Saturday, October 19, 2013

June Gardens socks

Many years ago (nearly a decade already?) when I was a beginning knitter, there was an amazing yarn dyer in Edmonton named Virginia vanSanten.  I used to admire her yarns in the shops and dream of knitting with something so wonderful and beautiful.  I bought some of her yarn for a shawl once (Ravelry link) and loved every moment of knitting it.  Some time after that, I found out from one of the LYS owners that she had passed away.  It was a palpable thing, to know that such an amazing fiber artist was gone.  Suddenly the few skeins of her yarn that I had left seemed so precious.

These socks represent the only skein of her sock-weight yarn that I had in my stash.  I held onto it all these years, but finally decided that I would do it justice by knitting it, more than I would by keeping it in storage.  The colourway was called June Gardens, but I've always felt that it was more of an autumn colourway, with all that orange and red.  Perhaps her garden was full of marigolds and roses.

I did my usual toe-up sock recipe, a 68-stitch circumference on 2.25mm needles, but for the afterthought heel I did something a bit different: a star heel with decreases in the round, since I felt like that would reflect the shape of my heel more than the usual way (simply reversing toe shaping.)  If the center of the star heel doesn't feel weird when I wear them, I may do this for heels from now on.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Holmes to my Watson

A couple of years ago, I knitted a pair of Elementary Watson socks for my dad, and they were a lot of fun to knit and turned out very nice.  When I had occasion to knit a pair of men's socks for another man in my life, I could have gone another route and tried something new, but as he is an avid Sherlock fanboy, I knew that these ones would be the right choice (again.)

I once again relied on the kindness of SweetGeorgia to supply me with a beautiful colour, this time a fairly solid slate grey, and went to work.  I went down a needle size, since I found them to be a bit biggish last time, at the recommended gauge.

Note to self: men's socks take ages, since their feet are even bigger than mine.

In the end, the socks are lovely and pretty perfect for the recipient, so hopefully he'll love them as much as I enjoyed knitting them.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I've been meaning for ages to knit myself a little sleeve for coffee to-go cups, since I keep burning my hands trying to carry my cup of Timmie's to work.  I hate the paper waste from getting a second cup to insulate, so I never do, but I also hate burning myself.  Every time I get a coffee, I think "oh yeah, I should knit one of those when I get home" but I never remember.

It just so happens that I've been spending a lot of money at The Loopy Ewe this summer (and have been ordering yarn from there for a friend, as well, to save on shipping.)  They have just started up a new customer reward program this year, and with the amount we have spent, I got (among other things) a little teeny ball of yarn and a little pattern for a coffee cup sleeve.  Perfect.

I knit it up in an hour or so, over (yet another episode of) Doctor Who.  It works like a charm.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Where Do They Get Those Wonderful Toys

Devoted followers of my blog may have noticed that I changed my profile info on the right to reflect that we are no longer a "no pets" household, but rather have taken a couple of feline ladies into our home, as of a couple of months ago.

The two of them, Bela and Lily, are beautiful Devon Rex girls, a momma and daughter, who needed a new place to stay, and while it can be a bit of a trial sometimes having two more roommates in the place, they are also a joy to have around, all warm and soft and purring.

As a crafter, I of course began to think of cool things I could make for them (which is not to say I've restrained from spoiling them by buying loads of readymade stuff) and one day a while back I dug out some fabric and quilt batting and threw together a little basket for them to take naps in.

Since it's made of some cool Batman fabric, we've dubbed it the Batsket, and the girls don't seem to mind the silly name.  I often find them curled up together in it, and as you can see, it can be hard to tell where one starts and the other ends.