Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Taking steps towards future...

So, this year, my kids needed multiple pairs of mitts, as always...someone's always showing up with wet or (momentarily) lost mitts at the last moment.  -And by the way, they are still wearing at least one pair of mitts, snowpants, parkas, and hats to school every day.  The high is -1C today (just below freezing) and the low for tonight is -10C. (14F)  It's currently overcast and...flurrying.  However, with someone sick at home from December until April, my knitting output has been limited.  The latest has involved the Professor and both twins, three separate illnesses, as best we can figure out.  Between three guys, four sets of antibiotics, one allergic reaction, some fevers, some unexplained ongoing stuff...it's been a heck of a winter for illness around here.
This is the year when I began to see how longterm investments pay off. :)
...Meals I put into the freezer for later, bulk buying that worked out when I couldn't get to the grocery store or we didn't do laundry, the whole nine yards of planning ahead for a "rainy day."
These white mitts are the top layer for a cold day.  Underneath are these are a pair of The Hole Inside Mitts and a homemade mitt liner. (to keep things dry and windproof.)  Where did the white mitts come from?  This, friends, is a pair of size small women's mitts.  I spun and knit these for myself while I was in university.  They are probably 23 or 24 years old, give or take.  (I was the kid who brought her trusty Ashford spinning wheel to the dorm.  Really.)  These have never been fancy, show off mitts but have been worn, off and on, for years.  This year they got nearly daily use for a while.  They looked a bit dingy, so I washed them.  That's it.  Medium wool, spun into a chunky single, knit using an old Penny Straker mitten pattern.
Many of my projects are in use throughout our house.  I don't "see" them most days, but on a winter like this one, I began to notice things I've made--and use-- again.  I am beginning to update some of my Love knitting patterns. Some of them used small batch yarns that are hard to get, and maybe I could make suggestions...so I'm doing it, a little at a time.  Here are some examples:  I noticed the Ploughed Acre Socks had a project over on Ravelry worked up in a widely available yarn, Dream in Color Smooshy.  They look great!  So, I've updated the pattern to suggest that yarn.
My Zafu cushion is still hard at work in our house.  It's currently in use as one of my twin's "quiet corner," which involves a big old box, a dark sheet, the cushion inside, and some special quiet toys to keep him busy while he's hiding out in there.  The cushion has been well used and loved.  The Churro rug yarn wears like iron!  However, it's hard to find, Churro is a rare breed wool. Several people have worked up this pattern on Ravelry.  The most interesting options include yarns I hadn't thought about.  They include: multiple strands of mill end yarns, three strands of Red Heart Super Saver (an inexpensive, hard wearing acrylic yarn) and more.  I don't usually use acrylic, but I can really appreciate the reasoning of this knitter...she wanted an inexpensive project with lasting results--and she planned for everyone to put their feet on this.  So, she wanted to make something easily washable, too.  Everybody makes choices based on their household's needs...I get that.
One of my pleasures as a designer is watching others quietly create different and interesting versions of an idea that first came out of my head long ago.  Each pattern available as a weird eternal life that I love seeing as it evolves...and some of the originals also have staying power!
Thoughts like these have been heartening during this winter.  There have been days when I did not feel well enough to knit, or could not manage much knitting after doing all the chores by myself.  (The professor was down like a fallen tree for a while, he was really sick.)  However, if I looked around, I realized there was plenty of knitwear around the house to buoy us forward.  We have extra handknit afghans for those days on the couch, and a felted sweater blanket as an extra layer on the bed.
I wish this long winter were over already and everyone in our household felt better!  In the meanwhile though, planning ahead for that unknown future need seems to be serving us well.

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