FO Spotlight: Boot Cuffs for V Day

Okay, folks, I’m not big on Valentine’s Day. I’m not trying to be a scrooge or to rain on anyone’s love parade or anything. I’m pro-love and pro-expression-of-said-love. I’m just not on board with a more or less commercially born holiday that dictates when I must do this. However, I do live in this world and I am married to someone more fond of Valentine’s Day than I am*. So, since I love the wifey, I mustered up a little participation this year. She asked for some boot cuffs so I found a couple of patterns I thought looked good, matched up some yarn possibilities, and put my test knitting on a brief hold and made the woman some boot cuffs.

The rundown

Pattern: UGG HUG Boot Toppers by Alexandra Davidoff

Yarn: Just under one skein of Cascade 220. This particular color reeeeeally looks like Quatro, but isn’t. The label doesn’t say one thing about Quatro, just 220. I half wonder if it predates Quatro as the label looks like one of the old ones. The yarn came to me as part of my recent freecycle haul.

Size made: One (adult)

Needles: US8s for the body and 11s for the bind off

Techniques used: Longtail cast on, standard cast off, cabling

Modifications: Omitted one row in the initial ribbing (by mistake on the first one, noticed it on the second) and omitted one row in the final ribbing (on purpose to come in under 220 yards).

Ravelled: here

The Pretty

The close up pic shows the colors more accurately. I do like how these turned out, however they are a little on the loose side. I didn’t check gauge as I figured there’d be enough stretch to the pattern that it wouldn’t matter a ton if it wasn’t exactly right. There is stretch to it, but not a ton of recoil. The ribbing/cable pattern is 4×4 so there’s not as much recoil as there would be with a 1×1 or 2×2 rib and I didn’t take that into account. I will try to block them again and see if I can scrunch the ends up a bit and convince them to be a little stretchier.

Otherwise, I really like how the yarn and the pattern work together. It’s one of those situations where you don’t know how it’s going to turn out until you try it. The cables look much more complicated than they are. This would be a great first cable project! If I used this pattern again, I would probably omit one of the cable repeats for a slightly snugger fit.

When I asked the wifey what color she wanted, she gave me two answers. So, I decided that meant two pairs of boot cuffs. I was hoping to have the second pair done sometime on the 14th but I didn’t quite make it (haha…get it? Didn’t quite make it?). I did, however, manage to get one cast off so maybe tomorrow (technically today as it’s past midnight here) sometime I’ll get the second one done. Here’s Sammy helping to display the first one:

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This one is a heavily modified version of Helmikuu Boot Toppers. I’m not as happy with this pattern but I’m happy with what I came up with. If I had looked ahead a little more thoroughly, I would have done some things differently from the start. The pattern produces a cuff that is about 5″ tall, which I don’t think is long enough to be able to fold over and have stay in place reliably. I’ll go into more detail on the changes I made when I get this pair finished.

Other updates: I gave Betsey to my MIL. I think she liked it, but it’s hard to tell. I’m still working on the current test knit (Lancashire Dream) but since I’m just knocking out what seems like miles of stockinette for the body, there’s not a ton to report there. What I was thinking when I signed up to knit a cardigan (read: lots more purling than I really want to do) out of fingering weight yarn on US2s, I will never really know. At least it’s cute. I ordered the one skein I could find of madelinetosh tosh merino light in Filigree so that I can finish up my Athena shawl. And, I may or may not have two incorrectly sized attempts at a hat for Z on the needles. In two different yarns. I can neither confirm nor deny.**

Happy knitting!

*For the record, she had some very nice things for me, too.

**Well, I could…but I won’t.



It’s Knitting That Makes the World Go Round

I have a heartwarming knitting vignette to share, as well as updates on what’s on the needles currently and what’s barreling down the pike. So far I’m keeping up with my crazy test knitting commitments using a method somewhat foreign to me: organization.

But, first things first. My mom is also a knitter (hi, Mom!). She shared a story with me that made me feel all warm and fuzzy. For many years, she has made handknit prayer shawls. She puts a lot of thought and love into them. She makes them in different colors and different patterns so that there will always be something for everyone. She then donates them to a ministry at her church. Then, they are given to people who are going through rough times and need a little extra love and care. Most of the time, she never knows who they go to.

Well, the other day she got this email:

Just found out yesterday afternoon that your shawl has inspired someone in New Orleans to start a ministry in her Presbyterian church there!  My neighbor sent shawl to her step mother in NewOrleans. Her best friend saw it and got my phone number and called to get information on how to start a group! She said the recipient was so touched she cried when she saw the shawl,and that touched her to want to start a group!

Wow! Your shawl not only blessed that lady but because of it others will also be blessed!

This, dear readers, brings the joy of knitting full circle. It made my mother happy to knit the shawl and it made someone else happy to receive it. The recipient’s friend will no doubt get a sense of fulfillment from starting a new prayer shawl ministry. Then, the cycle starts all over again with new knitters and new prayer shawls.

I love that both the process of knitting and the finished results are able to have such a positive impact on people. I made a connection the other day when someone at my LYS was discussing this NYT article about the benefits of knitting: knitting, for me, helps with pain relief. It helps take my mind off it and also gives me an emotional boost. Knitting endorphins? I totally buy it. The act of giving someone else a knitted item has its own sense of reward, as well. Hopefully the item itself brings the recipient joy and, if that person is really knitworthy, it makes them feel loved and cared for because they understand the love that went into making it.

So, some of the knitted joy occupying my time (now that I have two shawls done) is the Lancashire Dream test knit. It’s a top down raglan cardigan that will be for my daughter. It’s going to be really hard to photograph until it’s off the needles and blocked, but here’s a glimpse at my progress:


It rolls and curls every which way because of all the stockinette and reverse stockinette fighting each other. But, it’s going to be very cute once I get it all flattened out!

I interrupted my test knitting mania to knock out a pair of boot cuffs for the wifey for V Day. I’ve got one done and the second well under way. I’m using the skein of Cascade 220 I got in my giant yarn score last week. It’s turning out to be a great yarn for this pattern. It’s soft but has a rustic look to it and, despite the tweediness, is working well for the cables.

The pattern I’m using is UGG HUG Boot Toppers and is a free ravelry download. If I have enough time, I’m going to make a second pair using this Helmikuu Boot Toppers pattern.

I’ve got a few more updates but I think that’s enough for one evening! So, happy knitting and I leave you with some cuddling kitties:IMG_5215IMG_5219IMG_5223

A Knitter With a Plan

I’m organized! Totally together! I’m planning ahead, and starting earl(ier than I usually do)! I’m SUPER KNITTER!!!! Well, okay, I won’t go overboard. But, I did add all my test knits to my queue and matched almost all of them up with yarn. I dug the needles out for the first few and put them with the yarn. I’m going to knit like the wind, weave in my ends as I go, and block stuff as soon as it’s off the needles. I’m going to sew on buttons, dang it! I’m going to channel some of OrangeSmoothie’s speed knitting mojo and get the proverbial ‘er done!

Check out my queue. If you dare. No, don’t–I’m embarrassed. Okay, do it, but don’t look at any of the due dates.

I cast on for one yesterday. It’s the Lancashire Dream cardigan by Gabrielle Danskknit. Being a test, it’s not published yet, but I will share a teaser pic! I’m making the 4 yo size for the little. I decided to use the same yarns I used to make the wifey’s Quicksilver so that they can coordinate. It’s going to be really stinking cute. It’s going to have stripes in reverse stockinette on the top and non-reversed solid color stockinette on the bottom. It’s a top down raglan design.


Click to see it on ravelry


You can tell I like that sort of color combination as it’s pretty similar to the mason jar cozy I made, also in the picture, at least 10+ years ago.

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So far, I’m very happy with how the sweater is turning out.

In other news, I stumbled into quite the yarn haul a few days ago! I happened to see a freecycle email come through from a person who was giving away three garbage bags full of yarn. Well, if you know me at all, you know I can’t resist a bargain. What better bargain is there than free? So I sent her a response throwing my hat in the ring right away. We emailed back and forth for a bit and eventually agreed I could pick it up the next afternoon. The next afternoon, I already had plans to knit with a new friend I met on ravelry, so I took her along with me to pick up the yarn. We had a lovely conversation with the woman giving the yarn away–turns out she’s moving in a few months and is downsizing–and then took it all back to my friend’s house. We spread it all out on the floor and sorted through it. It was the most yarny fun I’ve had since the legendary Goodwill windfall of 2015! There was sock yarn, worsted yarn, bulky Lopi yarn, wool, alpaca, cotton, silk, blends…in short, a little bit of everything except straight up acrylic. It ran the gamut from very old stuff to new and nice stuff. I’ve started logging it in ravelry but it’s going to be a long job. Much of it is unlabeled so I need to make some guesses about what it might be, weight, yardage, etc. At least I don’t need to do any burn tests as the yarn giver (I think that should be her official title) didn’t include anything 100% acrylic.

It dawns on me now that I should have taken pictures of it spread out on the floor in all its glory, but I didn’t. You’ll have to make do with a smattering of stash pics! Here are some of the highlights so far:

And much, much, MUCH more! She also included several WIPs, many of which were socks. I ripped some of them out but saved a few. There’s a pair of sock toes started that I really like, so I’ll pick up the stitches on them and see if I can finish them up!

I think it’s safe to say that I have my work cut out for me. First, finish all these damn test knits! Second, find something to do with all this yarn! Happy knitting!