Shoes & Swatches

I have always loved shoes.  My shoe collection is probably not massive by anyone’s standards, but it is carefully chosen – there are few pairs that I don’t care for.  In the winter I tend to wear high heeled boots most of the time – they are warm, and that way I can wear heels in the winter without freezing.  But when I do buy another pair, I find that a new variable has entered into my considerations – “How will they look with handknit socks?”

Luckily, they look very nice.

I bought these at the same time as a new pair of boots (it was a buy one, get 1/2 off sale.)  I wanted a pair of flat soled boots, for those times when heels aren’t what I want.  I confess, although I love these I am totally at a loss for how to wear them.

They are a little too big in the calf for me, but so are all boots… I have something like the world’s skinniest legs, and the world does not make them small enough for me.  I always have to buy them too big and deal.  They aren’t as big as they look here though… they are unzipped.  Do I wear them over pants?  Because I tried that, and I thought I looked strange, but that may just be holdover from the last time I work pants tucked into boots in the 80s.    I got these because I don’t care for the clunkier riding boot styles of flat boot, and I liked the retro 60s aesthetic.  I have worn them, so they aren’t returnable… any advice on how to make them work?

I have been swatching a little, to no one’s surprise.  For my fellow soft tweed lovers I thought I would share a new find.

It isn’t labeled a tweed, but it has different colored flecks, making it tweedy in my book, if not a traditional tweed.  This is Beaverslide worsted, a blend of merino and mohair.  The mohair makes the yarn soft, but is not apparent in the skein.  The yarn is somewhat minimally processed – it contains lanolin still, but it does not smell sheepy to me (this is a big deal to me; I hate strong sheep smells.)

The yarn has a sturdy, dense feel, but it is not in the least scratchy or hard to knit with.  I would call this a softer version of Peace Fleece (I can’t knit with peace fleece, but this was lovely on my hands.)  It is easier to knit with than Kathmandu Aran, and if you like that yarn I think you would love this.  It knit to 4.5 st/in on US 7s before washing, and blocked to 4.25 st/in.  There is a tiny bit of vegetable matter, but not nearly as much as could be found in, for example, noro.  I’m planning to use this for Vivian by Ysolda from the twist collective.  I was worried that it was too thin, but having knit with it I can see where it will be nice and dense for cables (it looks nice in cabled garments on Ravelry.)  It was a bargain I thought as well.  I’d recomend checking out their website, they have many lovely colors.  I’ve also heard good things about the McTaggart tweed, though I have not tried it.

I also swatched my nature wool for Wisteria.  I got 5.5 st/in on US 6 needles – so seriously not a worsted weight yarn.  I love the slight variegation.  I’m hoping this will be my next sweater after Vaila.

I am nearly finished with the first lace repeat on vaila.  I can’t say that the sweater is super fast – the lace pattern is on every row.  I made one error already, but I’m hoping it isn’t noticeable.  I should also mention that I did not do the special cast on.  Since I’m changing the shaping it didn’t seem important, and to be honest I almost never do special cast ons (don’t even get me started on tubular cast ons!)  Thanks for the suggestion to knit the sleeves inside out – what a great idea!  I will certainly try it.

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13 thoughts on “Shoes & Swatches

  1. Roxanne says:

    If your boots are too big in the calves, have you tried taking them to a shoe repair shop? They can narrow them for you at a modest price. I have the opposite problem with boots, my calves are huge, but I love boots, so I take mine to a shoe repair shop and they put in an insert at the calves to make them wider and they look great.

  2. I second both of the previous suggestions. I have skinny calfs too, I’ve also been looking for flat (and still stylish) boots with little success. But I think you’ve picked a winner. I love the wedge shoes too!

  3. I’m a short girl, so I’ve always struggled with the tucked in jean thing too – I prefer a skirt with my boots when I want em to show… and those are worth showing!

  4. Wear them over the pants! They will need to be skinny/slim cut and it does take a couple of struts around your livingroom to get used to it, but it’s worth it. There’s something very empowering about it.

    Otherwise, go with skirts that are on the ever-so-slightly shorter side.

    Very nice selection, by the way!

  5. I like skinny jeans tucked into boots (the boots balance the skinniness of the tighter leg, even on those of us with child-bearing hips!). I also like the idea of playing up the 60s vibe of the boots with some cute block-coloured skirts with an A-line.

  6. Pat says:

    Here is something else I have in common with you (super-skinny legs). I often wear boots with the pant legs tucked in and I love it! I might add though that I also have the world’s skinniest hips, so obviously it doesn’t make my hips look big. (I often describe myself as stick-figure with hair) :)
    Anyway, my legs are so thin that I can even wear bootcut jeans tucked in by simply folding the legs over military style. It adds warmth to my cold-natured frame.
    I purchased some flat boots that I like (although I also usually wear high heels). They are riding boot and are narrower around the calf and taller than the ones you bought. I really like yours too though!

  7. Ooh, I love those slip on shoes. What kind are they?

    I have the same skinny calf problem with boots. Last year I finally broke down and ordered some from Duo boots in England. They were expensive, but it’s so nice to have boots that don’t make my legs look like chicken legs. Plus, the pound in falling in relation to the dollar, so they are getting cheaper and cheaper…

  8. I too have ridiculously skinny calves, and after much searching I have found that Payless, of all places, tends to have boots that actually fit me. Amazingly enough, they’re pretty cute too, so it’s a good place to check if you have skinny legs.

    As for wearing them, not sure; I usually just wear mine under my jeans because I’m never quite sure how else to wear them!

  9. I hope to knit Vivian as well. I look forward to following your progress on this sweater! And you’re so dedicated with your swatching. I wish I was – it would save me a lot of headaches!

  10. Nina says:

    My legs are too skinny for most boots too. Luckily in Holland it’s a trend to wear them with knitted stockings up to your knee, so you still see a part of the stocking peeking out over the boots. You could do that too, and than your new ‘shoe-buy-consideration’ would also go for boots! Yaaay!

    Also, I think you should wear them with a long knitted vest, over your pants (also a trend), or with a on-the-knee simple dress with a wide belt around your waist.

    Sure it’ll work out beautifully. Post some pics when you have figured out which style suits you and your boots :D.

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