My projects at the moment:
I've been knitting socks in the Embossed Leaves pattern from Favorite Socks, in this beautiful mauvy berry smoothie Panda Silk. I don't know how durable they will be, but as they are meant to be rather dressy, perhaps that doesn't matter so much. It's really pretty shimmery, sproingy yarn... merino, bamboo, and silk, but slippery, I'd suggest bamboo or wood or something instead of slippery needles. I'm knitting a sweater for one of my girls in a mulberry hue, with a round Fair Isle Yoke, a la Elizabeth Zimmerman's Percentage System using various DK weight superwash wools. I'm also knitting wool vest/undershirts for my girls to keep them warm in our chilly, old house inspired by a pattern called a Child's Shetland Vest in Weldon's Practical Needlework Volume One. Stripes for the smaller girls out of a merino fingering weight wool, some alpaca, and some sock leftovers. For my oldest daughter I've chosen a pale grey fingering wool, with sky blue accents (Knit Picks Palette). These seem to be knitting up really fast on size 5 needles.
As for sewing, I'm making costumes for the Nutcracker my girls will be in. I initially volunteered to sew some and somehow became in charge of five or six dresses. Yeowch. Fortunately, the goal is durability, and not beautiful details, so I can put them together rather quickly. I'm using this pattern from Sense and Sensibility Patterns by Jennie Chancey. I love these because they are printed on nice thick paper and include all the sizes one could wish for and she even provides supplements for busty gals and online tutorials for altering the patterns. I would like to get more basic patterns in this sort of format, too, in the future. I love the Nutcracker. I just never get tired of the music or the magic or the yummy treats it is inspired by.....
In the kitchen, I used the book Fix, Freeze, Feast to make a very large batch of red sauce this morning, and used 12 cups of it to make the Classic Chili recipe, I cooked one quarter of the recipe for lunch today and froze the other three portions in gallon freezer bags for future meals. My husband really liked it, though I decided to add some cumin to the recipe for next time. I really have liked this book so far (unlike recipes from other Freezer Cooking books I've used) and find it a real time saver at the end of very tiring and productive days to have the main dish all put together, marinated, and ready to cook. Plus, it's inspiring me to make up my own recipes in larger amounts for freezing for later. Like my cornbread recipe, put into single recipe bags, like Melissa's Corn Bread Mix, or something... I wonder if I could locate sealable paper bags instead of plastic??? I'm so over plastic.