I've been knitting.
I learned earlier this year, and made the same first mistake that amateur knitters everywhere make: to knit a scarf as my first project!
The problem with scarves is that they are incredibly boring. Back and forth, back and forth... the satisfaction of finishing waaay off in the distance. I should have started with a potholder. So, even though it's a gorgeous cerulean blue and a mohair blend and a sweet and easy knit-one-purl-one-odd-stitch pattern, that scarf is on hold at the bottom of my knitting bag.
"My knitting bag" -- see? I'm already intermediate.
Instead of downsizing my ambitions, I picked up a booklet about felting a few months ago and wanted to try that, too. I started with a little card-carrying case (ask Jason, it's, uh... awesome), and then jumped in the deep end with a pattern for felted slippers. The inspiration was this pattern, which I saw over at Woodcraft, a great crafty blog. Slightly less knitting than a scarf!
Once I got about 40 rows in, though, I realized how big these suckers have to start out, and I got kind of daunted. I plugged along, though, with nightly updates to the rest of the family about how many rows I had left. I need cheerleaders, okay? Meanwhile Jason was unsure he wanted such a loaded gift, because OF COURSE I AM KNITTING THESE FOR YOU, YOU NEED SOME SLIPPERS. I'm like a Jewish mother that way.
So here they are, from start to finish...
I didn't alternate colors like the pattern suggests, so I just knit one long piece and picked up stitches on the side for the flap parts:
The most complicated part was following the directions to fold the slippers together. Doing it reminded me of a story we read in Geometry about a 4-dimensional house that folds in on itself (go read it, it's crazy!). Anyway, no tesseracts here, just a wonky hexagram:
Wood (at Woodcraft) warned me that they'd look like giant crazy shoes before the felting, and she was right. Actually, once I sewed them up, we decided they looked like medieval boot cozies:
She also said she felted hers in a front-loading machine, but when I did it, I found that they didn't shrink down enough. So I did another two cycles in a top-loader:
And look at that! I kind of freaked out when they didn't properly felt the first time, so I'm relieved they turned out. That was going to be a lot of time invested to just chuck 'em on the scrap heap.
There, that only took three months. Now, back to the scarf.