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.

20160707_080434.jpg

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.

20160605_142513

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.

 


Knitting Room

We’re moving. To heck with our lovely but oh so tiny house, I can’t take it any more. So two months I snapped and announced to my husband

I’m moving. You’re welcome to come with me, I’d actually prefer if you did, but either way I am moving.

So in March we put our house up for sale, and almost four weeks to the day after listing it our house was sold and we had a new house purchased. Needless to say, our realtor was an absolute rockstar. It all happened extremely fast but I’m beyond excited for it. For one, we will FINALLY have a damned guest room. We also will have room in general to exist without constantly tripping over each other and everything we own. No longer will every single room be a multi-function room. No longer will ever single room be shared space. No longer will my decision to have a bath be a family decision lest someone have to poop while I am bathing.

The super exciting OMG element is that I am finally getting a knitting room.

#lifegoals

In truth it will mostly be my home office, which is something I properly need since I work from home fairly often, but it will also be my super special no boys allowed Lesley Room. I’m going to have a desk for my work, but also have a single squashy chair in which to sit and knit. I also may have my sewing machine in that room, but more likely I will have that set up in the basement somewhere. It is going to be so nice for so many reasons. Being an introvert I sometimes truly need to just hide and have quiet alone time (something that was utterly impossible in our current house), so have the opportunity to do that will be hugely beneficial for my mental health. Also, finally having room for all my knitting stuff will be fantastic. Everything has been sort of squished into a storage ottoman and it was a big ordeal to find and unearth anything.

The downside for all this is that I have had to pack up everything and had exactly zero time to knit since all this began. Yesterday I actually knit a block in my sock yarn blanket and that is the first knitting I have done in what feels like a lifetime. It felt great though, and has me even more excited to move and get my new knitting room sorted out.


Sock yarn blanket update (aka. slower than cold molasses going uphill)

I’ve been pretty distracted knitting hats and various other smaller things lately that my sock yarn blanket has sort of hibernated. In the living room it waited, judging me for not working on it, but finally I have resumed working on it. I’m enjoying it, too. It continues to be a very satisfying, enjoyable project to work on. It ticks off almost all of my “fun knitting” boxes:

  • fairly straightforward knitting that doesn’t require a ton of concentration
  • not TOTALLY mindless, takes a bit of focus to do the center decreases to make the mitered squares
  • doesn’t need a lot of constant stitch counting or stitch markers
  • frequent feelings of having finished something (I feel good after I finish each block)
  • I get to use lots of fun colours/yarn, and get to choose a new colour/yarn every 20 minutes or so
  • I can see my progress

I would LOVE to finish this blanket this year, and it would take so little to make that happen. Right now I’m at 264 blocks. If I knit just one block a day I would hit 400 blocks on June 24th. If I want to get to 500 blocks that would be done October 2nd! I can definitely manage 20 minutes a day to work on this, or alternatively (and more likely) I can sit down and knit a few a couple days a week. Suddenly this all seems so much more doable, eh? So I think that is my new plan. Knit at least 7 blocks per week.

20160209_142315