quick


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.


My hands were able to make what my brain was picturing

Friends, I have done the impossible. I was looking at the awesome yarns I bought while in PEI (namely the three skeins I got from MacAusland’s Woolen Mill) and had this vision in my mind of a hat.

Not just any hat.

A bonnet.

And this bonnet would have the three colours of yarn transition through the around-the-face band, and then again across the main head part of the hat.

This vision was epic and despite the fact that NEVER has any vision of mine ever come to fruition, I decided to go ahead and try it…

BAM! DONE! LIKE A BOSS!

Okay, for real, I am insanely proud of this stupid hat. Twelve hours of work and look what I made!!! Hells yeah! So, as per usual, I have some notes:

  1. Yes, obviously it is roughly based around EZ bonnet pattern and it was inspired by the Neon Ski Bonnets I’ve knit (1, 2). I’m not going to pretend I invented any sort of super creative brand new construction because I didn’t. I mean, its a bonnet. This is not groundbreaking stuff.

    It has a weird bump in the back yellow part NOT because of the hat but because I had a weird bun/pony tail and it was sort of making a weird bulge. NOT the hats fault!

  2. THAT SAID, I did this entirely on the fly without referring to any patterns while I made it, so it is definitely my own creation in that way.
  3. Because I made it up as I went there are some things I would have done a bit differently, like making the main hat part a bit deeper to accommodate my huge noggin. I was able to block it out a bit bigger so it isn’t a big deal, but I will be altering the pattern when I write it up to account for that.
  4. I did make a specific and personal addition to the pattern, and that was to do some shortrows on the back of the hat along the bottom so that the back of the hat extended a bit farther down my head. You can see where I did this in the blue and yellow stripes along the bottom. It has a bit of an 80’s vibe that I didn’t plan but really love.
  5. I also did an i-cord bindoff along the bottom just to give it a more finished look AND because I wanted more practice doing an i-cord bindoff. I-cord bind off is tedious as hell but I really like the end result.
  6. Obviously, my main “I maked this!” creative contribution to this project is the colourwork that I did. I still can’t believe how well it turned out for just sort of doing it on the fly and just hoping it turned out okay. I LOVE the band, and I love how the back of the hat ended up. Not many hats look as cool as this hat does from the back.

 

So this is what I did in just two days (roughly 12 hours of work). I feel crazy accomplished, and sweet mercy do I ever love this hat. This is possibly my favourite completed project to date. Currently working on a matching cowl, and if I have enough yarn I also hope to making some matching mittens for the trifecta of awesomeness!!! WOO!

 

ETA: Matching Cowl done! Check it out!


I finally did that thing that every other knitter does when they are learning to knit

megasock

Behold the glory that is Mega-Sock

For so many people a knitted cotton dishcloth was their first project. but me, I’m special. I sort of skipped all that rite of passage. My first project was actually a sock. Not a pair of socks, just one sock. I had this idea in my head that if I could knit a sock I could knit anything so that is what I started with, which in retrospect was not a super brilliant choice. For one, I had no sense of gauge (just bought size 4US DPNs without any particular reason or explanation other than that they “looked good”), no sense of appropriate yarn (I used dishcloth cotton yarn, mostly because it was cheap and pretty colours), and basically had no idea what the hell I was doing. I did finish the sock, which my husband calls “Mega Sock” because it is MASSIVE. It was good I suppose because I did learn to knit on the round using DPNs, and hey, I made a SOCK. Yes, I knew it was an utterly ridiculous and terminally flawed sock, but it was a SOCK. I had a whole lot of pride over the fact that my first project was a sock rather than a silly dishcloth or boring scarf. And since I “successfully” made a sock I felt comfortable having my second project be something more complicated and challenging, so as it turned out I never actually made a dishcloth.

Until now.

On Sunday I made not one but THREE dishcloths! 20150531_171600I did each one a different way, just trying out different techniques. I like them all, but I think I like the k2p2 checker board one the most. And boy, those dishcloths resemble mega-sock, eh? Yep! I used my leftover yarn from my first project to finally make what perhaps SHOULD have been my first project! Ha! Oh, how these things work out. Circle of life and all that.

Anyway, I did three. One is a simple knit purl type checkerboard, one is more traditional diagonally knit with eyelets around the edge, and one is in a pseudo log-cabin type thing that I sorta winged. I actually winged all of them, just guessed at how they should be made, and they all turned out okay.. ish. The diagonal one pretty crappy if I’m going to be honest, but hey! It was my first dishcloth! Your first dishcloth isn’t supposed to be perfect. 🙂


Chickpea the cat has been knit a hat 3

Chickpea - The soon-to-be hat recipient!

Chickpea – The soon-to-be hat recipient!

My sister put a link on my Facebook wall to a story about knitted hats for cats, and then said she was “putting in an order” for me to make one for her cat, Chickpea.

Well, wish granted!

Chickpea's Cat ToqueStill not sure the original request was sincere, but it is too late for that now! LOL I could have purchased the patterns that were done up by the person in the article, but frankly it is a hat for a cat… It doesn’t need to be perfect. God knows the cat isn’t going to care and will probably hate it no matter what I do! LOL Anyway, I felt pretty confident I could wing it, and I was right! I think I was actually fairly ingenious in how I constructed it. (Not going to get in to it now, I have plans to do up a pattern in the near future.) I wanted to make sure that there would be holes for Chickpea’s ears to go through, but I also didn’t want a ton of seaming or weird boxy edges. Success on both fronts. Also, hello scrap yarn! I used gradient King Cole Riot DK yarn (remnants from my Shawl En Mousse et Vagues) because it is frankly really pretty and a good weight for this type of thing. It is actually 100% wool and fairly nice yarn that I used on this hat. The yarn also made a pretty fantastic looking pompom thanks to the colour transition.  And finally, I knit it at a relatively loose gauge so that it would have a lot of stretch. The cat in question lives a couple provinces away so I tried to make it a size that would fit any cat’s head. It has been a while since I owned a cat so most of this was just guessing.

Anyway, I’m pretty damned proud of this stupid thing. Yes, it is a toque for a cat, and yes I know full well that it is likely to go unused apart from the couple of pictures taken of her wearing it when it first arrives. It only took me a couple hours, so even getting one or two hilarious pictures of Chickpea wearing the hat will make it worth it!

ETA: I have been sent a picture and holy crap is it awesome!