I finally found that spare time I was craving all week. My weekend has consisted almost entirely of staying home, with the exception of brief forages for food. I even got off work early on Friday, and I’ve put the time since then to good use: knitting, cleaning, watching Rome on DVD, and learning how to play a first person shooter (Team Fortress 2).

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In addition to the finishing touches on the baby bolero (yesterday’s post), I’ve finished two knitting projects this weekend. The first is this hat in “masculine” colors for Rob, which I used as practice for generating a chart on the computer and for stranded knitting. My two-color knitting is tight, which is unusual for my generally loose knitting (such as my can-see-daylight-through ribbing on this hat). The colorwork pulls the hat in, distorting the shape a little, but it’s still a good-looking, warm & wearable hat. The nice thing about a hat project is it was so quick, I can make more for practice and for wardrobe variety in the cold months ahead!

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The black yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca, and the brown is Blue Sky Alpacas’ Worsted Hand Dyes. The are both 50/50 alpaca wool blends, but they are so different! The Berroco is springy for alpaca, and light, but fuzzy enough to obscure stitch definition. The Blue Sky has excellent stitch definition for alpaca, and the subtle variation of the kettle-style dye is gorgeous, but it was quite difficult to knit with, because it has NO stretch and splits easily. I have more Ultra Alpaca for future projects, but I don’t think I will splurge for the Blue Sky blend again, even though I find the knitted fabric lovely.

My other project for the weekend has been felted slippers (also for Rob). They are through the arduous hand-felting process (I use an old-school washboard in the kitchen sink; it has the hottest water), but I am waiting to post pictures of them until they are dry enough to be worn for some good “after” shots. As I write this Rob is in the kitchen cooking gnocchi alfredo from scratch (!) and I plan to round off this deliciously productive weekend by baking a cake.. either chocolate or coffee cake. Never have I gotten so much accomplished without leaving my pajamas! Working a normal full time schedule is treating me well.