Thursday, August 16, 2007

Spiral Scarves...And The Countdown Begins.

Attention Sandra: do not read this post.

This year we're doing something different for Christmas presents. With the kids in the family getting a little older and more aware of Who Got What and She Got To Unwrap More Than I Did, it's becoming more and more important to rein them in. To be fair to them, it's not only the children that need reining in...come 10.30 AM on Christmas Day I am always looking hopefully under the tree to see if there's anything I've missed.

My sister-in-law and I decided to do it this year: "handmade" gifts. This doesn't necessarily mean "knitted", although, realistically, knitting will figure prominently.

I had bought some bouclé yarn last year, with vague thoughts of knitting ponchos for all my nieces...after half of one poncho, when I was crying bitter tears of boredom, I abandoned the project. The yarn will now become spiral scarves for the girls, with matching wristers.

This one is in camo (hard to see in the picture), for a very non-girly 8-year-old.

The thing with knitting for children is, there's always the very real possibility that they'll despise what you have made for them, send a faint sneer your way on Christmas morning, and promptly consign it to the Goodwill bag. Good news is, with acrylic bouclé yarn that I got on a BOGO sale and spent one day knitting, it won't break my heart. And, with the perversity common in non-knitters in general, and children in particular, they are more likely to be enthusiastic about acrylic bouclé than about, say, cashmere laceweight.

The pale blue. For a slightly girlier niece....haven't decided which, yet.

Speaking of laceweight, here is the first work-in-progress picture of my mother-in-law's gift: Eunny's Print o' The Wave Stole. I'm knitting it in Sweatermaker's Island Hues (no website but you can find out more about it at Fun Knits), on bamboo needles which I have sharpened almost to the danger point with an emery board. It's the first time I've knitted proper, laceweight lace, though the patterning, chart reading, and so on is no different to, say, the Pomatomus socks, or any of the other lace socks I've made. This means I've avoided the much-mythologised beginning-lace-knitter learning curve.

This shows the patterning well, though the colour is truer in the second picture.

I started the gift knitting in January - a pair of Anemoi Mittens for my sister, who had recently assured me that she loves wearing mittens and has quite a few pair of them. A few days ago, she spotted the Anemoi Mittens on Eunny's sidebar, and commented "Boy I'd like those...that is, IF I wore mittens."
I said cautiously, "But...last year you told me you wear mittens all the time."
She breezily said, "Oh, no: I meant gloves, not mittens."

There was a silence.

Then she said, "Oh, no."

So I suppose the lovely blue and white Anemoi Mittens are destined for someone else. Sadly, Gwen has the smallest hands of anyone I know, so unless they go to a niece, they will have to be ripped right back and reknit with a size larger needle. I'd send them to a niece, but....well, the rest of them are getting acrylic bouclé spiral scarves. It hardly seems fair.


Anonymous said...

Ouch!! And Gwen probably felt terrible after seeing the look on your face, too.
The girls will love the scarves. And print of the wave is coming along nicely, the yarn is delicious, I agree (I have a blue version).

Kit said...

Well, *I* have the smallest hands I know...and they won't soon grow neither. Heh.

Anonymous said...

Me too me too (though really, they are not so small as the rest of me). Those are so gorgeous, it seems a shame - nay, a crying shame - to rip them out.

Furthermore: Gak! You have been a busy knitting bee. And a bee with a great command of advance planning. Every year I seem to run right up against the holiday knitting deadline as if I've never seen it before, and it's all news to me.

And again: That lace is beau-tee-ful. And I love twirly scarves. What a great idea.

And finally: Remind me to tell you the story of the holiday mannequin sometime. No one is as big a whiny child as I am. Or was, that year.

Jo said...

I like second picture with the pale blue one ;) Willow is like that as well - she would rather have the bright, acrylic and garish than anything else... but she does turn her nose up at fun fur (because she doesn't like how it sheds, oddly enough).

Olga said...

I've gotton really selfish about knitting for ungrateful wreches. Now I mostly gift baby stuff cause new moms pretty much love that.It kills me to spend so much time working on something beautiful and the person you give it to is like, oh. How nice, Happy hands at home.

stitchin' girl said...

I think the kids will love the twirly scarves and your print of the waves is gorgeous. The mitten looks really nice - I am sorry about Gwen not wearing mittens - that really is a shame.

Gwen said...


Word verification: felngbad ;)

Shan said...

uberstrickenfrau: "oh, how nice - happy hands at home" EXACTLY.

Gwen: Don't worry - it gives me a chance to make something else for you, and you know I love making things for you. (Heap those coals.)

Everyone: Maybe I'll offer the Anemoi Mittens up to someone in some sort of exchange, or prize. I'll think about it.

Tabatha said...

Okay, I bow down at knitting your l337 knitting skillz. I am so unworthy to even say I am a knitter. I dabble very poorly at knitting.

Cynthia said...

Why not make them into gloves? Or does the patterning go up too far?

Shan said...

Yeah, the patterning goes up to the second knuckle... It might be doable though, I'll see.

Sue H said...

Ah! The joys and sadnesses when knitting for other folk. You efforts are really much appreciated though I am sure.

Shan said...

By the way Tabatha, I had to check on the Urban Dictionary to see what the heck l337 see, I am OLD. OLD, honey. I see "l337" and I think "typo?" It took me two days to think of Googling it.

Oh - thank you very much by the way.

Kate said...

But Shan, you didn't enlighten the rest of us! 'Cause I have no clue as to what it means, although it seems like a compliment.
And stop with the old stuff. You're the same age as me and I AM NOT OLD.

Shan said...

l337 - hacker speak for 'elite'...see the (granted, faint) resemblance to letters?

Kate said...

Um... sure yup I see it. Uh huh.
OK, no I just don't see it. But you are elite, so it's all good.

Tabatha said...

Here I was trying to impress you with my l337 speak and all for naught. <3