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.
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