2016 projects, Completed (with project notes), Uncategorized

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.
#workconversations, General, Uncategorized

Don’t insult the hair

Manager to the guy in the cube beside me: So Alan, can you come work on this other project for a few months? [in a stage whisper] Unfortunately you’ll have to work with Lesley again.

Alan: [also stage whispering] Oh man, well, that would be pretty awful. I don’t know.

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My hair really does look good today. Plus, new lipstick! (NYX Indie Flick!)

[they both look over at me. I am oblivious.]

Manager: … does she have her headphones on? Lesley?

Me: Huh?

Manager: You’re missing the jokes and teasing!

Me: Dude, I am deaf to insults and teasing at this point. Unless you insult my hair. Insult my hair and trust me I’ll be paying attention.

Manager: Your hair actually looks quite nice today.

Me: I know. I’m amazing. [goes back to work]

 

2016 projects, Cross Stitch, General, Uncategorized

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.

2016 projects, Uncategorized

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!

 

2016 projects, Completed (with project notes), General, Real Life, Uncategorized

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…

[pullquote]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.

[/pullquote]

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.

General, Outfits, Real Life, Uncategorized

Lipstick Obsession


So,… red lipstick. I only started wearing lipstick about a year ago. Sure, I owned a couple tubes of super bland “natural” colours that I occasionally wore when I went out to a bar or something, but even then I was more likely to swipe on the Blistex and call it done. Now, though, I’m all about the lipstick. The switch happened when I accepted a new job. I decided since I was an unknown there that it was the perfect time to redefine myself and establish a new personal style. My best friend suggested red lipstick, not because she wears it herself but because she thought it would suit me.

She was correct.

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This was my first attempt at wearing red lipstick. This is where it all began… (NXY Perfect Red)

I started wearing every day red lipstick when I started my new job. At first I felt weird about it, worried that I wasn’t pulling it off and that I looked stupid. I had to sort of force myself to put it on, do a bit of a “be brave!” self pep talk every day, but before long the red lip felt very natural. Now I feel a bit naked without lipstick. Well, maybe not naked, but definitely unfinished.

Because it is me, and because I get obsessive about things, I have since amassed a moderately large collection of lipsticks. Most of them are bold bright reds since that is the colour I wear most often, but since summer hit I have found the red lipstick a bit harder to match with my outfits, so I have added some hot pinks and corals to my collection.

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Lipstick is funny. I mean, I went from being uncomfortable wearing it to now feeling weird without it. I do still own a couple natural/nude shades because sometimes it is fun to shake it up, but in general if I’m not wearing red I’m wearing a bright pink. I’ve been lucky so far because pretty much every shade I have purchased has looked good on me (or so I feel). I don’t do well with more purple-y shades I have found, though I do have a couple that edge towards that blue undertone that still work. I actually seem to be able to wear both red undertones and yellow undertones, though the warmer shades do seem to suit me better. I actually own a couple shades that are damned near orange and absolutely love them. And yet one of my favourite pinks (Milani Fruit Punch) is on the more blue side of things but looks really good. Weird.

 

So after a year of lipsticks I have come to the following conclusions:

  1. Lipstick is super fun to wear, but it isn’t for everyone. It does take effort to make sure you aren’t smearing it all over your face, especially if you are a face-toucher.
  2. For me, matte lipsticks are better than shiny/glossy ones.
  3. It is really easy to justify purchasing a new lipstick, hence my ever growing collection.
  4. Straws are your best friend.
  5. If you wear red lipstick other people seem to think one of two things: That you’re a hussy, or that you are super put together.
  6. NYX and Milani are flipping great brands and oh so affordable. BIG fan.
Depression, General, Health, Outfits, Real Life, Uncategorized

I’ll take my victories wherever I can get them…

Current status:

  • Weight Watchers: Derailed entirely thanks to my being on vacation and out of town for most of the past 2 weeks.
  • Current Weight: Somewhere between a full grown buffalo and a blue whale
  • Depression and Anxiety: VERY poorly managed (but have an appointment to see my doctor about it next week)
  • Coping Mechanisms: Eating my feelings

 

I’m basically a wreck, but I’m still managing to pull myself together enough to look like I’m a functioning human being. I’m really got the whole “fakin’ it” thing down pat. Capture.PNG

General, House, Redecorating, Uncategorized

The Nook is finally done, for real this time

13614947_10157203093885603_2783870602323498588_n
My 2$ decorating solution!

The Nook is done. I feel totally happy with it now and am declaring it a finished room. The main outstanding thing had been the wall above the loveseat. It really needed SOMETHING, and I had been thinking a large mirror, but there is something odd about having a mirror that faces directly out a window opposite it. Then yesterday, while my husband was duitifully cleaning out our garage, I saw these old dollar store plastic screen things I had purchased maybe 8 years ago, back when I was single…

PERFECT!

They are just the thing to break up the wall, add a bit of visual interest, but still keep the impact of the indigo walls. They cost 2$ back in the day when I bought them, so to say this was an inexpensive solution would be an understatement. Seriously, the dollar store can be a solid place for decorating if you are choosy and creative.

The other thing I did was reorganize the plants. The nook gets a TON of sunlight and is a perfect spot to have lots of plants and a sort of lush feel about it. I got a bunch of plants from my parents who arguably had too many and were appreciative of the opportunity to offload some of them. So with those plants, the few very sad plants we had in the old out, and the tall money tree my husband bought to go in the corner (20$!! Thank you Costco!!), we had a good collection to fill that room with. I repotted a bunch of them, dividing the ones that had long since outgrown their pots, and moved some about, and the finished room is pretty wonderful.

General, Health, Marriage, Real Life, Uncategorized

Married couples share everything… including stomach bugs. :(

nosharingMy husband oh so generously infected me with his stomach bug, just in time for him to make a miraculous recovery. I’m glad he’s feeling better but I’m pretty unhappy. Stomach churny and nauseated. Jonathan feels bad for infecting me, but no way could he have known and I know he didn’t intend to. It is just part of sharing a home with people, passing sicknesses back and forth. Luckily Noah is with his bio-mom this week so he should be spared this particular bug. And I will recover, this isn’t the end of the world, but in the mean time I’m working from home today, doing what I can, but I feel pretty crap and don’t anticipate having the most productive day in the world.

A side effect of this bug is that I have sort of let WW go by the wayside while I have been sick, and basically just been focusing on eating what doesn’t make me feel like I’m going to die. On top of that, come this weekend I will be on vacation for a week, and while I will try to make good choices I am well aware that won’t always be possible. Basically, WW is on hold for the next two weeks. 😦

General, Uncategorized, Weight Loss

Up a bit, but I’m not worried.

CaptureUp about a pound and a half this week, and I’m surprisingly fine with it. Why? Well, let me tell you!

  • even with this gain I’m still averaging a 2lb a week loss
  • I weighed in the 250’s earlier this week, which is something I haven’t seen in many months
  • I haven’t been drinking anywhere near enough water and I am bloaty
  • Ladytime is due to start tomorrow and I am bloaty from that too
  • I ate a TON last night and all that food is in my system and undoubtedly weighing me down.

 

Honestly, I’m mostly focusing on the first reason : I am averaging 2lbs a week loss. This is awesome.