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handknit gifts!

March 31, 2009

in the past week i’ve been doing a lot of non-blog knitting (swatches; still working on that dress, which doesn’t look any different; things like that) and writing papers! i’m in the home stretch (4 weeks until the end of classes!) and i can definitely feel the crunch.

last week, i was talking to louisa at work about tahki donegal tweed and got really nostalgic for one of my favorite handknit gifts ever! i mean gifts i’ve given, of course.

when i first started knitting seriously, in fall 2005, i was really into learning new things (ok, i still am!). one of those new things was design, and one was cables. i didn’t yet know that my least favorite thing to knit was mittens, so i knit…i don’t know…probably six of them? all as experiments in cabling and thumb gusset placement. two didn’t match and were just tests. two were a pair for my ex boyfriend, out of noro kureyon in what is still one of my favorite colorways, no. 213. he “didn’t really like” them but still wore them to literal pieces in about 2 months – three guesses as to why he’s an ex, haha!

the other pair of mittens were for my sister, sarah. i think she may have bothered me about them for a while and finally i started them on my spring break! i don’t think i have any in-progress or original pictures, because i didn’t think to take any, but when i visited her in paris this past december, she still had them after 3 years, and they still look great!

the best part about this picture is that right after i took it, on the metro, a parisian train bum started talking to her, in french, and she was able to hold a conversation with him. if that’s not a test of fluency, i don’t know what is.

here’s a long shot of them and includes my other sister, whom i owe a pair of socks, badly. don’t worry, i’ll get to them!

anyway, it’s always awesome when someone likes something you make them even though it has some flaws. if i were to re-do these mittens, i’d probably make the cuffs longer, and add ribbing between the cables to draw them in. maybe i’d place the thumb gussets differently. but it’s great to see that she’s still wearing them after all this time and probably doesn’t care about the mistakes…right?


thinking about this has made me remember how great gift crafting is. usually i knit for myself, for the store, or for trades. but this year i’m going to start early and try to make all the gifts i give in the next year! it shouldn’t be hard, i’m not expecting to have a lot of excess money for a while, haha. and i have a huge stash. so i guess after all these boring non-blog projects, i’m gonna start even MORE boring non-blog projects. sorry guys.


in more current, bloggable news, i am now in possession of a large amount of the most beautiful roving i’ve seen in a long time. gail, the kangaroo dyer has been dyeing a lot of superwash merino for webs. i spun some of it on my drop spindle to make this hat, and, while it was really pretty to look at, it wasn’t the most fun thing to spin.

as a spinner, i’m definitely still finding my sea-legs, as it were. i like the good old, slightly prickly, comfort food fibers much better than the softer and therefore less sticky ones. when i got my wheel, i got a few ounces of corriedale cross top to practice on from work, and found that immensely more enjoyable to work with than the merino i spun directly afterward. so, i asked gail if she would consider making a similar colorway, which i’m assuming from looking at her etsy is called “springtime”, in corriedale. of course, when i went into work on friday to drop some stuff off, she was there and pulled out what i’m pretty sure is the most beautiful thing i’ve ever seen!

eight ounces of it! i’m working on it now but i don’t know what to do when i’m finished. i’m thinking i might try to navajo ply it. i have a little domestic roving left that i can spin up and practice on, and some natural corriedale singles from when i first got the wheel. but it is so pretty.

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