I found this great-looking pattern on Love Knitting's pattern search when I was looking for a Mother's Day shawl. It had straightforward center-out repeating panel construction, a nice light weight, and was not a yarn hog. I downloaded it in the yarn store and bought the right-size crochet hook. With Premier's cool white cotton yarn in hand, I settled in to a day of crafting and Lost in Space. I had this project all planned, so why did I end up frogging this simple piece 10 times in 2 days?
My father's parents had 9 children, of which he was the middle one. These siblings averaged 5 children of their own, and my grandfather estimates that he has 42 grandchildren. I had lost touch with many of my cousins for years, but have been lucky enough to reconnect with many of them over the last year. I'm grateful to rediscover my large family, and I've had the fortune to meet their children as well. I get a lot of joy from making gifts for this fourth generation
. If you're like me, you probably compulsively collect every free leaflet you see when you go to the yarn store. Of the dozens I've picked up and stuffed in my yarn drawer, I've only ever made one project, a pair of simple worsted weight knitted leg warmers. I did end up wearing the leg warmers a few times. I would have worn them more often, but unfortunately I had used a traditional bind off for the first one and then decided to use a stretchy bind off on the second. One leg warmer would constantly slip down and the other would be tight around the calf.
Sometimes I get too excited, and this keeps me from executing paired patterns the same way twice. The upside is that sometimes my results are more interesting or unique, if I don't make a globby mess. I give myself permission to be imperfect so that I can reap the therapeutic rewards without pressure. One good trick is using those magic techniques that let you knit two things at once. It's also great for those of us who have an inconsistent gauge at times.
I do want to share a happy silver lining to my sad leg warmer story. I wore them on one of the best trips I've been on, when my boyfriend and I went on a low-key weekend trip to Iowa. We ran with the big dogs at the Malamute rescue, befriended Alpacas, and speluncked at Maquoketa. I can't find the exact pattern online, but here is a similar free one.
On a recent trip to Michael's, I overheard not one, but two, women complaining to clerks that the yarn they needed to finish their projects was out of stock. Hey, we've all been there. Sometimes I buy yarn just because it's on sale or has pretty colors without having a project in mind. Then, when I try to make knee socks, I only have enough to go mid-calf. Or I'll try to make a baby blanket and run out before I can add a scalloped edge. I have a bad habit of losing labels, so I can't find the same yarn even if it is in stock.
Ashley Little has some solid advice, or you could always just stop cold with a yarnless bindoff. Most times, I'll just switch colors like I did in the blue-edged blanket below. I wove in the matching ribbon and tied it with bows at the ends. It was a present for my cousin's second daughter on her second birthday, and she really liked it! Now my cousin is expecting a third, so I'll have to get at least another ball of yarn (maybe enough for a whole blanket).
My boyfriend is incredibly patient, and will try anything once. I love these qualities about him, and they make him the perfect guinea pig for men's patterns.
Because he loves the outdoors, even in winter, I thought I'd make him a warm head and neck cozy. The free Lion Brand pattern was cool, because I'd never seen anything that hugs your neck like this in stores, and it had been originally designed for soldiers deployed in cold climates.
Unfortunately, I decided to go rogue and improvise so I wouldn't have to sew anything together at the end. I thought I'd be fine if I just tried it on his head a lot as I progressed. Well... it fits too loosely around the neck and has so much material around his face that it really, truly looks like a baby bonnet.
To Scott's credit, he received the bonnet warmly and even wore it once. It now lives in the back of his car, lying in wait for a subzero day or impromptu costume party. In return for his kindness, I'm not going to post a pic of him wearing the bonnet. Here he is just doing what he loves best.