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

Spats Complete

20160907_074409
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:

20160907_074307
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.

 

20160907_074254
SPATS!
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.
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.

2016 projects, Uncategorized

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.

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2015 projects, Completed (with project notes), Uncategorized

One Day Rainbow Thrummed Mittens

Ow.

rainbow_midFor real, these mittens shall forever be known as the cause of my inevitable carpal tunnel. The problem isn’t the mittens really, but rather my insane choice to try to knit these mittens in one day. I started them one saturday morning, just casually knitting and managed to finish one by the early/mid afternoon. Plenty of the day left! Maybe I can finish the other one too!

I’m an idiot.

I mean, yes, of course I could. There are lots of things I COULD do, like smash lightbulbs on my face, or shave curse words into cats, but should I? No. No I shouldn’t. I need to stop and think harder over the “SHOULD I” question. Because in this case I probably shouldn’t have.

Signs that I should have stopped:

  • I developed knitting blisters on the sides of my palm where my needle rubs. The solution CLEARLY was to put on protective bandaids to reduce the friction. No thoughts of stopping.

    rainbow_thrums_for_days
    I also had to make all the thrums, which was a feat of its own
  • During the couple “breaks” (and I use that term very very loosely, since the breaks were only long enough to pee or eat something) I found it increasingly difficult and painful to bend some of my fingers.
  • Wrist pain. Wrist pain that started before I had even finished the first mitten and only got worse as the day went on.
  • A cramp in my hip/butt muscles from the weird way I sit when I knit.

Did I heed any of these signs? No. No I did not. These mittens became a matter of knititng HONOUR. I turned in to some sort of weird knitting Klingon, with a fatalistic “Perhaps today is a good day to die!” attitude. Nothing was going to stop me from finishing these mittens in one day.

 

12 hours, over 300 thrums, a handful of Advil, and five bandaids later, I finished them.

rainbow_finished

I spent the day after popping advil and having ice packs on my wrists while my husband repeatedly reminded me that I did this to myself and that that I had no one else to blame for the pain and discomfort I was in. I wasn’t able to knit for days because of the pain in my wrists and fingers, but you know… I’m still proud of having done it. And the mittens are undeniably warm and beautiful. I just love them.

General, Real Life, Uncategorized

I LIIIIIIIVE!!!!

One other change since I last posted is that I now wear red lipstick every day. I know this has precisely zero to do with knitting and utterly uninteresting to anyone else, but hey! It’s exciting to me!

Huge apologies for the epic two month long hiatus. I can give you all sort of explanations why, but for the most part it is because I started a new job. Its a fantastic new job and I love it, but it keeps me extremely busy. And then you factor in that I am going to the gym every day before work (plus an extra advanced level step class after work on Tuesdays)… As you might expect, the evenings usually find me physically and mentally exhausted. I just haven’t had the energy to post. Hell, for the majority of September I hardly picked up my needles! So this all represented quite a big change to my life, and something had to give while I acclimated.

My life is still hectic and exhausting but I’m feeling more used to it now. I’ve decided to make Get Your Knit Together a priority again. This site matters to me, if only just as a diary of all my knitting adventures. I find it really interesting and fun looking back on all my projects. So I’m bringing it back! I likely won’t be able to post multiple times a week like I had been, and instead am going to aim for at least once a week. That should be a much more reasonable and very do-able goal. This less intense posting schedule is also more reflective of how much time I actually have to knit these days. 

And I do still intend to post the patterns for the rest of my tri-blend set. For free, of course!

Coming up soon:

  • My Unemployment Wrap is done and oh so fabulous! And huge. Very huge.
  • Leftover yarn = gorgeous entrelac cowl!
  • My sock yarn blanket is out of hibernation and all kinds of wonderful!
2015 projects, Completed (with project notes), Uncategorized

Unemployment Wrap (aka. Big giant squishy warm thing)

This project felt like a huge undertaking when I started it, which was sort of the point. I started it to mark the end of my near decade in the civil service and the beginning of my private sector career which is a huge undertaking as well. It turns out both the wrap and my major career shift weren’t the big balls of stressy hard work. Both went surprisingly smoothly and I got through quickly and easily in both cases. Go me!

20151102_185208

On to my project notes:

  • Used size 6US needles and 4 balls of Cascade Tangiers in the “Seascape” colourway. I was a bit iffy on the yarn at first but it was fine to work with, it knit up beautifully as entrelac, and it is soft and squishy.
  • Did 10 stitch squares, 6 squares across.
  • Project only took 2 months with me knitting at a VERY slow rate. I could have done it in half that time pretty easily if I was knitting as much as I normally do, but at time I was pretty tuckered out at the end of my work days at my new job and just didn’t have it in me to knit.
  • I had planned on using 5 balls but stopped at 4 because it was over 6 feet long. I didn’t need it to be any longer! It seriously is huge.
  • For my second entrelac project I think it turned out pretty awesomely, and I continue to enjoy using this technique. It really does look cool, and it gets a lot of “How did you do that?” comments from people, both from knitters and non-knitters.
    Worst entrelac fix ever…

    However, I need to make sure I pay more close attention. About halfway through the wrap I somehow doubled back halfway across a row and basically completely screwed things up. My efforts to correct this were huge fails, as the adjacent picture shows. Ultimately had to frog a couple days of work to get back to the point where I made the mistake.

  • entrelac_cowlI used a standard bind off and regret it. The wrap is so stretchy, but that end has exactly zero stretch, so it is a bit wonky. It is one of those things I’m aware of but no one else would notice or care about, I know this, but I am sort of mentally bookmarking this. If the knit is at all stretchy, for the love of god use a stretchy bind off! Doi….
  • I used the remaning ball of yarn to make a cowl for my sister. I think it looks nice but I’m not super duper happy with it. I wish I had knit it at a tighter gauge, and frankly this kind of yarn doesn’t work the best for a cowl. Too drapey/floppy. 😦

Overall I could not be happier with this project. It turned out exactly as I was hoping it would, and I use it every day at work (my new office is chilly so I wear it to stay warm). I works great as a snuggly wrap, but it also looks great as a scarf type thing.

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2015 projects, General, Uncategorized, Yarn

I don’t have the pattern but this is close enough.

I decided that Noro yarn is not for me. I just couldn’t do it, and the feedback I got on it was far from encouraging. The colours are undeniably beautiful but the texture and inconsistent weight of the yarn were problems too big to be willing to roll the dice. A big project like this is not the time to take a risk/leap of faith like that.

Plus, Yarns on York didn’t have much in stock. Calling that a sign from the knitting Gods.

Forgiving their lack of Noro, Yarns on York actually had a much better selection than they previously had! I was actually pretty surprised and impressed. [pullquote]In the past it seemed like over half the store was basic Berroco yarns and very little in the way of fancier, “fun” yarns. Don’t get me wrong, Berroco is a lovely yarn and has its place, but it isn’t exactly exciting. Anyway, this time they had tons of new and different yarns, lots if different colours and textures and weights. Their fun sock yarn selection was expanded too! I was extremely pleased.[/pullquote]

20150829_134113In amongst all the fancy new selection I found a yarn I has never heard of before – Cascade Tangier. Lovely soft feel, silk/cotton blend, and pretty long colour changes. It is a little rustic looking, it has some texture, which normally isn’t my thing, but the sample they had knit up was really nice. I went with the “seascapes”, the thought being the greens and teal and greys would be more wearable than a rainbow colorway. I bought five balls and called it day.

Now, about my project…

In my last post I referenced the Lady Eleanor pattern, but I had two issues with it:

  1. The pattern isn’t available online.
  2. I didn’t really understand why it needed a pattern. It is just basic entrelac knit into a big rectangle!

Okay, I assume there is probably more to the pattern than just basic entrelac, but I can’t see what. So me, I decided to just wing it and just make a rectangular entrelac wrap!  And so I have!

20150902_160800

Man, this yarn is exceeding my expectations. The colours are working up really beautifully as entrelac, and it is lovely and soft. It is also working up pretty quickly. So, so far so good!