Introducing Helmikuu Boot Toppers

Drumroll, folks… I am about to log my 100th project on Ravelry!

99 projects

In honor of this momentous occasion (which feels less momentous when I remember that the count includes several WIPs and hibernating projects), I’ve put together a little treat: a free pattern for a pair of Helmikuu Boot Toppers, my 100th project.


Love having cozy, cabled socks peeking out of your boots? Knit these quick cuffs to get the look at a fraction of the cost! They’re versatile, too– wear them right side-out to look like tall socks, or flip inside-out and fold over for a cuffed look.

Helmikuu is the Finnish word for February, the perfect time for tall boots and tweedy yarns. It means “month of the pearl,” in reference to the pearl-like drops of ice that freeze on tree branches.

Two versions of this pattern are available here: a no-nonsense edition for experienced knitters, and a tutorial version with tips on techniques and customization. Both are completely free for distribution, but not for commercial use (you may not sell finished items made from this pattern).


  • About 125 yards (75 g) Knit Picks City Tweed Aran/HW in Tahitian Pearl (< 1 ball)
  • US 6 (4.0 mm) double-pointed needles (DPNs), or size needed to obtain gauge
  • Cable needle
  • Darning needle for finishing


  • Gauge: 5 sts/in on ribbing after blocking
  • Finished size: to fit around a 16″ calf

Stitch abbreviations:

  • 2 x 2 rib: k2, p2


  • c6f: slip 3 sts to cable needle, k3 sts with cable needle held in front, k3 sts from cable needle


Directions:helmikuu chart

Lower ribbing section:

  • Cast on 80 sts and join to work in the round
  • Work in 2 x 2 rib for 12 rounds (about 2″)

Cable section:

  • Rounds 1-3: k6, p2 around
  • Round 4: c6f, p2 around
  • Rounds 5-7: k6, p2 around
  • Round 8: c6f, p2 around
  • Rounds 9-11: k6, p2 around

Upper ribbing section:

  • Work in 2 x 2 rib for 4 rounds
  • Bind off in pattern

helmikuu schematic

Happy knitting and stay warm!


The Sock Monkeys are Knitting Socks

OK folks, this is not a drill. Target is selling knitting pajamas.


Sorry the screen grab isn’t super close-up, but I really need you all to understand what is happening here. The sock monkeys. They’re knitting. They’re knitting socks. Dear sweet Jesus.

Obviously I couldn’t resist:


Epic swankification.

Happy December and may the monkeys be ever in your favor 🙂


Tools of the Trade: Circular vs. Straight Needles

Anyone else a bit drooly over the new needles over at Knit Picks?

Caspian needles at Knit Picks

I totally love that they’re finally referring to needle “colorways,” as this is their third available wood treatment (their classic Harmony rainbow ones are still my favorites, though). All the needle excitement got me thinking about the many, many tool options that exist for knitters rocking in the free world, and the passionate debates that inevitably ensue. If you’ve never wandered through Ravelry’s Tools forum, prepare to get your eyes crossed a bit.

Well, I’m here today to tell you that one of these infamous debates is over. Let the smackdown begin! Continue reading

Hello, world

I spend altogether too much effort trying to enjoy media (be they knitting blogs, video game comics, or policy analysis sites) that make no corresponding effort to help me figure out what exactly they are for. Everyone I know will rave about the content provider du jour, and I’ll scuttle over to figure out what all the fuss is about, only to be met by the GIANT WALL OF STUFF with nary an entryway in sight. Or, to turn a phrase, in site.

I figure if you’re friendly enough to mosey over here, it’s like you’ve reached out your sparkly digital hand to a stranger. I also figure the polite thing to do is to start this blog by reaching back.

This post will begin its life aspirationally– to introduce me as a yarncrafter, and to describe why this blog has come into existence. Then, as the blog grows out of my brain and into the internet, I’ll update it to keep providing a yarny portal into the wall of stuff. Let me know how it works 🙂


This is me, in as summary a format as I could muster. For the less visually inclined:

  • I’m an independent-spirited obsessed yarncrafter (both knitting and crocheting, can’t get enough)
  • I love quirky, swanky bits of wooly fashion
  • I’m neck deep in science, gaming, reading, and nerd culture– and it often shows in my projects
  • I like designs with clever construction, interesting texture, and unexpected color combinations
  • I love a challenge and believe that anything is knittable with enough determination (my partner Jamie would refer to this as Scottish stubbornness, but doesn’t “determination” sound more like a feature and less like a bug?)
  • My crafting influences include: Kelley Petkun of Knit Picks, Knitscene magazine, Kate Davies, Ysolda Teague, Caitlin ffrench, Stephanie Dosen of Tiny Owl Knits, Hannah Fettig of Knitbot, Hilary Smith Callis, Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting, and SpillyJane

Here is a brief catalogue of this blog’s intended features– what I feel I can offer the online yarncraft community:

  • The latest in yarny news and developments gathered from far and wide, across books, blogs, podcasts, and periodicals
  • Tutorials and tips from the above-cited sources, but mainly from my snuggly robot brain
  • Free patterns whenever time allows
  • Yarn and pattern reviews, replete with deliciously specific detail
  • Entertaining (hopefully) musings about the nature of fibercrafts, their place in the world, the meaning of life, the universe, and everything, and whatever else scuttles across the page

Sound up your alley? Excellent! Leave a comment so I can tell what I’ve got right. Not what you’d hoped for? Also potentially excellent: I’m new to this game and have no desire to spend my time creating things no one actually wanted. Tell me what you *did* want and travel forth in the knowledge that you’re helping make the internet better.

Perhaps, based on the title, you were under the impression there would be free ravioli? Friend, you and me both. My apologies that you will most likely depart from this site with a still-hungry belly. As for the other bit? You bring the yarn; I’ll do my best to bring the sunshine.