Dec 26 2010

…but the fire is so delightful

Published by at 11:35 pm under Blather

There is an honest-to-goodness blizzard outside. Wind gusts of 50mph+, show so thick I can barely see the lights on the other side of the street, and chill trying to creep in around the doors and windows. I am curled up in the living room with yarn and my laptop, the tree glimmering to my left and a toasty fire in the woodstove on my right. (Almost too toasty; I had to start shedding layers!)

My Christmas was spectacular. My family was almost all here (my sister in Vermont worked Christmas Eve so we had good long phone chats over the weekend) and I got some really awesome gifts: some new pattern books and a Verena magazine from my mom, assorted straight needles from my Dad (I think he was fascinated by the existence of US35s and US50s, hee!), and a really beautiful Namaste needle case and a KP sock yarn collection from my other sister. I also got lots of B&N gift cards for my Nook, and my Vermont sister got me Alton Brown’s new Good Eats cookbook, which I have been very, very happily devouring. Pun intended.

And I am happy to report that all my holiday knitting was entirely worth it.

christmas present mosaic

This turned out to be the year of the hats, as well as some catch-up stockings for my sisters’ fiances. Patterns and notes are all in the Ravelry project pages if there’s anything that catches your eye. I, however, want to brag about one project in particular:


Swedish Fish Mittens

Pattern: Swedish Fish Mittens by SpillyJane
Yarn: KnitPicks Palette in Cream (MC); Iris Heather, Pimento, Golden Heather, Clover (Fishies).
Needles: US 0 (2.0mm)
Notes: Hoooooooooly snowballs, these were a true labor of love. There’s a story here, you see, and I will tell it. Settle in, get your eggnog.

See, my sister and her now-fiance went out to visit family of his this summer. They live in Breckenridge, Colorado. If you know anything about geography you will know that is rather high up. 12,000 feet above sea level, or thereabouts. We… are not mountain people. We find them pretty, we enjoy them, but we are from sea level. We live in a coastal region, and my house is maaaaybe a couple hundred feet above sea level. We like our oxygen.
Long story short, my sister had hideous, awful altitude sickness and ended up fainting while they were out in the mountains. Her fiance caught her in time to prevent her from hitting her head, and after a visit to the doctor and some quality time with oxygen, she perked up and they sent her off with instructions to take it easy for the rest of her trip. (Her fiance’s brothers found a shirt for her in one of the tourist traps. It read “Got Oxygen?” We were highly amused.)
We have concluded that my sister, like Ariel the Little Mermaid, shouldn’t leave the sea. And because we’re a loving and supportive bunch, we promptly hit the stores to buy all the sea- and mermaid-themed stuff we could find.
And that was when I thought of his pattern. And I had a wonderful, terrible idea. And thus, this Christmas present.

Becky's Mittens

This is the first major project I’ve knitted on size 0 needles, which are teeeeenytiny little things. I had to really readjust my tension out of fear of snapping a needle. I also switched around the chart a little, so the fish swam in opposing directions — it reminded me of the way the little schools of tiny fish would dart around in the water during our childhood summers at the beach. I think if I did these again (and I just might) I would do them all in red, mainly because weaving in all the yarn ends once I was finished was a pretty thankless job.

The end result was totally worth it, though. My sister’s reaction was along the line of: “[speechlessness]. Did you do these yourself? You really knit these? Shut up. Shut. Up. You’re ridiculous. You knit these yourself? Holy [you can guess]. This is ridiculous.” I should note that while she was saying all this she was putting the mittens on and admiring them from every possible angle.

Swedish Fish Mittens

I gave them to my sister with a bag of actual Swedish Fish candies, conveniently one of her favorites. She immediately stuck her hands out when I took out my camera, so I could share with you all. They fit perfectly (thankfully, our hands are about the same size, so it makes guessing easy) and I’m over the moon at how much she loves them.

Reactions like that are why I keep knitting for holidays. Once the storm moves out and we have decent lighting I’ll have my mom model the scarf I made for her.

And now… time for more tea, I think, and I am going to curl up by the fire, hang my head over, and listen to the wind blow. Stay warm!

One response so far

One Response to “…but the fire is so delightful”

  1. kingshearte says:

    Those mittens really are spectacular. Nice job.


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