Thursday, December 15, 2005

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  • The Early Works

    But it is a cold, lifeless business when you go to the shops to buy something, which does not represent your life and talents, but a goldsmith's.
    -Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Gifts"

    My visit to the incomparable Kate D. (seriously, drinking games and Harry Potter on her blog - check it out) has given me a rare opportunity to revisit some of my early works of knitting. Kate had the pleasure, or misfortune, to be an early welcoming recipient of handknitted things. I started knitting in college, and seriously our senior year. She was a charter member of our trip to PEI (and apparently has photos of us in the woolens mill), and as a non-knitting member of our group, made herself extremely useful by winding my wool for me as I knit.

    For all this, she now has some nice (if plain) mittens, a rather sub-par hat, and a small collection of socks of variable (but increasing) quality. As I search for recipients for things I want to make, the thought that Kate already has a hat/mittens/more socks than she wears generally crosses my mind, and it doesn't occur to me to make her another hat/mittens/or even a pair of gloves. As it has been some years since I've seen her in the winter, it was a surprise to see just how early that early hat was. Surely, no one questions that it was homemade - and with plenty of love - but my first thought on seeing it is that she deserves better.

    This is quite an encouraging thought, really, particularly when I extrapolate and think of all the other early works out there. Since I was particularly adept at mittens when I first started really knitting, I can go on a mitten spree with good cheer and confidence. Thinking of all the recipients of plain and variably-fitting mittens out there, I am ready to tackle all sorts of explosions of color after the holidays.

    Latvian Mittens. Norwegian Mittens. Folk Mittens. That intriguing pattern from KnitPicks. Expect a fun winter around here.


    Blogger Anneliese Kelly said...

    As early as your early attempts might have been, at least your first pair of minutes wasn't suitable for a person with one normal-sized hand and one seriously oversize, deformed hand. I'm still thinking of giving the too large glove to my boyfriend, keeping the small one for myself and knitting one for us to wear together, holding hands...

    12/16/2005 10:27 AM  
    Blogger Elinor said...

    YAY! Mittens! I just love them. I once made a pair that was wayyy to bog and I have each one out as an oven mitt. Everyone was fooled. They thought the mittens were really supposed to be oven mitts! I got a good laugh out of it. It wasn't so obvious because they were knit out of worsted weight yarn on size 1 DPNs so they were really thick. :-)

    I'm a huge fan of Folk Mittens and Latvian Mittens books. I have to swatch colors to see if my choices really look OK but after that, they're so much fun!

    I hope your guinea pig gets some new gear soon. :-)

    12/16/2005 12:49 PM  
    Blogger Chris said...

    Mittens! Eeeek!! They're everywhere!!

    I can understand giving up alcohol after having a bad cabling experience such as you described on my blog. That would be soul crushing. If it was me, that sweater would be stuffed in the back of the closet and perhaps only pulled out for a white elephant gift exchange.

    12/16/2005 1:16 PM  
    Blogger Kate Diamond said...

    You may mock the "early works," but no matter what Theresa-made hats come into my life I shall always adore that first blue one with the blanket stitching. Why? Because it was made with love out of my Prince Edward Island yarn, and every time I wear it I feel like Anne of Green Gables.

    How many hats can do that?

    12/19/2005 10:57 AM  

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