General


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!


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.


Welcome Back Mittens

14034838_10157336521250603_2674321381275197185_nSaturday this past weekend I just… needed to knit. I haven’t really had a knitty frame of mind for a few months. Maybe it is because I had sort of overdosed on knitting and my brain just needed a break from it. Whatever the reason, I haven’t knit much in months and had been focusing on other crafts/hobbies to fill the huge gaping void that knitting usually held in my life.

But then saturday, something changed…

Lesley’s Basic Mittens

US9 Needles

Patton’s Shetland Chunky in “Blue Jeans” colourway

  • Magic CO 18 (9 on each needle)
  • KFB the first stitch on each needle, knitting the rest (increasing by 2 each round) until there is 28 stitches total (14 on each needle)
  • K until the bottom edge reaches where thumb meets palm, but the other side also easily stretches to the bottom of palm
  • 6 stitch afterthought thumb
  • K another inch or two, until the mitten top reaches wrist plus a bit
  • 2×2 ribbing for 4 inches or so.
  • stretchy bind off
  • pick up stitches for thumb. Pick up 2 in each corner to close gap but knit those 2 together. If it still looks gappy do it again the next round to close gaps.
  • knit until reaches the top of the thumb, then do rounds of K2tog until 2 stitches left. Pull end through those stitches.
  • Weave in ends.

I had a craving for yarn and clicking needles.

I went to my stash… oh my lovely stash… and pawed through it all. I delighted in textures and colours and breathed deeply in the sheepy perfume of my more rustic wool blends. I rubbed various skeins against my face (the only TRUE way to feel yarn as far as I am concerned). I unearthed some long-dormant projects (like my Stripes Gone Crazy sweater) and tsk’d at my failure to show them the respect they deserved. As I mentally re-inventoried I was reminded of all the projects and plans I had made for all of these various yarns and my knitter passion was set aflame once more. Hell, it is a damned blowtorch.

Note the lack of comma in the subject line. I’m not welcoming back mittens. That would be silly. I’m Canadian; mittens are a mainstay in my life and to welcome them back would imply they left at some point. See? Silly. No, what I am referring to is “Welcome Back Mittens”, the mittens I made to welcome myself back into knitting.

14053945_10157336521195603_176939692907972448_nAre they simple? Yep. Dead basic top down mitten with an afterthought thumb. No pattern, no plan. No fancy colour work, cables, or techniques.  Nothing new or complicated or challenging to see here. Just plain old mittens. But hot damn, I made them and I finished them in no time and they are awesome. And for once, they are the same size. When I wing things that come in pairs (mittens, socks, etc) they NEVER end up the same size, but these? These are PERFECTLY THE SAME SIZE. Even the thumbs are the same size!

This has to be a sign.

The knitting gods smiled upon me, friends, and welcomed me back.


As if I didn’t have enough dorky hobbies…

13524284_10157072683935603_2089906618334939420_nSo I decided to give cross stitch a shot. Why? Um,… I don’t know. It isn’t like I lack for hobbies. I sew, I quilt, I knit, I crochet, I sketch, I dabble in photography. Hell, I can even do chainmaille. So why the hell do I need another hobby? I guess part of it is my friend Telle. She cross stitches and does some really awesome things. She even made me this epic “Have a nice poop” cross stitch as a homewarming gift for me! How awesome is that? After I hung it up in our guest bathroom and saw how hilariously awesome it looked I started thinking about what other awesome cross stitches we could hang in there… and that was about it. I went on Pinterest and started looking up fun cross stitch patterns.

Let it be said that there is an epic amount of really amazing cross stitch patterns out there. It was hard deciding on which one would be my first pattern to try. Me being me, I obviously didn’t choose a small simple one. Oh no. I chose to go with the coolest one I saw that made me the most excited. Turns out it was this one

Come on. How awesome is this. Just like in knitting, I have zero issue spending money on patterns when they are as cool as this. And it was a buy-one-get-one thing, so I also got this cool Yoda pattern too.

 

Just a few hours of work so far and I’ve made good progress.

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The only downside to cross stitch is that I can’t do it as mindlessly as I can knit. I am able to knit and watch something on the TV without issue, but this? This I need to pay attention to. But maybe that is okay.

I wonder if there is limit to how many hobbies one person should have….


Back in the saddle

20160630_131115 we’ve been in our new house for a month now and holy hell, is it ever wonderful. Best part is that the house is basically unpacked a d sorted out now, including……. MY SANCTUARY! (aka. My office aka. My knitting room)

20160605_142607You know I wasn’t sure if this room would be as good as I hoped it would be. I tend to Clark Griswold things, invest a lot of energy and emotion on certain things working out a certain way, building things up in my head, and inevitably sometimes they don’t quite live up to what I imagined. This room though has actually surpassed my expectations!

It features :

  • A super comfy day bed positively covered in pillows, quilts, a sheepskin, and other soft squishy comfortable things. (cheaper and waaaaay better than a couch)
  • A big over sized desk (given to me by my aunt and uncle who didn’t want it anymore) for me to use when I work from home
  • A smart TV that also serves as a second monitor for me when I work from home
  • A knitting closet for storing all my knitting supplies/stash
  • A DOOR so I can close myself off and have some quiet Lesley time when I need it

It is, as you can imagine, magnificent. It works in every way. It is a great home office for me. It is a great private space for me. And it is a great knitting room for me.

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This is before I got my desk fromy aunt and uncle, but you get the idea.

 

So now that things are sorted I have finally been getting back to knitting. Currently I’m working on my sock yarn blanket and holy hell, does it ever feel great to get back into knitting. The relaxation and meditative nature of knitting for me was sorely missed. I haven’t counted the new of blocks I’m at, my plan is to counter once I’m at the end of a row again.

 

In other news, my need for winter gear is getting jacked up. My office is moving and the parking is going to be about 2 blocks walk away so I am really going to need warm snow gear this year. Since I primarily wear pencil skirts with leggings I  definitely going to want leg warmers or something like that. I have some ideas involving multiple sock yarns. We shall see.