Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's knit, mittens

...or, A Tale of Two Mittens, knit two years apart.

In the winter of 2009, I fell in love. Like so many times before, the object of my affection, first glimpsed in the early Fall, was overwhelmingly attractive, offering to bring comfort and warmth to my life. I reacted in the same way I had when I fell before. I gazed at my love over and over, contemplating every pleasing detail. For months, I coveted what I saw, lost in endless admiration and longing.

Then, as Valentine's Day approached, I made my move. As often happens, once I tried to fit my love into my life, problems arose. The new arrival was incompatible with established occupants. There was struggling, fighting. I didn't have the tools or skills to meet the demands. Again, as before, I didn't give up on love. I still lusted, but I lusted after a new vision--I insisted that my love change.

Thank goodness it's only knitting, something that I can bend to my will.

After ripping and reknitting repeatedly, I decided to develop a new chart more suited to the gauge of the yarn I substituted. As I knit the first mitten, following the pattern from the Fall '08 issue of Vogue Knitting, I thought how much the original ten-stitch motif reminded me of eyes. Inspired by the upcoming Valentine's Day, I designed an eight-stitch heart chart. An eye, or I, then a heart, or love--the final words were obvious. Thus I developed my "I love to knit" mitten.

For two years, I joked about what I would put on the second mitten. A word to describe what else I love, one with four letters. Oh, we had fun with that one at knitting group. I didn't really think it would take so long, but sometimes it does to get it right. Now that I have finally figured it out, it amazes me that I didn't see it immediately. I love to knit. I love wool. I love to knit wool.

It's no wonder. Look where I live.

Good thing these are lined with alpaca.

The bit of gold in the turned hem is silk, the same as in the shawl I knit for a recent wedding. I was so obsessed with using every bit of the 14 balls of silk I had for the shawl, and so proud that I did. Then I picked up the basket where the single mitten has been sitting with the leftover yarn for the past two years. That's when I realized that I didn't have any silk left for the hem of the second mitten. I tried to substitute something else from my stash, but nothing made me happy. With trepidation, I went to the yarn shop where had originally bought the silk. I couldn't believe that they had some left, 2 years later. (I know you're tired of me saying that, two years later...)

Never mind, I finished the second mitten, in time for our recent visit to the local ski resort.

Bye Monarch!

We'll be back soon.

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Wool Winder said...

Great design!

Lies said...

I love these mittens :-)

Affiknitty said...

What a wonderful post about some great mittens! I think they're worthy of a 2-year knitting journey!

torirot said...

Gorgeous mittens!!