides.

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I had just this much leftover! Whew!    So I made the uppers and the heel flaps with some Cascade 220 in a charcoal grey that I had in my leftovers basket. I think it blended quite nicely.

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As with all felting projects, the knitting always ends up looking so huge and I never quite believe that is is all going to work out. Here are the slippers next to MY feet, pre felting.  Granted my feet are smaller than hubby’s feet, but still, they are huge.

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I felted them in my front loading washer.  I usually have good luck with this even though “they” say you can’t use a front loader for felting. I just put them in a lingerie bag, then toss it in the washer with a  beach towel and a pair of old sneakers.  I set a custom program to hot wash and no spin and pray.

Here they are fresh out of the washer, I made Hubby try them on while they were still wet; he is such a trooper putting cold wet wool on his bare feet while I fuss about whether they are the right size or not. They seemed a little big to me but he likes them roomy, so we let them dry in the air for a few days.

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I felt that this pair would look better with the leather patch type soles than the full soles that I usually use. I also used the grey yarn to whip stitch around the uppers and tack down the decorative heel flap. The sides of the slippers curled more than the sample in the pattern, but Hubby is happy with them and has worn them every night since I finished them. He promises these will not go in the garden, he’ll use the old pair for that.

Here are his happy feet.

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Dinner salads for a hot evening

I never seem to get enough salad on these hot end of summer days. So today I made two salads for dinner. I use the website Cookie and Kate as a resource and inspiration. Kate has wonderful fresh veggie recipes, I want to jab at the screen with my fork because her photos are so enticing. I don’t always have the exact combinations of ingredients for the recipes, so I use them as a jumping off point. Here is what I made tonight.

Kale and veggie salad and Quinoa tabouli

I had to pull it all together pretty quickly because I told my trainer, Ben that I would show up for boot camp at six, only an hour to pick stuff from the garden, pull out the veggie drawer in the fridge and chop, chop, chop.  I don’t want Ben to think I’m lame and lazy; I already know that I am, I want to keep him fooled as long as possible so I have to go.

I raided the garden for tomatoes, basil, parsley and mint.

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Rinsed my quinoa and started it cooking.  You have to rinse quinoa before cooking it, otherwise it can taste bitter. How do I know this? I am lazy and one time I didn’t rinse it and it didn’t taste as yummy. 

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I also started blanching my frozen edamame. I  didn’t have shallots that were called for in the recipe, but I found a half a red onion in the fridge and some sugar snap peas.  This time I used the tuscan kale, cutting the leaves away from the tough ribs and chopping the kale into bite sized pieces.  Using my hands I scrunched the kale a bunch to tenderize it.  Added the rest of the bag of shredded carrots I found in the veggie drawer. 

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I added the sugar peas to the edamame at the last minute just to briefly blanch, and ran them under cold water. 

Here is the kale, carrots and onion getting friendly and blending flavors. Oh, and I tossed in the minced basil too,.

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I mixed put the dressing: minced ginger, and cilantro both from a tube I keep in the freezer, a bit of garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce and olive oil.  I set this all aside with the two ripe avocados ready to cut and mix just before we eat. 

Now the quinoa for the tabouli is done and I set it out to cool and started chopping the veggies. cucumber and red onion go into the bowl.  

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I chopped the tomatoes into small dice, and minced the parsley and mint and tossed it all together.  I raided the lemon tree for a couple of fresh lemons and squeezed them all over the salad, added salt, pepper, a bit of minced garlic, olive oil and a dash of red wine vinegar. Then I quickly shoved the salads into the fridge and threw on my workout clothes and ran to the gym.

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Back from bootcamp and freshly showered I chopped the avocado and added it to the kale salad tossing with the dressing. Then stirred the quinoa salad and garnished it with a couple of sprigs of mint and voila…dinner

 

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Rose and Brian ate leftover pizza with the salads, but I savored the freshness of the salads with a nice glass of Prosecco. yum