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When I set out to knit these socks, I had a purpose in mind. Lucky socks. Something fun I could wear when feeling grateful or needing a little pick me up.


Having completed them, there’s more in these stitches. A memory is captured on repeat.


Six months ago, I was sitting at my cardio’s office with my stepdad. We were joking and laughing in the large waiting room. Filling out his new patient details, he wrote ‘THE BOSS’ under next of kin, taking a dig at mum. I was impressed. I’d never have the guts. Cryptic clues about something funny. The moment he saw the penny drop he chuckled.

After his appointment had finished, we chanced across a woman wearing a jumper with ‘San Diego’ emblazed across it.

Don’t. Get. Him. Started.

Add that it was her job for the morning to manually press a button to open the automatic doors. A small win for humanity among the machines. Comedy gold.

As a proud San Diegan, he did get started. And laughter bubbled up as it invariably did when he got started. To Bill, everyone was a friend. And there was always something good to share.

I was working on the second sock the last Sunday in January when I got a call out of the blue that changed the landscape.

This memory is now locked away in these socks. Laughter and having him sitting there by my side.


Stick with me, kid.


How lucky am I?


Knitting a Stephen West pattern is an adventure in knitting. You get to experience new sights and languages, and don’t have time to get bored by hanging around in one place too long.


Walking the same trails can be comforting, and I do that sometimes. For the most part though, I like to keep exploring to see what else I can discover.

Each sock comes with its own set of instructions so they will mirror each other when complete.

A beginner might be hesitant to give these a go, but as long as you’ve got your tension right, I say jump in. The amount of support Westknits makes available is as good as someone holding your hand through the process.

The cuff ribbing graduates into these neat cables that veer off left and right, leading down into the stair stripes. I think this is where the fun really begins. The urge to complete “just a few more rows” amps up as the next section gets closer.

The stair stripes appear in three sections, and these go by pretty quick in stockinette with some slipped stitches thrown in.


The woven slips create textured bricks, and in my version there’s a slight bit of puff to them. I like that there’s some ease in these sections. Super comfy.

Pops of colour appear in the slip stitch heel flaps. Using a variegated yarn makes me think of strings of coloured party lights. It’s a nice effect that makes your contrast colour sing.


The cables make another appearance alongside the gusset, but this time they helix their way down towards the midfoot. These are pure indulgence. If you’re taking the time to make something, go on and enjoy the frills. Flip the bird to utility.

The diagonal slip stitch section was my favourite part of both socks. As the main colour points ever closer toward the toe I knew they were almost complete. This section is the quickest way I can tell the left and right sock apart. I hear someone yelling, “Pizza” on a ski slope.


The broken rib toes are a tidy way to finish the sock, with the added comfort of the squishiness it provides.


I’m glad I chose this pattern. I will keep mending these socks again and again.


You can find the ‘Contrast Blast Socks’ pattern at:-



I had this fisherman’s rib pattern on my to-do list for about 12 months and I should’ve gotten my act together and made it sooner.

Does anyone else remember where they were or what was happening in their life when they made a project? My brain collects those associations, and for every piece in my collection I can tell you a story and revisit the past like a time traveller. I was working on this jumper when we visited Port Macquarie back in March. Unbeknownst to us when we packed the car and set off, we were about to head into flooding like I’ve never seen before. And I never wish to see again.

The association that remains with this jumper, is how much I love my kids and my husband. And deep-seeded gratitude that we are all here together.

In my planning stage, I took extra time and care in the swatching process. I was determined to maintain cropped features, and I could see if I didn’t get it right, the delightfully soft, squishy, stretchy fisherman’s rib fabric would warp into a very different jumper. I went through a few changes of needle size before settling on a 4mm. I like to wet block everything I make, versus steaming, so it took about a week, amongst other activities of daily life, waiting for swatches to dry, measuring, then going in again with another couple of needle sizes and waiting for them to dry. Vitally worth it though.

My body measurements rested between the small and medium size, and I opted for the smaller of the two. Going with this option sees the body shape nicely into the back. There’s still plenty of room to move though, and the neckline remains stretchy. I used a JSS bind-off around the neck. It’s good to know you can go down a size for a different fit without being restricted in the places that matter.

I was contemplating knitting the body and sleeves in the round, but then went with the instructions as laid out in the pattern, seaming the front and back body pieces and the sleeves. The circulars I felt would keep the momentum going and maybe I would complete the pieces a little sooner. But then some sense prevailed and I questioned why I’d want to work more quickly? I like my mindful time.

I knit this jumper in my 8 ply 100% Australian Merino (180m/100g), making it lighter weight, but still within the ballpark.

The warmth this jumper generates is impressive. If this is on your to-do list, don’t hesitate to get started now.

The ‘Muna’ pattern can be found at:-


The moment I saw an image of this pattern I let out an audible, “wow”. My greedy little brain went into overdrive trying to understand the construction and I yearned to see the final fabric with my own eyes. The original images I’d seen were beautiful to look at. The final product in my hands is no less beautiful. And that is owed entirely to the brilliance of Nancy Marchant. I followed the instructions, listened to plenty of Thom Yorke and BRMC and voila! Whorl for me.

The pattern gives instructions how to set up two different versions of the shawl. The principal instructions detail how to make a shawl where the main garter colour matches the raised coil stitches, and a contrast colour forms the background band of colour behind the coil stitches. A second version is shown a few pages later where the main garter colour is the complete background colour of the shawl and a contrast colour is used for the coiled stitches.

I began making the first version of the shawl using Marine Splendour as the main garter and coil colour, but changed my mind after working a repeat of the patterned section. I was using Deep Gold as the background band of colour, and realised I’d prefer it instead as the coil colour. I pulled back to the garter two colour striping and realised I’d need to take this out too to stay true to the pattern. I contemplated it, but then decided I was ok with it not being exact. I was watching ‘The Farewell’ at the time and wanted to give Awkwafina’s character a hug. I think the timing helped make it an easy decision. If you can catch up the stitch count somewhere, then good enough can be enough.

As suggested, I used a locking stitch marker as a cable needle and JR’s advice to move the centre stitch marker two places across on row 3. That worked well and was helpful.

I made an extra repeat of the final garter stitch section so the lower band of garter would be a little deeper. Other than that and the change to the two colour striping the rest is as instructed.

I dyed up 200g each of Marine Splendour and Deep Gold in the 4ply 100% Australian Merino. I thought I was going to need more, but my gauge meant I ended up having some leftover.

Make this shawl in whatever fibre makes you happy. It really is something special. I will love it forever.

The Whorl Shawl pattern can be found at:-


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