Lately, I've been making some stuff.
I've made some good progress with bread: adding a dollop of wheat gluten makes every loaf a little fluffier, and I have gotten some great results with brushing my crusts with egg whites--so much so that in lieu of wasting eggs, I've just started buying cartons of egg whites.
Mostly though I've been making socks. I hated sock knitting the first time I tried, but now I'm liking the process and the way it allows me to learn new techniques without having to make something big.
This was my first real pair of socks--I call them Sockamole, because they remind me of my favorite way to make guacamole (avocado, salt and pepper, minced red onion and lots of lime). They took me a few weeks in bits and pieces, and the original pattern is Sara Morris's "Slightly Twisted Sock" (pdf here), which has mock cables at cuff, heel flap, and along the toe seam. So much fun. The yarn is Noro Sock, which is expensive but worth it.
Then I tried my hand at a two-needle sock, in worsted weight (so, more of a slipper sock, but they fit under my Dansko clogs), and learned to read a chart. I was not a very quick learner: I had to tear the sock out several times before I gave in and learned to trust the chart and just follow it as written. Even with all the false starts, they only took a couple days and I strongly recommend them as a quick one-ball project (Cinderella Sock at Knitty.com)
Now that I know how to Trust The Chart, I went ahead and started a sock I've been craving for a while--a thick elaborately cabled kneesock from last fall's issue of Interweave Knits, the Tyrolean Stocking (pattern can be downloaded here for $5.50).
I've finished the whole leg of one sock and am midway through turning the heel and when both socks are done, the plan is to dye them with Kool-Aid, but I'm also taking a break from it because the sock yarn I ordered with some of my birthday money came, and I owe my sister about a million presents.
So, here's what she's going to get when they're done (Hey, Sis!). The yarn is in colors that just scream her name, and the pattern just happened to be from last year's Beltane issue of ¡TheAnticraft! and it was Beltane when I cast on, so I call that a sign. Vinnland socks, making progress:
There's something very funny to me about the fact that right this moment, I'm making stock in the crockpot, the dishwasher is washing my dishes for me, my bread is rising in a machine--but I'm making socks from scratch.