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And I've got ... cozy toes

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Fireflys hand knit Cozy Toes sock patternMy daughter gave me two skeins of incredibly soft chunky baby alpaca yarn at Christmas so I could make myself some warm, cozy house socks. I designed a simple pattern for the socks, and just finished the second one this morning. Now, I've got Cozy Toes! The leg of the socks is 11" long, and yet I still had a small handful of yarn left over from each skein. These socks are easy to knit up very quickly, even for a beginning sock knitter. I believe if you had a weekend to yourself (starting when you get home Friday after work) you could have your own Cozy Toes before going to bed on Sunday evening. Of course, if you knit a little slower or can't set aside an entire lazy weekend to just sit around sipping coffee and cocoa while watching old movies and knitting in your pj's, you might have to spend a bit more time at it. Either way, I think you will enjoy knitting and wearing them. I like the way the squeezy spring of the yarn hugs my ankles and arches. The only real problem I have is that I don't want them to get messed up, so I am likely to wear them with slippers when I'm walking around and then slip off the slippers (I mean, really ... that is why they are called "slippers" after all) once I'm settled in somewhere to read or cuddle with one of my sweeties (my husband or our Blu). Fireflys hand knit Cozy Toes socks are eleven inches tallSpeaking of dear Blu, most of the time I was working on my Cozy Toes, Blu was in my lap. He has grown to be quite a good sized dog, and yet he insists on a certain amount of cuddle time with as much of his body on my lap as he can possibly make stay on top of me. He doesn't want to sit beside of me with just his head in my lap, or even just the front part of him drapped over me. No, he studiously works and works at fitting himself somehow, some way, on top of me. Inevitably something hangs over ... two or three paws, his chin, sometimes half of his rear end. He simple does not fit on top of my lap any longer and yet, he does not know that or perhaps he refuses to accept that reality. It is a considerably awkward to knit with him up there. Where do I put my elbows? When he readjusts himself--which happens often--where shall I put my yarn? How do I prevent myself, him, or both of us from becoming impaled on a double pointed needle from one of his sudden movements? Periodically he pushes himself upward all of a sudden, pressing one entire side of his body, neck,and head against me very hard with his front legs straight as a board, his paws pressing down hard into my leg. I hardly have time to hastily turn my head to the side and stick my arms out on either side with knitting needles and knitted item in one hand and a ball of yarn in the other. I wonder what that looks like from the other side of the room. When he sees me sit down and pick up my knitting, he gets a very concerned look on his face as if to say, "Hey wait a second there, this isn't going to work for me. I need all that room up there. You really ought to put that stuff away. Here, let me show you..." and then he proceeds to pace back and forth eyeing my lap and the knitting. Finally makes one of several approaches to the lap. If I try deflecting his positioning to make room for my needles, yarn and elbows he gives out a loud disapproving sigh and has another go at it. Firefly had this much yarn left from each skein of yarnFor a while I tried keeping him beside me rather than on top of me but somehow he changed my mind, and I don't even remember when or how. Oh well, we are still working it out and providing a certain amount of amusement and entertainment to my husband while we're at it. Neither of us have ever known a dog with so much of a need to give and receive love while applying full body contact. Every time I wear my Cozy Toes socks, I am bound to think of Blu's warm and cuddly lap of love and how he was right there for the knitting, every stitch of the way. I am seriously considering writing up a little instruction manual with helpful hints for pet owners who are learning to knit, but that will be another day and another time. Meanwhile, back to Cozy Toes. Enjoy the photographs today and check back within the next few days for the pattern. I will be sharing this one for free, although I might ask people to join my mailing list to get the pattern for free. Come on, please? I promise I won't spam you. I would just like to be able to send an email once a month or so when I have new patterns for sale or new paintings to show. Plus, I hope to self publish a cookbook and pattern book by September of this year and would love to be able to send out emails to promote them. At any rate, the Cozy Toes sock pattern will be free, one way or the other, and I will be happy to share it with you, my dear reader. Fireflys river on a snow day this winterI will leave you with a photograph I shot recently, across the road looking out over our river. Every day the river has a different look as ice forms and melts, snow builds up and disappears, and comes back a day or two later. This is one of my favorite shots I have taken of it so far. Today we have snow falling all day long. I prayed for one more deep snow this year because I want to be able to go out by the willow with my husband and Blu and have a good long romp in a couple of feet of snow. Blu and I did that one day back in December and I have wanted ever since then to repeat the play date with my husband included in the mix. Maybe today or tomorrow we will be able to do just that. Wish me luck! Hope your day is cozy and beautiful, as our is here. Chow mein, noodle. ~firefly

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