Latvian Braid Booties

Want to try a new technique such as Latvian braids or colourwork? This is the project for you!

latvian braid baby booties

I’ve finally released this pattern – several months in the making. Thanks so much to all my test knitters and my tech editor for their hard work, suggestions, improvements, and general good cheer!

These are a perfect opportunity to use up those lovely sock leftovers that you don’t know what to do with. They make a great gift for holiday giving or a new baby.  :)

Pattern now available on Ravelry.

Serendipitous design inspiration

So, I am a Ravelry member (shakeyourbooties).  Of course.  And I design baby booties (in case you hadn’t noticed).  One of the groups I belong to on Ravelry has a monthly encouragement/discussion thread for WIPs and offers prizes (donated by participants in the thread) for FOs.

Last month I won a prize.  :)

It was a “choose your own book from Amazon up to a certain amount including shipping.”  What a great idea!  I picked this book:

A picture on the first page I randomly opened it to:

This picture led me to the fabulous Photo Library collection at the Shetland Museum and Archives.  The intersection of libraries and knitting again.  :)

Knitted gansey booties …. hmmmm ….. ?  Swatching has commenced.  :



Do they ever grow out of this?

zach's ninja mask hat thing

The request was made (after a bout of snow-shoveling in pretty cold temps) for a ski mask.  Oh, and “it needs to look like a ninja mask.”  Not the best picture of the boy, but I had to bribe him to get him out of his room to take it so I wasn’t going to press for a retake.

Pattern is Antifreeze by Jenna Adorno with some mods (available on my Ravelry project page).  Yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (frogged from an unfortunate dalliance with Tubey) and Malabrigo Worsted (which knits up like butter. Really).

the Ravelry factor

Ravelry … it’s a knitting cataloguer’s dream.

Or should that be a cataloguing knitter’s dream?  Whichever.

I enjoy knitting immensely, and rely upon it as a stress-reliever, a time-filler, an ice-breaker – I would be bereft without a project (or three or four) to focus on and to revel in.

However, it occurred to me today that a distinct part of my current enjoyment in knitting (and I have had a couple of periods when I didn’t knit much, particularly when the kids were little) is the pleasure I get from tracking, sorting, and documenting stash, projects, etc. on Ravelry.  There are probably days when I spend more time futzing around in Ravelry than I do actually knitting.  Obviously, the sense of community is a big draw – but that’s also what draws me to librarianship in general, and certainly to cataloguing.  You only have to scan the daily postings from the AUTOCAT listserv to appreciate the collegial and supportive nature of those who practise the art of cataloguing (ignore the spelling, if you can — in my worldview, blogging is an international phenomenon, so I spell as I was taught as a child.  I’m a pretty good multi-cultural speller when I need to be. ;)).

Ravelry has the most extraordinary sense of community … people who’ve never met in person (and who really don’t know much about each other) agree to meet up “in real life” at conferences, knit-in-public events, stitch and bitch nights, on college campuses ….  They help each other with problems knitting-related and not.  Ravelry groups such as the Ravelibrarians offer support for job-hunting, bad days at work, procedural and philosophical dilemmas … there is no limit to what can be addressed and supported via the site.

I find the parallels between the two fascinating, and I’m so grateful to be a member of both communities.

WIP update

A rethink is in order for several wips – some strategizing, some knitting maths, some sweating, some graph paper, and probably much swearing.

First: LS 502: First Toe-Ups – the combined factors of working out how toe-up socks happen and planning for them to fit the world’s second biggest foot have temporarily confounded me.  I’m part-way through the gusset and totally winging it with the length.  I may need to send these for some temporary hibernation while I start another pair of toe-ups (Double Eyelet Rib) for myself so that I can work out the actual mechanics of the process and still be able to try it on a normal sized (mine) foot.


Second: Josephine – having cleverly and largely ignored gauge, number to cast-on, knitting front and back separately, etc., this seems miraculously like it might actually fit.  The next dilemma is whether to do another pattern repeat of the lace before I do the eyelet rows and start the bodice.  I think it’s probably fine as it is right now (5 repeats), but I’d hate to have to finish it and rip it back to add another repeat for length.  Might be a good time to put a lifeline in today before I decrease for the eyelets and bodice.  Another problem (caused by my largely ignoring the pattern specifications) is figuring out the decreases needed and the eyelet placement according to the number of stitches I have.  Time to get the graph paper out! (mods available here)


Third (and this one’s more positive): Pumpkin Booties – I’ve been wanting to revise the top of these for a while, get the pattern written up properly, and get it up for sale on Ravelry.  The “leafy” top is inspired by Grumperina’s Jaywalkers sock pattern, as well as assorted chevron patterns.  I’d like to get permission from her to include the attribution for the inspiration, so I sent her a pic this morning and I’m waiting to hear back.


Fourth: Socket to Phoebe (her 21st birthday sock yarn blanket) – More knitting maths were needed here as I suddenly realized that I have less than a year and a half to finish this.  It appears that if I average one square a day I’ll easily have it done in time to do the edging section and the I-cord edge.  Seven days since I worked that out and eight squares knitted – I’m ahead of the game!


In other knitting news, the Bumblebee Bootie reverse-engineering project has been relegated to hibernation status again.  I really thought I was going to get it this time, but I’m not happy with the way the decreases look at the sides of the instep with the puffy stripe pattern.  I need to reconsider these again.


The hibernating Sock Yarn Pillow is almost ready to come out of hibernation and be dealt with.  I really only have to do the I-cord edging on the top piece, then join the two pieces together and put the zip in.  I don’t know what my problem is with this project.


Oh yeah, maybe it’s that whole sewing and zip thing.

Getting underway

with some summer knitting to-dos from my list:

  • Publish free patterns on Ravelry
  • Reverse engineer the bumblebee booties
  • Get some patterns up for sale on Ravelry and etsy
  • Learn to do toe-up socks
  • Clean up some of the hibernating wips

I can pace myself and tackle one of these each week, or I can go nuts and try to do them all at once.  Hmmmm … what to do?