Oh my blogging friends, I have missed you. Since December 10th I’ve had gum surgery, had an allergic reaction to my antibiotics, got canker sores at each of the 17 sites I had stitches in my mouth and pulled off the annual miracle we call Christmas. I have so much to tell you! There are posts floating around my head about friends, Christmas, books, gum surgery, anniversaries and work. And so many blogs to read! I am terribly behind! So to ease my way out of my no-blogging streak, I’ll start with the knitting I accomplished over the last few weeks.
#1: Headband and fingerless gloves for mom
A few weeks before Christmas mom asked me if I could knit her a headband. I have a knitting pattern I love for headbands. I’ve made at least four of them, and they come together in no time. The pattern is just interesting enough to keep me engaged and it comes together in a flash.
Normally, I’m not a fan of lace or cables in variegated yarn, but there were very important reasons I used this yarn for this project: it was in my stash, it is pretty, and it isn’t itchy. Both my mom and my daughter have a severe dislike for wool and find things itchy that I think are soft and smooth. As a knitter, that’s a bummer, but when someone asks you to make one of your favorite knitted projects, you do what you can with what you have on hand and that meant variegated alpaca. (Especially because I couldn’t drive to the local yarn shop while taking heavy duty painkillers. However, I could manage to follow lace and cable charts. Go figure.)
This is my favorite of these headbands I’ve made. I used a smaller needle (10) and it’s much nicer in a tighter knit: it isn’t so loosy goosey on your head, it’s warmer, and it isn’t as wide across the head as my other ones. I stitched on an antique button and voila! Christmas gift finished…. except… there was a decent amount of yarn left. So, I started hunting on Ravelry for patterns that didn’t need much yarn and could be knit on a size 10 needle. When I came across these owl fingerless gloves I knew I had my winner. My mom has given me patterns with these cabled owls on them before, and mentioned her knitting friends making them. These subliminal hints meant she would love them. I couldn’t resist! I was nervous though, because the pattern called for 100 yds of chunky yarn, my skein only had 110 yards to begin with, and I’d already knit a headband. Feeling braved and doped up, I cast on my first mitt. I shortened the cuff a bit, and in the end had about three yards of yarn to spare. Plenty! I had to go to the craft store on Christmas Eve Eve for the button eyes, and stitched them on just in time. I’m thrilled with the pattern and the results. The mitts are soft, pretty, and practical. My mom loved the set.
#2: Mittens for the kiddo
Feeling inspired after Christmas, and with my mouth still in agony, I picked up my sweater I’ve been working on for a few years and started to work on it. I cast on the neckline and got that finished, but I’m worried it’s too short and a bit wonky. Ugh. Hoping blocking would fix my problem, I started to finish up the sleeves until I was waylaid by a little voice and some big blue eyes saying, “Mommy, would you make me some gloves?” Well, knowing that my daughter never asks for knitted objects and often turns her nose up at sweaters made out of yarn softer than butter, I seized the opportunity. However, I don’t love anyone enough to make gloves – all those fingers to get the right size and all those joins, gak – but she was okay with mittens, but with tops. “Not like Nanna’s mittens.” Back to the yarn closet, and this time we found two skeins of yarn that met her color and “not itchy” requirements.
One Monday night football game and the one with the thin striped was done. She tried it on and loved it. Then I asked, “Do you want them the same, or mismatched?” I was telepathically sending her “mismatched” vibes, because second mittens are so boring. My powers must be strong, because she was thrilled with the idea of coordinated mittens. One day of college bowl games today and the second one was done.
Her nine year old friend dubbed them “Totally cool” this evening so I know they will be worn the rest of the winter. They could use some blocking, but given how much they’ve already been on her hands they may end up staying a little irregular. I’d rather have them loved than perfect.
Pay no attention to my messy house in the background. Did I not mention gum surgery and Christmas? (Ha ha, just kidding you. My house is always messy.)
Happy Knew Year!