Friday, February 20, 2009

The Mother of Invention

I hate being cold. I love being able to wear beautiful handknit sweaters, socks, hats, scarves, and mittens, but I hate that I have to wear them or be cold. I guess I'd like to wear them purely for fashion, though heaven knows I'm certainly not a fashionplate.

The past few winters here in Upstate New York have been relatively mild. We has some cold days, but no long stretches of cold, blustery weather. This winter has been a bit different. Here it is, February almost over, and we've not had a lot of snow. But, it has been cold--and windy. This winter, cold snaps have lasted for days, and with windchills, temps have been below zero.

At the time we need heat the most, the price to heat our homes has been outrageously high. In my area, they even want an increase. Of course, this is an area with incredibly high taxes and an unemployment rate that strikes fear in the minds and hearts of all residents. Many people here and elsewhere are like me; we lower the thermostat, throw an extra blanket on the bed, and bundle ourselves in warm clothing--especially handknits.

Despite wearing my handmade socks, my feet get cold. But it's not all of my foot. The rest of my feet can be fine, but my toes get cold. It's always been that way. The problem has been how to keep the toesies warm while not making the rest of my foot hot. Enter--the Toe Cosy.

Don't laugh; it works.

I can wear it over a sock if I'm most concerned about adding warmth. If I still want the pattern/yarn of my sock to show, I can slip the Toe Cosy underneath the sock. And, if I want to wear my clogs without socks, I can slip on the Toe Cosy instead of a full sock. This also helps if the clog rubs against my foot.

If you're brave and want to make your own Toe Cosy, here's the pattern. It's written for Magic Loop but can easily be adapted for DPNs or 2 circs.

Approximately 250 yards of sock yarn or DK yarn
Size 2.0 needles (or size required to achieve gauge
Gauge: 8 stitches/inch in sock yarn.

Using a Turkish or other invisible cast on*, CO 16 stitches. Divide stitches on needles.
Round 1 Knit
Round 2 K1, M1. K to next to last stitch. M1, K1
Repeat these 2 rounds until there are a total of 52 (56, 60) stitches, 26 (28, 30) on each needle.
Knit even until the sock measures approximately 5.25 inches from cast on. (Try on the sock. It should reach past the "bunion" portion of the big toe and slightly into the arch area.)
Knit a K2P1 rib for approximately 1 inch. Again, try on for comfort.
Bind off loosely, and enjoy warm feet.

*If you're uncomfortable using this type of cast on, feel free to use a long-tail cast on and simple graft the toe closed when finished.


somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

Love the Turkish cast on! And I now have another toe-up pattern to try. Thanks! =:8

Pretentious Wombat said...

And the next thing you'll be designing is a nose mitten, right?

I am seriously thinking about making a pair of those toe cozies because I only wear socks around the house and I think that would be good whilst I'm sitting at the computer. This morning when I was still up in the wee hours, My nose and feet were freezing. I think it warrants an attempt, anyway! Very cool idea. :-)

Daniele said...

Wonderful idea Ida!!!

Michelle said...

What a clever idea! My toes are always cold too.