Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hand-y knits

Where are they now?
Whatever happened to your __________?
Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

This prompted a lot of digging around the knitwear drawers and thinking. And in the end I decided that the knitted item that has held up the best and been most useful is:

These Staghorn Mittens! These were knitted in June of 2008 and I wore these almost every day for 2 winters. They still are in good shape without holes or snags, and I think actually fit better than they used to. Here they are today, pretty much looking the same.

Considering this more, it seems gloves/mittens and other hand-y knits are the ones most worn and appreciated as gifts, for several reasons.

1. Fit. No one laments that their hands look fat in mittens, or that gloves aren't flattering to their thumb shape, or other such nonsense.

2. Mittens are worn frequently. In the winter, they are worn daily. Even the most popular sweater can't claim that. Scarves tend to be changed frequently, and besides, a lot of men don't wear scarves period. Hats are also changed quite a bit, and many people, both male and female, will not wear hats for hair reasons. Gloves/mittens are the "lowest threshold" cold accessory, in that they are the first cold accessory to come out when the temperature drops. Even indoors or in warm places, you can wear fingerless gloves.

3. Knitted mittens/gloves aren't "weird." People expect mittens/gloves to be knitted and don't think they are unusual, as they might knitted socks. Sadly, many people would not wear knitted tops or sweaters, and even more unfortunately, most people don't wear shawls as they are a wee bit into "crazy knitter" territory. "Knitted mittens," on the other hand, sounds redundant, because "normal" mittens are knitted.

4. You don't have to worry about washing them. Gross, I know, but how many times have you washed your handknit gloves? Seriously, the yarn care worries me the most when knitting gifts, to the point where I've taken to offering a lifetime service of mail-in cleaning service for gift shawls. So it's nice to give a gift without obsessing over whether the yarn is going to hold up.

5. Comfort. Most people don't find yarn on their hands itchy. This is why knitters surreptitiously rub yarn against their necks when they are yarn shopping.

6. Versatility. Gloves/mittens offer a quick platform to show off a special technique, and an appropriate pattern can be found for every level of knitting, technique (cables, lace, you name it), and style.

As proof, here are some more beloved mittens/gloves.

These are my sock monkey head gloves, which are heads attached to fingerless mittes. I do not wear the heads much because they keep falling off (kinda freaky), but the fingerless mitts parts I don indoors.

DH has worn these fingerless gloves every day this past winter. He keeps them on at work too! However he wears them on the wrong hands so the cables are on the palms, like a special treat for anyone he shakes hands with, I guess!

Here are two pairs of fingerless mitts from the same yarn (Chlorophyll and Bluebell). I keep mine permanently in a drawer at work, and they come out on cold days, and hot days when the AC is too high (in total, almost every day). The other hobo gloves are also worn sometimes I hear, even though the recipient lives in sunny Florida.

These Flutter Mittens are pretty recent, but they have still gotten a lot of wear, having replaced the red staghorn gloves as my daily gloves.

Yay hand-y knits!


mooncalf said...

All excellent points!

I'd never thought about it like that before but you're totally correct.

Those Flutter Mittens are beautiful too.

P.S. Catbus is in the film My Neighbour Totoro. Have you not seen it? Oh you should! And then you can knit the Totoro mitts with your colourwork skills and I will be even more jealous.

Vivianne said...

You are a great salesperson for gloves ;-)

Julie said...

hah, such a great post! I totally agree, knitted mitts are sort of the universally appreciated hand knit. Glad yours are all holding up well!

CraftyCripple said...

I never thought to gift mittens or gloves, right that's sorted next Christmas out! By the way you knit fabulous mittens!

yoel said...

Wait, wait, I just did the math again. I've worn these mittens nearly daily for THREE years, not two. Right, 2011-2008=3.

Silly passage of time, so hard to keep track.

tina said...

Laughing about your math, I feel somewhat vindicated! ;) You are a mitten machine, yes indeedy! And I'm still laughing about wearing the cabled side of the mitts on the wrong side as a treat for a handshake. That is weirdly funny!

katiemckinna said...

Those monkey mitts are totally cute. That is one of the fun things about blog week, We get to see so many really cool projects.

promotional gloves said...

Cool. Pink seems to be your favorite.