Spats Complete

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Sassy!

What a weird little project but honestly? I love them. They are a bit funny and my husband “doesn’t understand” but I think they are great. I also know I’ll be using them because I have some shoes, two pairs in fact, that are extremely comfortable and fine but are slip-ons/backless. That doesn’t work for me because I basically exist in leggings and skirts all fall, winter, and spring. I need booties, not backless shoes. These little spats make those shoes totally wearable with leggings now. I actually think they make the shoes look better in general.

 

As always, I have some notes:

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A poorly photographed heel loop

  • I used Red Heart Super Saver in black. I used this for two reasons. 1) it is cheap acrylic I had kicking around and would have no problem tossing them in the bin if they didn’t work out 2) it is cheap, hard wearing acrylic that I can toss in the washer when they inevitably get dirty.
  • I knit them in a 2×2 rib. When I did my increases I added to the first knit ridge until I added 4 (on each side), which then allowed me to break it off into 2×2 ribbing again.
  • They JUUUUUUST fit to the top of my ankle but frankly I should have knit them to be longer. What can I say, I was impatient. Future spats (of which there shall be many) will be taller, perhaps even with enough length for a folded over cuff.
  • I had heels in mind when I knit these, especially my two pairs of slip on heels, and I wanted to make sure the spats would stay in place. I crocheted a loop into the back of each spat large enough to slip over the heel and slide (snugly) to the top of the heel. This works brilliantly.

 

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SPATS!


Spats!

Spick and Spats by Madelaine Pippa Bartlett

Spick and Spats by Madelaine Pippa Bartlett

During the cold months (which is most of the year where I live) my wardrobe is entirely based around leggings with pencil skirts. I own about a dozen pairs of leggings (mostly black) and about a dozen different pencil skirts and mini-skirts (many of which I made myself), so it is very easy to toss together an outfit. Just add a neutral sweater and bam! Fancy outfit!

Grey- grey legwarmers by Katya Gorbacheva

Grey- grey legwarmers by Katya Gorbacheva

My extreme laziness loves it. Maybe some would argue that because I am overweight I shouldn’t be wearing pencil skirts, but they’d be wrong. I look fabulous. And more to the point, I feel fabulous in them. And I apparently have a reputation at work for looking spiffy and well put together, so I must be doing something right.

My problem comes with the shoes.

I don’t own a huge number of shoes that work with leggings. Ankle booties are the style I favour with my leggings and I own 2 pairs, but I get tired of wearing the same two pairs of booties all fall, winter, and spring. It gets boring. And, in all honesty, none of them are quite high enough or warm enough for the crazy snow that we get. It hasn’t been a huge deal because the walk from my car into my office is about 9 feet, but my office is moving and our parking is no longer going to be 9 feet away, it is going to be almost two blocks away. Suddenly my less-than-toasty leggings and booties are more of a problem.

So guess what I’m knitting!

SPATS!

No, seriously, just go with me on this for a minute. This is a brilliant idea.

  • Quick knitting project, so I can fairly easy get a few pairs in different colours/designs hammered out.
  • Spats will allow me to change up the look of my shoes/outfit with very little effort.
  • I can make them with a foldable cuff. On super cold days I can extend the cuff to create a sort of leg warmer.
  • Warm feet!
  • Keeps up with my whole retro look (…though I will admit the era of spats isn’t in alignment with my retro 50’s look I’m rocking these days)

I’ve already started a pair. Just a super basic 2×2 rib in black Redheart Super Saver I had kicking around. Mostly just a proof of concept, but honestly I can’t see why I wouldn’t love some spats. If these work out (and I can’t see why they wouldn’t) I will start experimenting with different design elements like ruffles, lace, buttons, cables, etc. as well as bright colours.


Acrylic slippers FTW

Do people still use the “FTW” (for the win) acronym?

Whatever.

14089304_10157372480435603_1684730502133303496_nSo these slippers are wonderful. Wonderful wonderful wonderful. Warm and comfy and just scuffy enough to feel slipper-y rather than sock-y. I wasn’t sure how I would like the colours in the main foot of the slipper but actually it turned out pretty neat looking.

As always, I have some notes:

  • Acrylic for slippers is awesome. Just as soft and warm as you could hope, but also machine washable. WINNNNNN!
  • … I will say, however, that they are starting to fuzz/fluff a bit already. Part of that is because I am constantly twitching my feet, usually in the form of me rubbing my feet together, so they are getting the hell frictioned out of them. I’m not worried about the fuzziness, it just makes them look and feel cosier, but it is a bit surprising. I expect that sort of thing with wool and other natural fibers, not with acrylic. And this stuff is 100% acrylic. (Loops & Threads Impeccable)
  • The cuffs were a cinch, just tubes knit on the round and crocheted together. (I’m super lazy.) Then I just picked up 32 stitches around the bottom of each cuff. Knit 6(ish) rows, turned the heel, and then knit the rest of the foot. Easy.
  • I suck so hard at kitchener that I basically didn’t even try to do it right. I mean, yeah, the toes of the socks are grafted together but I did a pretty horrific job. FAR from seamless. It was like this weird faux-kitchener. Like if kitchener was done by a blind donkey. But the toes are closed, so who cares I guess….
  • The double held yarn for the bootie part of the slipper was the correct choice. Extra warm but also extra cushioned for walking comfort.
  • Kept the same needle size throughout the whole project. Kept it at a US9 needle through the cuff (held single) and the bootie (held double). I’m good with the end result.

 

I know they looks like different sizes but they actually aren’t. They both fit perfectly.


Mario cross-stitch complete!

13717239_10157181971195603_2490675778638601622_o (1)TA DAAAAAAAAAA! Totally turned out awesome, amirite? For my first cross stitch I feel it was pretty flipping successful, and I am happy to say it has been framed and hung with pride in my guest washroom.

So my thoughts in general on this project:

  • I missed a row in his legs. It isn’t a big deal and incredibly hard to notice if I didn’t tell you, and even after I tell you you still may not be able to see it. But yeah… missed a row.
  • Finishing this project was supremely satisfying in the same way that finishing a large knitting project is supremely satisfying, except that this only took me two weeks.
  • Cross stitch is pretty portable and in some ways more portable than knitting (especially compared to my sock yarn blanket, which is oh so not portable)
  • Cross stitch FOs are rather more understood and appreciated by the public at large in a way that knitting just isn’t. In terms of HOURS this probably took me as much time as, say, my Rainbow mitts or my bonnet, but people’s response to those two items were decidedly less enthusiastic and “wow” than their response was to this. And in terms of complexity/effort/skill required, this was a lot easier than the other two. Just, you know… stitching exes over and over.
  • Its a fun activity, but little too “pay attention”-y. Hard to do while watching something on the TV. Listening to TV? Sure. Watching? Not so much.

 

I will cross stitch again (I have already started a new Harry Potter cross stitch), I like that the end result can be hung up and displayed for all to see, but I don’t see it ever replacing knitting as my true love.


This is what I get for making slippers out of wool… :(

20160119_214812_medium220160121_213117_medium2I made some slippers. I thought they were lovely slippers. Warm and cosy and quite comfortable. I used yarn I received as a gift from my husband and kid to make these slippers, and all was well with the world.

Then one of those slippers went all Bilbo Baggins on me and decided to go on an adventure.

An adventure into the washing machine.

On the hot water cycle. 

So yeah, massive shrinking and felt city. I don’t even know if it would fit my 9 year old. Tragedy.

R.I.P slipper. You will be missed.

So, the cold weather is rapidly approaching. Guess I should make a replacement pair, eh? Yes. Yes I should. I have multiple goals in mind with this pair.

  1. CANNOT BE SHRUNK! This seriously sucked, so I am making sure I use a yarn that protects me from any future adventuring slippers.
  2. Durable. We moved (YAY) and our new house is likely going to be hella colder than what we’re used to. New house is a lot bigger and no wood stove any more = slippers all the time!! So I need them to be able to stand up to constant wear.
  3. Warm. See #2
  4. Bootie style. I want them to have a proper cuff so that they stay on easily, but also in case I go tromping out in the snow in them. (Yes, this happens. A lot. I’ll be inside and my kid will be all “LES! Come see this!” and I’ll have to tromp outside in my slippers and hastily tossed on jacket to witness something he deemed worthy of my effort.)
  5. Appropriately scuffy/floppy so that they are super comfy but also of a size that I could wear them with a pair of socks as well, should the need arise, and it probably will because Canada.
  6. Pretty. I like pretty things. I swear, pretty things are warmer than boring things.

So that’s my plan, and actually I have already started. First of all, I’m using acrylic. I know I know, I “should” be using proper wool and I feel somewhat bad for using acrylic for slippers, especially since I have some really nice wool just aching to become slippers, but you know what? I can’t. I can’t face another accidentally shrunk slipper. Plus, I have a ton of Loops and Thread Impeccable in all sorts of colours that I should use up. So don’t be givin’ me any of your sass about how acrylic sucks and isn’t warm and try to make me feel like I’m breaking some good knitter law. Hurumph.

14079477_10157336087155603_3063458909892975478_nSo goal one is the cuffs. I’m knitting cuffs as tubes (Double Layer! Extra Warmth!). 26 stitches around on size US 9 needles. It isn’t a tight knit by any stretch of the imagination, and that is intentional. I would knit to a much smaller gauge with this yarn, using like a US 4 or something for a yarn weight like this, if this was an outdoor item. Windblocking and all that. But this is an indoor item, where comfort and squishy warmth are what matters. So I’ve knit the tubes, with some added fun of colour shifting, and since I’m knitting to such a big gauge they are knitting up SUPER fast. Already done one and halfway through he second. WIN! Also, they are looking pretty snazzy. I’m knitting them all grey with a blob of colour on one end (see the adjacent picture for what the block of colour looks like). When I finish them I’m going to make the blob of colours go on the side of my ankles, mostly just for fun but also to differentiate the two. I’m not weeping over the existence of seams, but I suppose if I had been smart I could have done a provisional cast on and then kitchener’d them together, but screw that. I’m going to crochet the two ends together and call it a day.

Once the cuffs are done I am going to knit the booties. I can’t decide if I want to start them by picking up stitches around the cuffs and then going that way, or if I want to knit toe up and then seaming them. Decisions decisions. Also, I think for warmth and durability I am going to knit the booties with the yarn held double. Will prob go up a couple needle sizes as well.

Cold weather is approaching quickly. Looking forward to getting these done ASAP!