There are some designers whom I admire hugely, and some whom I just want to sit and absorb knitting knowledge from, and some whose stars have shot so high into the knitsphere that I’d be awed just to meet them. But there is only one designer that I genuinely like so much that I want to sit down and a pour a nice cup of tea, and spend half an hour knitting with her each week. And… I do!
Brenda Dayne produces Cast-On, my absolute favourite knitting podcast and the most relaxing half-hour in my week. She is (as I was until a couple of years ago) an American expat living in Britain and, in between her interesting and entertaining pieces about knitting and spinning and dyeing, she also paints pictures of her home in west Wales that take me straight there. Cast-On is an absolute delight.
And even if I weren’t a fan of Brenda’s, I’d want to show you this design for the name alone, but her Brother Amos Hellfire Lace Socks are worth knitting not just because of Brenda, and not just because of the name (Hellfire..? Lace..? How did those two words end up side-by-side?!?) but because it is a gorgeous design. I love the way the lace flickers up the leg (what better to keep your feet warm as winter sets in?), and I know the stitch pattern would be interesting to knit without being too daunting.
And they’re beautiful, aren’t they? Just beautiful!
These socks call for a yarn that lives up to their fiery name, and I think they’d would really… (ahem!)… glow in the warm colours of Ball of Fire or Sunset Over a Stormy Sea. Don’t you?
Now, let me just stop here and give you fair warning that I am about to tell you that the holidays are around the corner.
I know, I know. That last post — the one right there below this one — has jack-o-lanterns in it and I know it feels waaaay too early to be even thinking about breaking out the holiday decorations and baking cookies and wrapping presents and… But we are a special breed, you and I. We are fiberistas. We don’t just rush out to the stores and buy our gifts at the last minute. We make gifts — each gift unique, each stitch fashioned with love for those people we care about most in the world, and who understand just what a hand-made gift means.
And that kind of gift-giving takes time… which is why, for the likes of you and me, the holidays really are right around the corner! So to get your gift-giving ideas flowing over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share some great patterns for quick holiday gifts.
And let’s start with something from Kate Gilbert, who designed the incredibly popular Clapotis scarf (with 16,395 projects listed on Ravelry!). But my eye was caught instead by her beautiful Marina Piccola socks. I just love the way the simple pattern so perfectly evokes ripples across a water’s surface. And I think it looks like a quick but really interesting knit for holiday gift-giving.
You know this pattern would really shine in a rich colourway such as Desert Wine, but I’d love to see these how these socks came out in a more variegated yarn such as DayLilies or Plumberry. I think the combination could be quite stunning.