Finished this pair of socks last night – they’re a bit smaller than my standard sock. My massage therapist wears a size 7 shoe so while I made the legs with the same number of stitches as usual, I decreased from 64 to 60 stitches before the ankle and did fewer rows in the foot.
If you click on the image you’ll get an enlargement that lets you see the glitter.
Then a couple of days ago I got this image from a friend!
I have some leftover yarn from those socks but not enough I think to reknit the feet (and I imagine the heels are weakened as well).
These socks were made from an acrylic/polyester yarn because Heather can’t wear wool. So I checked Micheal’s online to see if they had any in stock – DISCONTINUED! And nothing similar available.
So I tried online to find this Loops & Threads yarn – I came across a single Etsy shop that seemed to have some. Since I couldn’t source a decent acrylic sock yarn anywhere else, I ordered two balls (the yarn was inexpensive; the shipping was out of sight). It’s what a good friend would do.
It’s mid-October – time to make the Christmas cakes.
Last week I bought the candied fruit, raisins, dried cranberries, dates, orange marmalade, a bottle of dark rum (the cost of everything had increased but I’m not complaining – I paid the bill and carried on).
Next I checked the recipe and made sure I had enough eggs, flour, brown and white sugar, baking powder and baking soda, vanilla, almond extract, spices (ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, clove), molasses and baking chocolate.
I marinated the fruit in rum for a week – the amount of time it takes for a half-bottle of rum to be absorbed into the fruit (none left in the bottom of the big covered Tupperware container I use for that purpose). Today, I decided, was Christmas cake making day.
I started by lining the pans with parchment (holding it in place with wooden clothes pins until the batter was added and smoothed). I measured out the dry ingredients, then the wet – both need large mixing bowls to hold the quantity I make.
I dumped the marinated fruit into my large lobster pot sitting in the sink (so I can reach in to mix the batter ingredients). I added half the dry ingredients but the mixture is so heavy that I called a friend to help (yesterday, she’d offered to do the mixing/stirring if I needed her – my right wrist can no longer handle the weight of the mixture – even wearing a splint my wrist becomes quite painful). The ingredients have to be mixed by hand because the mixture is way too heavy for a machine – it takes a sturdy wooden spoon or stiff spatula to do the job along with a lot of elbow grease). We added the rest of the dry ingredients, then poured in small batches of the wet until we had batter and fruit well mixed.
Last year I had a disaster – I’d overfilled the loaf pans and batter spilled into my oven creating a lot of smoke and a big mess. We were careful not to overfill the pans – looks like we put just the right amount into each – nine 2 lb loaf pans, six small ones. The cake bakes in a 300° oven for close to two hours – you can tell by the smell when it’s time to check on their done-ness. No spilling over this year.
I just had to cut a slice from one of the small cakes for quality control. Nice texture and nice taste.
I will now wrap the cakes in waxed paper, put each in a ziplock bag, and store them on the bottom shelf of my fridge for the next two months. That’s how long it takes for the moisture in the fruit to migrate into the cake. They’ll be given as holiday gifts!
Growing up, my mother made sure we understood summer clothes were packed away at the end of September and the fall and winter clothes came out. White pants, white shoes – all banished for the season.
Why do I mention this? I wear clog/mule style shoes – shoes that slip on without a back heel – comfortable with my lovely collection of wool socks, easy to wear and actually orderable online because fit is forgiving in this kind of shoe. However, clog/mule shoes are becoming scarce as hen’s teeth – about the only company that seems to continue to make them is a German firm – Finn Comfort. I have several pair of Finn Comfort sandals (for summer) and clogs (for winter) but I didn’t have a black pair (and I need one because my reliable, comfortable Clarks clogs are all wearing out and are irreplaceable).
I had difficulty finding one of the textured black leather clogs in my size when I went looking but I found what I hoped would be “greyish” so I ordered a pair. When they arrived, however, they were definitely white.
So I did what any sensible person who knows they can’t wear white shoes during fall and winter (and even spring) would do – I bought a jumbo black permanent Sharpie to change the colour.
Worked well, wouldn’t you say? It’s interesting that the patterned elements of the white leather have come through in the darkened clogs. If I didn’t tell you what I’d done and you happened to see me wearing the shoes you’d never question their colour (even if you noticed it). The nice thing about the permanent marker is that it is absorbed by the leather and while it might fade a bit over time, all I have to do is colour them again.
The clogs didn’t actually turn out black but rather an interesting dark blue ink shade.