As much as I lament the lack of pure white snow here in sunny Florida, I really do not envy my friends and family back in Canada who have to endure the long, dark, cold days of winter.  The flurry of activity surrounding the holidays gives way to the endless piles of snow and freezing winds of January, and spring seems a million years away as the days tick slowly by.

One of my good friends of many years lives waaaaaaay up north in a place that is remote and frigid, and in the days after Christmas I was thinking of her and an idea popped into my head--a surprise winter survival care package!
I stumbled across the most beautiful wool, and my knitting fingers got itchy!
The color combination is called 'Glacier Bay', and it reminded me of her--the perfect find!
I dug out my Mum's instructions for slipper socks--I have knitted so many pairs of these through the years, but it's been a few years since I last made them.  Always better to check the pattern!  Mum developed these slippers from her old stockings pattern with the most beautifully-turned heels and perfectly-tapered toes which had been taught to her many years ago by my paternal Grandmother.  There is a lot of history in these socks!
I am so pleased with how they turned out--look at the gorgeous variegated colors!  I made the tops of them a bit longer than I normally would to cover the ankles and keep away the northern drafts...
... and I liked them so much that I made myself a pair too!  My color is called 'Violets', and I adore the heathered purples and pinks with a touch of mossy green thrown in.
Is there anything more pleasant than receiving a surprise package in the mail?  When I was in university, living far from home, the best thing in the world was to receive 'snail mail', second only to a care package.  To this day I get excited when I open the mailbox and there is a card waiting for me inside.  A package?  Well, that just makes my whole day!
Some of the best things come wrapped in plain brown paper!
The slipper socks are snuggled up inside with some winter essentials...
Rosebud salve to prevent chapped lips, sparkly moisture cream to add a bit of bling and protect tender skin from the rough Canadian winds, shimmer face hilighter to brighten a face that rarely sees sun at the moment, and a few other fun little treats!
I just got a message from her this morning--after two weeks in transit, the package finally arrived!  I was waiting to share my project with you until she received the package... just in case the surprise was discovered.
You would be surprised how often I've worn my own slipper socks lately--it's been rather cool in the evenings, and these are beautifully cozy when the temperatures dip.   Unfortunately the pattern for these is my Mum's jealously-guarded secret as she sells many versions of these year-round at crafting fairs and a local cooperative of like-minded artisans back in my hometown.  However, if you are an experienced knitter who has made stockings before, these are very easy to make--you cast on 42 stitches, knit 2 pearl 1 for 6 rows, knit 3 rows, and then knit and turn your heel and continue on as you would for a stocking, working with 14 stitches on each needle once you have turned the heel and decreased back down to 42 sts to knit the foot.  Decrease as usual to shape the toe. 
I hope you're all having a wonderful week--and enjoying your winter projects!  What's everyone working on at the moment?  I love to see what other crafters are doing :-)
True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done,
the zest of creating things new.
~Antoine de Saint-Euxpery~