Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sex in the Snow. Socks on your needles.

Okay, for those of you who don't know about it, Sex in the Snow is not a porn flick. It's a best-selling book about demographics and psychographics, and was written by a researcher who studied Canadians (that's the snow part) and what makes them tick (that's where the sex comes in).

Canadians are, to put it mildly, research hogs. Where else on the planet would books like Sex in the Snow, Pig and the Python and Boom, Bust and Echo be national best-sellers? Where else would you have a government department dedicated solely to statistics? And where else would you find a life-long knitter who has put together a collection of really great knee-high sock patterns and lots of information on how to create them?

Knitting Knee-Highs by Barb Brown, is a collection of 20 terrific knee-high patterns that range from delicate lacework to intricate colorwork patterns. Some of them conjure up dreamy images of Victorian femininity while others are thick, warm, colorful stockings that reminiscent of Viking battles.

I think my favorite pair are the Bonnie Birds Knee-Highs which Barb says were inspired by a design her Ukrainian grandmother had embroidered for her when she was a child. The knee-highs pattern is in pretty shades of blue on a white background -- but if her grandmother was anything like our Baba, I'd imagine the original was in brilliant shades of orange and red.

In addition to the knee-high instructions, the book includes information and directions that are superb. Barb has taken great care to offer helpful advice to those who are embarking on their very first knee-high pattern.

I did a little bit of research about Barb and discovered that she lives in Alberta, Canada. If you haven't been there, you ought to plan a visit to Banff at least once in your life because the scenery is breath-taking. And if you're a skiier...well, take a look at this shot of Barb. I'll bet it was taken in June. (Okay, I'm just kidding. It's warm in Alberta in June. But, I swear, it actually snowed in Calgary on June 6, 2009 and here's the shot to prove it.)

If you want to knit some really interesting and beautiful knee-highs, I really think you'll like this book. I'm going to select one or two patterns to create for Christmas presents. Yes...I do start thinking about Christmas in March. By August I'm having panic attacks if I haven't started wrapping gifts. This is not because I'm such a generous spirit that I can't wait to give people gifts. It's because I'm a reformed, guilt-riddled procrastinator who only recently returned a library book after keeping it 30 years past its due date. (Yes...I paid the fine. Fortunately, it maxed out at $10 but I gave them $20 to cover inflation.)

Whether you're looking for some interesting patterns for yourself, or you want start your Christmas knitting now, I think Knitting Knee-Highs is a great place to start.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

We are kindred Christmas spirits. I shop all year round and start my holiday knitting on July 4th with the goal being to be done with it all by Halloween. I usually hit it pretty close. I love Christmas too much to be stressed about it. :-)

Might have to add that sock book to my list for this year's knitting.