My Failed Relationship with Toe Socks

This post was originally published on my Medium profile on January 21st, 2016.


Since I was 12 I’ve been in love with toe socks. They’d become the symbol for the quirky, cute, intelligent girl who didn’t quite fit in but was still gorgeous according to conventional standards of beauty. They appeared in the glossy spreads of my teen magazines, desperately read in a grasping attempt to be relevant, to gain friends. Maybe if I did these things, people would like me….

It took me years to realize there was no magic formula between the covers of Seventeen or J-14 to make me into one of the cool girls; to make me attractive to boys or other girls or anyone, even myself. So much time sneaking around with my best friend, hiding her copy of Seventeen from her mom lest she get in trouble for reading something “too old” for her; reading aloud to each other in giggling whispers; blushing at the questions about sex submitted by readers just like us, we thought.

I don’t remember where I first saw pictures of toe socks on quirky, fascinating, manic pixie dream girls; I don’t recall what magazine it was, but I remember what the picture looked like — a top-down shot of a few girls sitting in a circle, knees up, feet on the ground, toes pointing to each other, all focus on the socks. Rainbow-striped knee-high toe socks.

Continue reading My Failed Relationship with Toe Socks

The Unorthodox Hat

I’m making a hat. I’m knitting a hat.

It’s my first, so kind of a big deal. Firsts in knitting are always big, even if they’re not that complex. Same for crochet.

But I’m not a patterns person. It’s nigh impossible for me to follow a knitting pattern and stick to it. I like making things up. I like improvising. I detest making gauge swatches. (I know. Bad Katje.)

I bought this gorgeous purple merino yarn a while ago, with the intent to make a hat from it. But I couldn’t find a pattern I liked. I couldn’t find a pattern that held my attention long enough. The yarn sat unused in a box. I tried to make something else out of it, and quickly became bored with that project and frogged it.

On Thursday, I had an inspiration.

I figured out how to knit a hat without having to make a gauge swatch.

Knit it from the top down.

6. I'm thankful for... #knitting #fmsphotoaday

So I cast on 12 stitches to three needles, and started knitting, increasing every other round. When I got to 60 stitches I added a needle. I think it looks pretty good so far.

Of course, if you don’t want a circle in the top of your hat, you’ll have to cast on three stitches, probably. It’ll be a bit more difficult.

But it’s worth it to avoid the gauge swatch, in my totally-not-humble-at-all opinion. (Also, you could theoretically cover the little hole at the top with a pom-pom, or something. I personally want a hole in the top of my hat so I can have a place for the extra crazy to escape from my brain.)

I’ll post more pictures when it’s done. I may actually have a knit hat that I made to wear this fall and winter.