Posts Tagged ‘shoes’

Today I thought I would sort out my stash before I headed to the yarn store to pick up the Noro I need. *ahem* I also thought I just might have a ball stashed somewhere but that turned out to be a negative. I couldn’t even find the remnants of the ball I had used to make the handwarmers my daughter lost. Lost, I tell you. That is no way to treat a pair of hand-knit mitts. Poor things. Dropped on a cold sidewalk near the Christie Pits in Toronto. Abandoned in the dark, lonely city. I hope someone found them and is enjoying their warmth.

I started with the boxes of yarn I had in our home office/sewing room. There are about eight boxes of various sizes here. I put them here because they were the yarns that I had projects for and I thought if they were close by I would be able to just go from one project to the next. The problem with that is that I am me and not someone who is, you know, organized so I just put them in boxes without labelling them and without any indication of what project they were for. So there am I surrounded by yarn, hopelessly trying to remember what it was for. In these situations husbands/partners/children/MIL’s/neighbours are completely useless. I fail to understand how those closest to me could tell me, with a straight face no less, that I had not informed them about what that yarn was to be used for. And then for my husband to tell me that I should have put a picture of the project in the box…

I decided, since I couldn’t remember what it was for, that it was now free yarn and therefore available to make whatever I wanted from it. But before I did that I thought it would be a good idea to gather all the balls of the same yarn together to see how much I had. So that started a search through the house for all the errant balls that I had put aside to do some test knitting with. What I didn’t expect to find was about 12 bags of various sock yarns that I absolutely do not remember buying. Some of it was gifted to me, that I remember, but I really don’t remember buying so much of the Fleece Artist BFL sock yarn. I seem to have acquired 1 ball of the Red Fox colourway, 1 ball of the Cosmic Dawn colourway, 1 ball of Frozen Ocean, 1 ball of Puffin, and 1 ball of Spruce. I know nothing about this yarn, I have never knit with it, it’s not my usual sock yarn but there it is in my stash. Someone is going to get some nice socks for Christmas, I think.

The problem with a stash is that it’s kind of like a Tardis, it’s bigger on the inside. The more I dug out of it the more there seemed to be hiding behind things, in cupboards, in knitting bags, in storage bins, and in reusable grocery store bags. I even found a sweaters worth of some garish yellow Caron Sheep(ish) yarn. There is nothing wrong with this yarn. It’s perfectly good yarn but yellow? Seriously? On me? That colour would make me look like I’d been at sea too long. I don’t know what I was thinking.

I also found some balls of Red Heart Eco-Ways Bamboo/Wool yarn – four balls of Peacock and four balls of a red colour – some balls of Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in various colours, and some balls of Loops & Threads Luxury Sock yarn in various colourways. Now I know what you are thinking and you are right. I am boycotting Michael’s and Michael’s sells these yarns and Loops & Threads is their exclusive yarn and I’m a bloody hypocrite for going there and buying that stuff. But wait! This is stuff I picked up on sale before they pissed me off. I think the sock yarn is self-evident but what the other yarns were for I haven’t a clue.

Then I have a box of Paton’s Classic Merino Wool, a box of miscellaneous cotton, a box of Sirdar yarns from when a yarn store went out of business, a box of Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud; a box of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes; a bag of Rowan Kidsilk Haze; a couple of skeins of some really nice merino that has no label on it in pink which is a colour I would never wear so I can only assume they were for someone else; two skeins of the same yarn in purple; a couple of skeins of some mohair/wool yarn I picked up at the Royal Winter Fair a few years ago; four skeins of some llama wool I picked up at the Royal Winter Fair; some recycled cotton/linen yarn I got from the thrift store; a couple of thrift store sweaters made of some beautiful silk/angora blend that I intend to repurpose; about 24 balls of Kroy sock yarn (don’t judge me); a sweaters worth of Knit Picks Gloss; a couple of bags of Knit Picks Andean Treasure; a sweaters worth of Jo Sharps Silk Road in the Highland colourway…

Lots and lots of wool. Wool everywhere and it doesn’t end there. I found in the deep, dark recesses of the basement a bin full of acrylic yarn from when my kids were small. I used to make them sweaters from it because they would wear them everyday if they could and acrylic really can take that kind of abuse. So I found about six skeins of some kind of Knit and Save “mohair” and a lot of Astra. Then there is the box of tapestry yarn that I put away when I couldn’t get the size of tapestry fabric I needed to complete a project I was working on. And then there is the cotton crochet thread I use for summer socks, not the really fine thread, about a medium weight. And a box of White Buffalo pure virgin wool. And some skeins of some sort of wool that still has the lanolin in that I think I was going to use to make a waterproof sweater for my dog.

And it doesn’t end there. I still have to go through the closet in the bedroom and a cupboard in the family room. I’m afraid to do that because I have the sneaky suspicion I will find more than just wool hoarded in there. I have a feeling that there are shoes in that cupboard. And I don’t want to think about them. If I have to deal with boxes of shoes then I’m going to have to admit I also have a shoe addiction and since I already admitted to a yarn addiction some people will be thinking that I am right bonkers and then I would have to admit they have a point and I would have to do something about it. And if I am forced to deal with my yarn and shoe addictions, is my make-up addiction far behind? And what about my addiction to books? And magazines? Good grief, people, is nothing sacred?

The end result in this whole foray into the black hole of my stash is that I crammed it all back where it came from, half-heartedly put labels on the outside of the bins, kissed some of it longingly and promised that I would make something of it one day, and pretended it was a lot smaller than it is. If I don’t then I won’t be able to justify what is surely going to happen on Friday when I head out to the Wool bin looking for one, maybe two, or three balls of Noro Silk Garden.

If you happen to be in Oakville on Friday and you see a red Hyundai Elantra careening down the road filled with yarn and a small red-headed woman driving, please be good enough not to point and laugh. I would really hate to have to run you off the road.


Hello. My name is Sheila and I have an addiction. To be precise I have several addictions. Ok, I have 22 addictions but that’s it. At least that’s all I’m admitting to anyway. My friends might have a different count but that is their problem. My problem is that if I like something I quickly become addicted to it. Hence the reason I’m not still 97lbs. soaking wet – I discovered I actually like food. Ok, that’s not the reason, I still ate, and ate a ton, when I was skinny, the fact is I was a lot younger and burned through calories like a flame thrower through paper. I couldn’t keep weight on. *sigh* Those were the days.

Well, that went a bit off from where I wanted to go. Let’s see…addictions. Oh, yes. I guess the reason I have so many addictions is because of my short-attention span. No, I’m not ADHD, it’s just that I only have a finite amount of years left and I’m trying to cram as much stuff in it as I can. So in order to do that, I have to multi-task. And that can be downright amusing even to myself.

One thing I have to confess, though, is I’m not addicted to housework. That kind of gets ignored until the dust bunnies start raiding the fridge and eating all the lettuce. The real bunny gets annoyed. Right now there is laundry piling up, the floor needs a good vacuum, I have to sort through boxes of stuff that we boxed up a couple of years ago when we thought we would have to sell the house (I won’t mention that the reason I have to go through those boxes is because we might have to sell the house before the new year if neither of us gets jobs), bookshelves need tidying and the whole place needs de-webbing. It’s bad when the spiders start having to fight for corner space. But, these things get done eventually and in two days it will be back the way it is now so no hurry.

But the things I’m really addicted to are:

1.) knitting. Love, love, love knitting. Love the feeling I get when I finish something and someone says how lovely it is and they are surprised I made it myself…hey! Are they implying I’m too dim to make myself a sweater? Or that they didn’t know people still did that? Or that they are surprised I’m capable of making anything let alone a sweater? Ok, I will give them that last point. But more on that for another time. I am also starting to realize I have startitis right now. I have THE sweater to finish (the one I was making for a party), a shrug (making for same party), a pair of socks, and a lace cardigan on the needles right now. I’m also looking at some very pretty yarn I have to make another very pretty shrug to go over the dress I wore to the party yesterday because, well, you know a person can’t have too many ufo’s after all. I will get them all done but these things take time you know.

2.) The Good Wife. A tv show about a lawyer. But, wait! It’s more than that. It’s about a married lawyer whose husband cheated on her and ran for governor and won largely due to her composure and her support-my-man attitude and because she hates to have her dirty laundry aired for everyone to see but before she forgives him she is hired by the law firm her former never-consumated-the-relationship-due-to-bad-timing wannabe lover is a partner at and she takes up where they left off and has a fling with him but realizes it wasn’t a smart idea and breaks up with him and goes back to her husband only to betray the witless ex-lover by leaving the firm and starting her own because she got pissed off at the way they treated people who worked for them but before she left she had been fantasizing about their fling so who knows why she really left and if they will get back together again. *Whew!* Anyway, I love this show! I love Julianna Margulies’ (Alicia Florrick) character, I love Chris Noth’s (Peter Florrick, Alicia’s husband) chemistry with Julianna Margulies’ character, I love Alan Cumming’s (Eli Gold) character, I love Archie Panjabi’s (Kalinda Sharma) character, and I love Christine Baranski’s (Diane Lockhart) character but I hate Josh Charles’ character (Will Gartner). Hate him with a passion. Icky-poo. But, again, this is best left to another day.

3.) Canning and jam-making. This year we made 18 jars of jam from different fruits, 4 jars of mixed pickles, 8 jars of morello cherries, and 8 jars of dill pickles. This is more than we did last year. Hopefully next year we will make more.

4.) Shoes. I love shoes. If the house ever burst into flames, I would save the animals first and then run back into the burning house for my shoes. I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love Irregular Choice shoes? Well, I do. And I love these the best and one of these days I shall own a pair and then my life will be complete. Ok, maybe not. But I will be happy until they come out with something even better which will be in a couple of months. Unless, of course, I change my mind and decide to go with these little babies. Or maybe these. I won’t mention my absolute devotion to Lamb shoes simply because I can’t afford them but I drool over them every time I see them. Then there is Bottega Veneta (these ones in particular) but unless that guy from Kenya really is my long-lost uncle, my toes will never see the inside of any of their shoes.

5.) Reading. I’m currently reading The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker and Bring Me The Head Of Prince Charming by Roger Zelazny. And I just finished The Accident by Linwood Barkley. I tried reading the Game of Thrones but just could not connect with the characters, mostly because of the disjointed storyline. But I love the TV series. I have discovered that I am really not allowed to be in a store, be it a thrift store or book store, unsupervised. I will come home with an arm load of those things. I love the smell of them, the feel of them and the words, mostly, that come off of them. I love cookbooks, history books, novels, old science or medical books. Just about anything except romance or chick-lit. Personally I find it pretty insulting to have a special section called “chick-lit” and then to see how they define that term…

6.) Bad TV sit-coms. That is worth a couple of posts some other time.

7.) Love this site. It is so useful for sussing out a pattern. If I see something I like in one of the magazines, I go over to Ravelry and look it up then look at what others have done with it. So nifty for people like me who are not quite perfect because you get to see the sweater or whatever on real people, unlike Vogue who routinely puts their sweaters on women you wouldn’t be able to see if they stood sideways. Never mind that half their patterns are unwearable anyway. I don’t remember it always being that way, in fact I have old magazines where just about all the sweaters would look good on a real live human being. The last years (2013) issues haven’t been too bad, a couple of horrendous “inspirations” that make you wonder who was bribed, but nothing too ridiculous. I stopped buying Vogue though, got tired of paying for half a magazine. Actually I stopped buying a lot of magazines thanks to Ravelry. I can find whatever I’m looking for there, view it on a lot of different people, read about the problems/modifications people had/made and decide if I want to go for it. Much better on the old budget as well.

8.) Music. I love music. I love music so much that I actually had been writing for another blog but took what was supposed to be a temporary leave-of-absence while I sorted out my part-time job but has ended up being a lot longer leave than I intended. I will be getting back into it though. There is too much good stuff out there being ignored for me to keep quiet for much longer. I like singer/songwriters/folk/folk-rock/indie/electronica the best. And anything from Manchester from the late ’80s to the early ’90s pretty much makes my heart go pitty-pat.

9.) My cats but I’m not a crazy cat lady. I don’t dress them, or the dog, up in costumes or clothes, well there was the time I put a sweater on Mac but he looked so darn cute, and there are the pictures of Pete with Christmas lights on. And there may be one with a ribbon tied around his neck. And a couple of others of him in various holiday paraphernalia. But other than that. I do love my cats because they were rescued from the barn my daughter worked at when they were only 5 days old. The mother had 9 babies and try as she might she just couldn’t feed them all and so we took the three smallest. We bottle-fed them and burped them and cleaned their little bums and coddled them and spoiled them until they grew up into giant pains-in-the-butt. But I love them anyway. I also love our found bunny, Ruby. Poor thing. We found her on the side of the road in August looking like she needed a good meal. Now she is into everything and we wonder sometimes if maybe that was how she ended up on the side of the road. And we have 3 degus (they are like miniature chinchillas) who keep me up at night fighting over their wheel.

10.) Make-up. I love make-up but make-up doesn’t love me. When I was younger I could wear whatever I wanted and I did. Now I can wear Almay, Quo and Tarte and that’s about it. Clinique, even though it says it’s hypoallergenic, makes me break out and my eyes itch. I would so wear the eye make-up you see in ads if only it wouldn’t make my eyes swell to the size of golf balls. You know the stuff I mean. Like this, which when I think of it is almost exactly how I did my eyes last night, or this or this. A bit dramatic you say? Certainly and I wouldn’t wear it during the day but for those occasions when I had to go out to a party or event? I would be right on that. Now due to my allergies I have to be careful about how much I put on and what products I use. Sad, sad days for a make-up junkie like me.

Well, that’s my top 10 addictions, not necessarily in any order just how they came off the top of my head. I haven’t touched on clothes, or thrift store finds, or kitchen gadgets, or grocery stores, or gourmet food stores, or British shops, or pet stores, or Homesense, or Winners,or Dollarama, or George Clooney…there are so many interesting things out there I don’t know how to be bored. Mind you I mostly window shop right now because both my husband and I are looking for work but looking is free and other than the lip marks I leave on certain items, it’s mostly harmless.

See that link above? That is the link to the Ravelry page that shows what top I am knitting for my Christmas party. Isn’t it pretty? It’s so pretty in fact that I’m altering just about everything about it. And with four days to go I think that’s just about the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

I’m not a fan of the rounded neckline in front so I decided I would do a boat neck. Then I thought, well if I’m going for a boat neck what if I add a little modified cowl to the neckline? So I’m at the point where I will have to start increasing for a small cowl and I can’t decide if it’s going to be too much or not. After all I’m adding 3/4″ lace sleeves to it. And did I mention I have four days to finish it. That means in real terms three days. Three days to finish the knitting and block it. One day to sew it together and wear it. Totally doable. Lace isn’t difficult and not time-consuming. Not at all.

So I’m sure I can finish the front tonight, if I can decide whether or not to add a slight drape to the neckline. And then I can block it and get started on the back tomorrow. The lace shouldn’t take that long, after all I am a perfect knitter and never make mistakes. *cough* I will take advantage of the liberal use of lifelines, for sure. I really don’t want to have to pull out eight or nine rows if I don’t have to. Been there, done that already on the back. Did I mention about dropped stitches? Usually not a problem, a crochet hook and Bob’s your Uncle (unless your uncle is named James, then I guess it’s James’ your uncle). But this time, against all logic, I managed to drop an end stitch and because the sides curled I didn’t notice it until I was at the armhole shaping. Not really knowing how to pick up an end stitch and not really wanting to take the time to look it up, I just ripped it all back. But now that I think of it it really would have been quicker to look it up. Ah well, 20/20 hindsight. And I probably won’t think of it next time I drop an end stitch either. It always takes me two or three times before I learn my lesson. At least I’m consistent.

I was thinking I might take a look through my pattern stitch library and see if I could come up with an equally lovely lace pattern but one that is perhaps a little simpler. Something that wouldn’t require me to look at a chart every time I change rows. But then part of the reason I like this sweater is for the lace pattern. It’s open enough to be called lace but dense enough to cover a bra band. And since my braless days are far, far, far behind me this is an important design detail. I really don’t think anyone at my table would have much of an appetite after seeing me swinging in the breeze. So in an effort to avoid any awkward moments and in an effort in attempting to exhibit good taste, I will be wearing a bra.

I am using this yarn in “Sapphire” and so far am really happy with the results. It has a nice sheen and very nice drape and is soft and knits up quickly. All things I really like especially the knitting up quickly. I think that the silk (30%) will be warm enough without making me sweat and the bamboo will keep me comfortable without being clingy. Important when you want the fabric to skim over some of the bumps. And it also has nice stitch definition so even though there is a lot of drape the lace won’t get pulled out of shape and hang limply. So far so good. I like the colour as well, it’s a good colour for someone with red hair and blue eyes.

I want to pair this with a nice black pencil skirt, black tights and I have several pairs of really nice shoes that I could wear with it. The one pair I adore but I don’t think they would work are a pair of Max Azria silver platform shoes that have brown leather trim. Not sure the brown leather will go. The other pair is by Irregular Choice, my absolute favourite shoe manufacturer because their shoes are always funky, flirty and, well, odd-ball which pretty much describes me. These shoes are black, peep-toe with a little bow on the toe but they also have cream and brown detail on the platform. I think it might not be as obvious as on the Max Azrias but something to consider when trying them on with the whole outfit. The last pair I would consider are a pair of Guess satin shoes: they have a peep-toe, are sling-backs and have a rose on the toes of the shoes. Hmmm, wait a minute I also have another pair of Irregular Choice shoes that are black suede with a dark grey flower across the toe that I should seriously look at wearing. They aren’t the most comfortable but since there is generally no dancing I should be fine in them. Yes, indeedy they just may be the ticket.

I guess the last thing to consider is hair and make-up. I love, love, love make-up and wish I could wear the bright eyeshadows now in vogue but I also have mega allergies which means a lot of them would make my eyes puff out like marshmallows. I could take an antihistamine but then I couldn’t drink which, quite frankly, is part of the reason to go to these things. If you can’t take advantage of a free bar then you’re a pretty sad party goer if you ask me. Especially if you are as socially awkward as I am. Once I get through with the small talk I pretty much sit there like a bump on a log. Usually I excuse myself and go to the bathroom for an hour, hyperventilating. That’s where the booze comes in handy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t get hammered, it is a company party and I can’t afford to embarrass myself in front of my boss but a couple or three shots of tequila and a gin/cranberry juice that I can nurse all night is usually all I need to loosen up a bit.

My hair is short so the choices are limited as to what to do with it. I thought of doing pin curls all over because I’m thinking I like this look. I really like drama and when my hair was long I used to do it in pin curls for special events. My hair is longish on top but short back and sides so this is kind of the look I want. Combine that with some kind of dramatic make-up and hopefully I should be able to look somewhat decent. I have to do something dramatic with my make-up since I wear glasses. Removing them is not an option unless I want to emerge from a cake the bad way. I really don’t think anyone would approve of me falling into the wine fountain and being a vegetarian means that I could make a very horrible mistake if I can’t see what is in the buffet. I would so do it like the one pictured top left if my lids didn’t droop and sag. When I was younger I would have worn my make-up like that in a heart beat, now there are things to consider.

It’s funny. When the invitations first went out I thought, “Crap, another uncomfortable evening spent doing what is expected of me. Good old company team player, that’s me.” But now I’m starting to look forward to it. I mean, I like the people I work with. I know they see me as less of a boss and more like an equal and, after all, this is really for the volunteers I supervise and not so much for me. It’s important for me to let them know that I support them and appreciate all the hard work they do for me. So, hopefully I will finish this damn sweater by the 19th, if not I’ll still have to finish it and then wear it grocery shopping because I’ll be damned if it will sit in the closet after all the math I’ve had to use calculating the adjustments that have to be made to get the fit I want. Let alone the sweat and sore wrists from speed knitting. Don’t know if I’m brave enough to post pictures once I get it all done but I’ll be sure to post about it unless, of course, it turns into an unmitigated disaster. Then I just might change my name and deny any knowledge of this whole incident.