I really appreciate you sending me such a large and lush collection of leftovers from your adventures in Squad Mitts-making. I’m definitely going to fish out my two US 2 circular needles and make a couple of pairs of mitts for my Giftalong stack. I particularly love some of the extra-long Squad Mitts versions I’ve seen people make. There is something so lovely about a long glove, gently scrunched. Like a Shar Pei puppy on your wrist.
But with four full skeins (1600 yards) of Hazel Knits fingering weight wool in each kit, even two pairs of mitts leave plenty of yarn to play with. Yarn in a palette that was hand-selected by Melanie Falick, our favorite palette-picker. I started thinking about other things a person might do with hundreds of yards of Hazel Knits. Bigger things. Garment-y things.
There is a young designer who has done wonderful sock-yarn shawls. Maybe you’ve heard of him? Stephen West?
Ha! Is there a knitter alive who doesn’t know about Stephen West‘s exuberant work in the field of asymmetrical sock-yarn wrapper-uppers? At every gathering of knitters, no matter how small, you are sure to find several The Doodlers and a generous smattering of Exploration Stations and Dotted Rays. (The Doodler in particular was de rigeur at Rhinebeck this year.) They are fantastic patterns for collectors of single skeins of beautiful sock yarn: fun to knit and even more fun to wear. Any of these fashionable schmattahs would work great in Hazel Knits, which has that slight unevenness of color that makes these shawls sing.
I went back a little further in Stephen’s Greatest Hits on Ravelry, and found gems that I’d forgotten about–patterns that have been made and loved by thousands of knitters–that suddenly look so fresh. I’m dying to see a Squad Mitts palette knit up into one of these:
(Photo: Stephen West)
That was a fun hour on Ravelry, and has me itching to cast on some stripes. But I’ve also got a couple of stories to tell, if you’ll bear with.
But First, A Word from Our Sponsor
On the Streets of New York
Today was a good day to be walking around New York. Marathon runners are everywhere, groaning gently as they step off curbs, leaning wanly against buildings while slowly sipping hot beverages. How do you know they are marathoners? Because, adorably, they wear their medals. This charming tradition brings out the best in New Yorkers, who are free with their congratulations. (Yesterday, when they lurched off the course, looking like sweaty Mylar burritos, we politely ignored them. Today, we’re all smiles.)
Early this afternoon my niece, who did not run the marathon this year, was out walking with her dog, Charlie. Charlie is a chesty mixed-breed terrier who looks like a cartoon of a dog; he’s excessively joyful and has an exaggerated underbite. A man looked at Charlie and said to Niece, “What is this adorable thing?” It was John Oliver. It had to be some kind of benediction, no?
Unrelated (Or Is It?)
A few hours later, Lisa Downstairs (a cherished Nonknitting Reader of this blog) texted me these pictures:
On the street, a few blocks away from the John Oliver Dog Blessing, Lisa had encountered this lady wearing a Kaffe Fassett Big Flower jacket.
Lisa immediately engaged her in conversation, and learned that
- The lady did not knit the jacket.
- The lady bought the jacket at a yarn shop sample sale.
- The lady is annoyed that the jacket does not have buttons.
- The lady likes that the jacket is lined.
- The lady knew that the jacket was made from a kit and that the designer was Kaffe Fassett.
- The lady’s daughter is a knitter.
In a lapse of Lisa-ness, Lisa did not get the lady’s name, but she did get her permission to take pictures and share the pictures with me, warning her that I would likely share the pictures with the world. She gave the lady my card.
I take this also as a benediction. Life is beautiful. Good things are happening.