Which Came First?

The boot toppers or the desire for a pair of casual boots in brown?

This all started with a very nice little pattern book called “Gifted” by designer Mags Kandis. Among the 34 designs were a pair of cabled boot toppers. Not leg warmers. Not socks. Boot toppers. Knitted cuffs you pull on first, pull your boots on over them, and turn down the nifty cabled cuff with its picot bind-off fringe. Just a really cute pattern.

This was at least sometime in 2012 I saw the pattern and, like so many others, filed it away in my mind on the “nice to have” list.

Over the summer, I was rearranging my stash to reacquaint myself with what was there. Unfortunately, the Woolly Lamb in Pennington, New Jersey, had gone out of business and, of course, I had to have one last binge there. This, even though they had had a big blow-out of warehoused yarns during 2012 and I had binged there, as well. In sorting through my loot, I found two skeins of a beautiful green tweed, Grignasco Knits Loden. I made sure the two skeins were in the same spot and filed their existence away in my mental card file, too.

Somehow, this mental filing away of the cabled boot topper pattern and the green tweed yarn must have been percolating in my sub-conscious. As autumn approached and I took inventory of my fall wardrobe I realized something: I had dressy black boots. I had dressy brown boots. I had cowboy boots. I did NOT have casual brown boots.

Did I NEED casual brown boots? I must have, because I suddenly found myself thinking at odd moments: Must. Get. Casual. Brown. Boots. Black never entered the picture. Brown, they had to be brown. Why? Because brown went better with the green tweed yarn. Green. Tweed. Yarn.

Must. Have. Cabled. Boot. Toppers.

I wouldn’t say I obsessed about this, but it did rise to my conscious world every so often. After work one evening, I stopped at a local JoAnn’s Fabrics to pick up some odds and ends. Walking back to my car, I looked up across the parking lot. There, shedding its radiant soft glow was the big DSW sign. Designer Shoe Warehouse. The well-lit windows shown out like a beacon of boots. There, I knew, would be my brown boots.

Entering, I was greeted with row upon row of boots. I spent an enjoyable hour or so prowling up and down the aisles, sometimes stopping to stroke a toe cap or straighten a limp leg that had toppled. But, with all of the boot bounty, nothing really spoke to me. I had a couple of mental “possibles” and roamed off to look first at the dress pumps before once again scanning the boots. Nothing really jumped out at me. To take another break, I went to check the discounted section.

The discount section can be a real treasure trove. This is where shoes go when the store gets down to the last few pairs and wants them gone. The discounts can be sizeable. I rooted around, not looking for anything in particular, when suddenly up popped these:

cables 3

Real leather. Made in Brazil. One pair left, size 7, which is a half-size larger than I normally take but would accommodate heavy socks for the cold weather. Sizable discount. And, best of all, they were brown! Needless to say, they came home with me. And don’t they look a little plain, the casual brown boots?

I quickly dug out the pattern book and the two skeins of green tweed yarn. I must have really wanted to satisfy the sub-conscious need for these things, because I cranked out the first one in two days. I finished the other one during the next week and finished them a few days before Christmas.

cables 2

Naturally, you knit them on the cable side but to wear them, you turn them inside out. This way, the cable shows over the boot.

cables 4

Amazing, isn’t it, how sometimes the simplest things make us the happiest?

3 Responses to Which Came First?

  1. fotyc says:

    I made a wee pair of boot toppers in hopes that I could make my Regia clear boots wearable (they made blisters and bruises all over my ankles). You remind me to get them out and try them…

  2. Kris says:

    Beautiful boots and beautiful boot toppers!

  3. Catherine Conrad says:

    My grandmother used to stuff lamb’s wool roving into the toes of too-big shoes. I think your boots and draft guards look great.

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