Theatreknit’s Warm Winter Socks

This pattern was donated as part of my campaign to get people knitting for a London homeless shelter. Thanks to Ravelry’s Theatreknit. I have added links to in places where you might need extra intstructions. 

Yarn: DK weight (sample knitted with Patons DK with wool)
Needles: 3.25mm

Loosely cast on 48sts. Divide over 3 double-pointed needles and join being careful not to twist the sts.
Work in K3 P1 rib for 7 inches (or preferred length)

Heel Flap:
Knit 24sts turn
Row 1: Sl1 purl to end
Row 2: Sl1 K1 repeat to end
Repeat rows 1 & 2 14 more times.

Shape Heel:
Row 1: K 14 sts, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 2: Sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 3: Sl1, k to one stitch before turning gap, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 4: Sl1, p to one stitch before turning gap, p2tog, p1, turn.
Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until all sts have been used
End on WS row with either p2 tog or p2 tog, p1.
14 sts on needle

1. Pick up 15 stitches knitwise down side 1 of the heel flap. Place a marker.
2. Rib across the 24 stitches from the cuff.
3. Place a marker, then pick up 15 stitches knitwise up side 2 of the heel flap.
You should have 68 stitches.

Now continue with the following 2 rounds, until 48 stitches remain:
1. Knit up to 3 stitches away from the first marker, then Knit 2 together, then Knit 1.
Slip the first marker, then Knit across until you reach the next marker.
Slip the second marker, then Knit 1, then S2K2tog, then knit to the end of the round.
2. Knit around.

When you have 48 stitches remaining, continue without decreasing until foot measures at least 8 inches (UK size 6) from back of heel. You can adjust the length at this point. The easiest way to work out a size is to ask a friend to measure their foot! For men, size 8 or 9 is ideal.

1. (Toe Decrease Round) K1, ssk, k to end of Needle 1; k to last 3 sts of Needle 2, k2tog, k1; k1, ssk,
k to end of Needle 3; k to last 3 sts of Needle 4, k2tog, k1. 4 sts decreased.
2. K around.

Repeat these 2 rounds until 20sts remain
Use Kitchener stitch to graft these stitches.


The Safest of All Occupations

I was browsing the wonderful xkcd on ‘random’ today and I came across this:

I thought I’d double check and, as expected, the number of results for blogging accidents is now 17,100 but I have done diligent research and can confirm that this is because bloggers love xkcd and can’t help referencing it at every opportunity. This is a relief, because I don’t think I can be bothered to work out the %age increase represented by 17,098. It’s a lot.*

Just to reassure myself further I ran a quick check on “died in a theology accident”:

That’s a relief!

So this confirms my plan for the rest of the evening:

  1. Finish this blog post,
  2. Continue researching the theology of John’s Gospel,
  3. Knit myself a hat,
  4. Sleep

Sleep, I admit, is the most perilous of these tasks but on a quick, informal risk-benefit analysis the chances of me having some kind of Hulk episode tomorrow if I don’t sleep are higher than the chances of me dying in my sleep tonight. I’m knocking on wood as I type this, of course, just in case…

*I know it would be easy to do the maths but I’m leaving it to the first smart-arse who decides to comment on this. Because, basically, I don’t like maths. 

Originally posted on RowleyPolyBird

Knitting for the Community of Camden Churches Cold Weather Shelter

A challenge to all knitters: How many items of warm clothing can we give to homeless people in London this winter?

C4WS – the Community of Camden Churches Cold Weather Shelter – opens its doors every year from December to March to offer shelter, food and company to up to fifteen homeless guests every night (67 during the last winter). Our guests are of all ages, genders and backgrounds and last year, of the guests that actively engaged with the C4WS Welfare Worker, 96% were assisted in securing accommodation, returning home or moving in with friends.

This year we are asking for donations from an army of generous knitters. Some volunteers during the time we’ve been open have knitted warm clothing for our guests. This makes a real difference to them, because not only are they able to keep warm during the bitterly cold daytime (when we cannot open our doors), but they know someone has cared enough to give them a personal gift.

If you are able, we would ask you to knit an item of clothing (anything from socks to a sweater) but please bear in mind the following guidelines:

1) Please don’t use fibres that cannot be treated roughly or washed in a normal cycle.
2) The guests of C4WS are very diverse, so please use neutral colours and styles.

Once you have made your item, please contact me through this blog for the address to send them on to.

We would ask you to please cover the cost of postage.

If there is anything left over at the end of the scheme, we intend to sell it to raise further funds for C4WS – nothing will be wasted.

All Saints Day

Reflection written for MCC North London newsletter the week of 1st November 2010.

All Saints’ Day fell on the Monday of this week, and we celebrated on Sunday. I took the opportunity to talk about the saints who are venerated around the world, particularly in Catholic traditions, and what we can learn from them, but I also feel strongly that since we are all called to live lives worthy of the Gospel we can learn as much from everyday people who have not been honoured as saints.

Take Rosa Parks, for example, since we are just reaching the end of Black History Month. All Ms. Parks did was sit down on the front seat of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She refused to give up her seat for a white person – who was no more entitled to it than she was, after all – and this simple act was the beginning of the end for racial segregation in the United States.

Closer to home, women who take the time to vote have to thank Emmeline Pankhurst for the privilege. But as well as her well-documented activism for women’s rights, she was also influential in changing the work culture of some of the most deprived parts of the country at the end of the nineteenth century. She launched a parliamentary challenge to the right of factory owners to employ young children and pregnant women to do dangerous work, and she spent many years in her early life working to distribute food to those in Manchester with nothing to eat.

Or David Morley, a man who will not survive in the public consciousness, but who showed extraordinary courage. After being injured in the Soho nail bomb attack in 1999, he returned to work at the Admiral Duncan pub despite the injuries and losses he suffered at the scene. He died in an unprovoked attack in 2004 sparked by the same prejudice that had cost him so much only five years earlier.

I could go on for hours, because the truth is that for every prejudice that is breaking down there have been people standing up for justice who have allowed it to happen. Each of these remarkable individuals has been one of thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of activists from all walks of life. We know that well in MCC and we are blessed to be part of a denomination that is proud to uphold the Gospel tradition of justice for all.