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 knittinghelp.com 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

Gusset:
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.

Toe
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.

Originally posted on RowleyPolyBird

I’m going to be an aunt!

My very clever sister is growing a baby! I’m very excited at the idea of having a niecephew*, and have started suggesting some good Biblical / Saintly names, inspired by the Pope’s recent statement.

For a girl:
Frideswide (patron saint of Oxford University)
Jezebel (reclaim it from the misogynists!)
Jael (drove a tent peg into a man’s head… nice)

For a boy:
Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Isaiah’s second son – endless opportunities for cool nicknames)
Uzzi (ironic?)
Zadok

I could go on, but they don’t seem to inspired by my suggestions. Some people have no imagination!

*That is, either a niece or a nephew

BBCSO Come and Play

I had a brilliant, uplifting morning on Saturday at a BBC SO event called Come and Play, part of their symphony season.

They invited non-professional players to spend a morning in a workshop with members of the BBC SO on Dvořák’s Symphony no. 9 (From the New World) or Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 6. I was accepted into the morning (Dvořák) workshop, which was very exciting indeed! It’s one of my favourites, and I felt like I might have a fighting chance of getting through it in one piece…

Nevertheless, I showed up duly at Maida Vale with no little trepidation, but that soon dissipated. Our ‘flute helper’ (the orchestra’s co-principal flute) was delightful and remarkably patient with us, and the conductor’s clear enthusiasm both for the music and the workshop was buoyant and contagious. I don’t remember the last time I had so much fun and felt like I had absolutely nothing to be worried about or ashamed of. Even a small four-bar solo in the first flute part didn’t (quite) defeat me the way that the simplest soli in band rehearsals can.

I don’t know what it was about the morning that was so encouraging; a combination of everyone’s enthusiasm and the frankly beautiful music. Whatever it was, I left Maida Vale more cheered and confident than I have been for ages. It’s a cliche, but if you’ve been unemployed for a while then being invited to something special and being taken seriously makes such an enormous difference. Massive thumbs up all around, huge thanks to everyone at the BBC SO who made this possible for so many.