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Guest Post: A Knitter's Gift by Wendy Johnson


You read her adventures with knitting, life, and her adorable cat Lucy at Wendy Knits, and now Wendy Johnson is here with a guest post exclusively for CrafterNews readers. Like many of us, Wendy was snowed in during Snowpocalypse 2010 on the eve of Valentine’s Day weekend, but she didn’t let that get in the way of surprising her beau with a pair of Manly Aran Socks from her new book Toe-Up Socks for Every Body.

A Knitter’s Gift by Wendy Johnson

Creating something with your hands to give to another is the ultimate expression of love, and as crafters we are fortunate that this sort of creation is something we enjoy so much. When you are a knitter and a gift-giving occasion is coming up, you often think about knitting something for that occasion, right?

Valentine’s Day was just a couple of weeks ago—the ultimate occasion for gifts from the heart! I decided to knit my boyfriend, Ian, a pair of socks. Ian has many pairs of handknit socks, because I’ve been foisting them upon him since I first started knitting socks. He loves them because they are warm, comfortable, and I knit them to fit his feet exactly.

A few weeks ago I was showing him the sample socks knit for my upcoming book, Toe-Up Socks for Every Body, and he admired the Manly Aran Socks.

Happily, the sample socks are his size, and I promised to give them to him—after I take them on tour with me this year.

That gave me an idea to knit another pair of Manly Arans for him in the meantime. A guy can’t have too many pairs of classic cabled socks, right? The book sample socks are knit in a denim blue, so I wanted a different color for a bit of variety. I chose a darker blue yarn – a not-quite navy. It’s a nice masculine dark blue, but not so dark that the cables wouldn’t show.

I have since decided that knitting very fine cables with size 0 needles in a dark yarn on dark winter evenings is truly a labor of love. But finish the socks I did! And I bestowed them upon Ian for Valentine’s Day.

I learned once again that loved ones appreciate gifts from your heart and your hands. Even when they are not perfect. After completing the socks, I noticed this:

As you can see, I messed up a couple of stitches on the side of one of the socks. I chose not to fix the error, partly because I am simply too lazy to rip back halfway down the leg of the sock, and partly because I feel small errors here and there do not detract from the beauty of a knitted item.

I did, however, remove all loose cat fur before giving the socks to Ian.

But some of that cat fur is knitted right in, because my Ragdoll kitty, Lucy, was in my lap for most of the knitting of the socks. I don’t think Ian minds having Lucy’s fur knit into his socks, because his lap is her favorite place to be—when she isn’t helping me knit, that is.

Don’t let a few small errors or a lot of pet fur deter you from giving your loved ones your handknits. I’m betting they will cherish these gifts from your heart and hands all the more! I personally think socks are a great knitted gift, because they are a small, manageable project, so I encourage you to give them a try.

My upcoming book, Toe-Up Socks for Every Body, has sock projects that will be perfect for everyone on your gift list, including yourself. And while you are waiting for the book’s release, check out the free sock patterns on my website,


• Download the featured project of the month, Bouquet Socks from Wendy’s new book, Toe-Up Socks for Every Body

• Read more of Wendy’s adventures with sticks and strings at Wendy Knits



Robin Diebold March 1st, 2010

Thanks so much for the pattern all of my knits have cat hair in them too!

Suzie Creamcheeze March 2nd, 2010

The Scribd.Com service doesn’t work on my computer. They said they don’t support Linux, so I am not able to use it to download the PDF of the Bouquet Socks pattern. Can you make the PDF pattern available at a more Net neutral site that doesn’t discriminate against users of Free Open Source Software, and is more inclusive, rather than exclusive? Thank You! I am looking forward to the publication of your new book, and am hoping to get an advance look. Suzie

dana March 4th, 2010

amazing! those socks exactly match lucy’s eyes.

Shirley April 27th, 2010

I absolutely love the very ‘personal’ touch you put into Ian’s socks! And Lucy’s touch was also purrfect!

And in your new book, I think one of my favourite of your designs are the Sneaky Argyles…fabulous! I have always wanted argyles, and now, thanks to you, I shall have them. Thank you for another wonderful book, you are definitely one of the knitting goddesses!



About the Book
Toe-Up Socks for Every Body
Adventurous Lace, Cables, and Colorwork from Wendy Knits

Written by Wendy D. Johnson
Category: Crafts & Hobbies ‐ Knitting
Format: Trade Paperback, 144 pages
On Sale: March 23, 2010
Price: $22.99
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