Well, I managed to knit some mittens for the Alaska project and then a hat to go with the mittens. In the process I learned that knitting mittens were actually easier than the slippers since I used a single strand of yarn for the mittens and double strands for the slippers.
Here is a picture of my efforts.
These were knit from Lion Homespun yarn. This yarn give a lovely soft feel to anything you knit but is challenging because it likes to split off slender threads so you are always struggling to not have splits.