But Wait! There’s More

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas around here without a few pairs of socks and other stuff for feet, and the push was on in the last few days to get all the footwear out the door.  I made my deadline for all of them, excepting one pair, and I’ll show you those soon. (They’re done, I swear it.)

First up, two pairs of French Press Slippers, knit out of Cascade 220 in a colour I can’t remember right now. Mouse brown, really.

My mum and Amanda are both addicted to these, and they were both wearing sad, worn out specimens,   my only regret about these is that I didn’t make three pairs, because my feet are pretty cold.

Next up, Ken’s annual pair of Christmas Socks.  I think I’ve just about met my goal of keeping him in handknit socks all winter,  and all I need to do now is come up with a pair or two per season to replace any that wear out.

He’s good to his socks, so they last a long time, despite a ton of wear, and that means he deserves the good stuff.  This is String Theory Continuum – knit in my standard toe-up recipe to preserve the width of the stripes. 

It almost hurt to give them to him.  If we didn’t have a 30 year friendship I wouldn’t have been able to do it.

Last, but certainly not least, Joe’s Christmas socks. Remember the problem I had?  I’d decided to "stretch" the yarn I was using (Valley Yarn’s Huntington in the poetically named "grey") because two skeins wasn’t enough for his big feet, high insteps and preferred leg length.  I used some leftovers from a previous pair to put in stripes on the leg, and stripes on the foot to give me the extra. (Pattern: my sock recipe from Knitting Rules.)

Problem is that at some point after I’d used the contrast for three instances of the stripes (leg, foot, leg) the little ball had gone walkabout… never to return. (I’m reasonably sure it’s under a hotel room bed in Northampton MA)  Joe’s way too much of a plain dresser to go for stripes of a different colour on the second foot, so I came up with another plan.

I ripped back the foot of the finished first sock (that’s heartbreaking, a few days before Christmas, let me tell you) and reclaimed the little bit of contrast.  Then I found another yarn that matched, although it wasn’t the same, and worked that in. 

It worked pretty well I think, especially since I don’t think Joe knows it wasn’t my intention all along, and it gave him matching socks that aren’t too wild, just the way he likes them.  I was pretty hard to buck the instinct to say it was okay to have them not match, especially at midnight on Christmas Eve.

Finally, two points to those of you who noticed that the sweater for Myrie has matching pants, hat and bootees.  (I’m not really giving away points. I don’t  know why I said that. Fresh out of segueways.)
I’d originally planned to do them, but then Christmas got the better of me, and I changed the plan and left them out, but the wave of guilt I felt last night reading your comments got me back on it. 

I’m at least going to do the hat and bootees. That’s the hat there, brim done (except for the miles of duplicate stitch)  We’ll see about the pants.  I’m sort of worn out on pastel baby stuff, no matter how cute, and my annual bout of Startitis is in full swing.  It’s all I can do not to set projects from last year on fire, never mind knit them. 

What am I going to do instead?  

Now that the tree is down, the wheel is back in it’s spot, and it’s calling me.  
(That roving may or may not be what I spin. I reserve the right to be fickle.)

46 thoughts on “But Wait! There’s More

  1. Right you are. Denny’s (it is Denny’s, isn’t it?) rule about not knitting grey in February applies to white in January, too. Hat, check. Booties, check. Colors to run through the fingers twice, once spinning, once knitting, checkety doo-dah. (Knitting ladybugs and spinning pastels, myself — topsy to your turvey.)

  2. Definitely the hat. Babies in Canadian winters seem to live in sleepers, so while the booties are very cute, they may not be essential. But a hat is essential. Good thinking.

  3. This is only a little related to your post, but: After a year (two?) of leaving sporadic comments on your blog to say that you inspired me to want to learn to spin, I am finally learning to spin! I got some generous gift cards for Christmas this year and bought my first spindle and a pound and a half of basic white wool (2 kinds). I’m already warning my husband that should I get as addicted as I think I will, I’ll be hinting at a wheel for next Christmas :)

  4. Regarding Ken’s socks you mentioned, and I quote, “knit in my standard toe-up recipe to preserve the width of the stripes.” What does this mean? How does cuff down not preserve the width of the stripes? I love your blog and look forward to reading each post. Many times it’s the highlight of my day. Thanks for your time and efforts!

  5. Do what you want, I say! I’m saying it to everybody because I too have trashed everything I was working on, and the stuff I “should” be working on like the Chloe cardigan for my sister. Should because she bought me the yarn and wants it for her birthday (March). But it’s January and everything is possible, so I threw everything into a pile in the corner to ignore and dug out some laceweight to make the Evenstar Shawl. I’m not sorry and neither should you be!

  6. I love seeing all your Christmas knits! I really like how your handled the mismatched socks, although that must have been hard to rip back that finished sock.

  7. Totally fun to see your Christmas knitting!! Cute/handsome stuff…I’ll have to show my husband your guy socks. The ones I made him go to the bottom of the drawer and he only wears them when he runs out of all his other socks. Men, gotta laugh!

  8. Totally fun to see your Christmas knitting!! Cute/handsome stuff…I’ll have to show my husband your guy socks. The ones I made him go to the bottom of the drawer and he only wears them when he runs out of all his other socks. Men, gotta laugh!

  9. Beautiful, as always. You had me for a minute. I thought you were going to tell us you were working on Joe’s Gurnsey. Spinning it is, that seems much more like you. ;)

  10. Looks fantastic!
    I did the exact same thing – I felted a pair of slippers the night of the 22nd (as my hubby-to-be (the recipient) was flying in the evening of the 23rd…)…But they were dry! I was very happy. Closest I’ve cut it with Christmas knitting for awhile!
    Katie =^..^=

  11. Looks fantastic!
    I did the exact same thing – I felted a pair of slippers the night of the 22nd (as my hubby-to-be (the recipient) was flying in the evening of the 23rd…)…But they were dry! I was very happy. Closest I’ve cut it with Christmas knitting for awhile!
    Katie =^..^=

  12. A question occurred to me yesterday. After you’ve done such a masterful job of knitting do you sew some sort of tag in the item? Especially as we are all agreed that it is an heirloom.

  13. Thank you Janice C.! I was just wondering about the Dr Who Scarf myself. I was just getting ready to search the archives to see if I missed when she gave that away. I’m also wondering about a picture of the finished black/grey scarf that wasn’t a Christmas present – what we saw before looked awesome but I’m hoping for a picture of the FO.

  14. Love your work! and just to help with the startitis – the Olympics are less than a month away, so are you planning another sweater??? :)

  15. Joe’s socks are particularly spectacular this year. I always feel like the universe has helped me with the design work when I let the yarn last as long as it would like and then roll with it. There are many delicious layers of color happening.

  16. I sit here knitting white…. in January… to match the snow outside…
    I think my next project will be rainbows and ponies (not white ones) and flowers and butterflies. :)

  17. Worth waiting for! Anyone who can face miles of duplicate stitch has my respect forever.
    Were the Ken striped socks afterthought heels? Which cast off? Most excellent socks!

  18. Beautiful! French Press has never appealed to me before. WOW! Just so you know – karmic balance is in effect. My friend Whitney has a serious case of finishitupitis. So all is well.

  19. I think Joe’s socks are really cool! Very creative! And, dude, we haven’t seen any spinning porn from you for a while. Spin away!!!

  20. I love the slippers, too – gives an excuse to buy those great vintage bakelite buttons. Baby leggings are apparently popular in Iowa – have begun adding a pair to every baby gift I make after having them requested so often. I tell myself it would be smart to knit a Christmas gift every month, but something for myself is winning out this month. Love everything you made in 2013 – what a lucky family you have!

  21. Oooh! Roving pretty! Spin roving, make pretty yarn! That really is a pretty roving. I think I’d like to see what gorgeous yarn you spin it into. (I know, but I’ve got a pretty bad case of startitis myself)

  22. Happy new year!! Lou’s sweater in previous blog posts is just the old man sweater that suites him he seems like an old soul. Glad you had a great levee now Cuba fills my mind. The christmas knitting looks wonderful I am now trying my hand at a sock pattern soooo excited my family does not share my excitement you must feel my pain I get so excited and wah nothing but I am a true knitter and will not be dismayed by kna- Sayers( knitting pun intended) have a great January !!! Happy knitting all!

  23. Great save on Joe’s socks! Not even did you get them finished, you made them just that tiny bit wilder that they would have been!
    Ken’s socks and the slippers look fantastic, too. In fact, Ken’s might inspire me to knit a pair for myself. Let’s see. . .I know there is some black yarn and some dark barn red in the stash. . .maybe some burnt orange for the third color?

  24. Every time I see those slippers on your blog, I’m so tempted…this just might be the time I fall and, Startitis being highly contagious, I’m looking through my stash for wool.

  25. Yes, please. A toe up sock recipe to go along with the top down Knitting Rules recipe that I use for my socks. It is the best!

  26. I was sent to your site by one of my students who knits. I’m not a knitter, I’m a potter. In fact, I’m the impatient potter and when I tried knitting I wound up leaving my first attempt during a transatlantic flight, in the little pocket in front of the airline seat. I had hoped someone would rescue my tragic beginnings including needles, pattern and all and carry on with better luck.
    But I can still participate in the art of knitting from the wings. I’ve made buttons out of stoneware clay for my knitting friends at it was suggested that I share the with you. Happy to send you a card to see what you think about them.

  27. I was sent to your site by one of my students who knits. I’m not a knitter, I’m a potter. In fact, I’m the impatient potter and when I tried knitting I wound up leaving my first attempt during a transatlantic flight, in the little pocket in front of the airline seat. I had hoped someone would rescue my tragic beginnings including needles, pattern and all and carry on with better luck.
    But I can still participate in the art of knitting from the wings. I’ve made buttons out of stoneware clay for my knitting friends at it was suggested that I share the with you. Happy to send you a card to see what you think about them.

  28. I was sent to your site by one of my students who knits. I’m not a knitter, I’m a potter. In fact, I’m the impatient potter and when I tried knitting I wound up leaving my first attempt during a transatlantic flight, in the little pocket in front of the airline seat. I had hoped someone would rescue my tragic beginnings including needles, pattern and all and carry on with better luck.
    But I can still participate in the art of knitting from the wings. I’ve made buttons out of stoneware clay for my knitting friends and it was suggested that I share them with you. Happy to send you a card to see what you think about them.

  29. Stephanie, I just want to give you a big heartfelt “Thank You!” for all the published books and countless blog entries (and photos) that you have spent your time on to entertain your fans. You are truly a cornerstone in the fiber community. May you and your family be forever blessed.

  30. I too finished Christmas knitting on 23rd December – husbands new gansey – that is the latest I ever finished, but it was blocked and he wore it on the day. Congratulations to us both! Best wishes for 2014

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