Sunday, December 10, 2006

Yesterday's knitting? Not so much.

Okay, maybe tomorrow I'll have a photo of my version of the Climbing Jacket. I have a few rounds left to do on the second sleeve cuff – literally only six or seven and the bulk of the knitting will be done. What's left is the trim around the collar and the buttonband.

The pattern is written for a zipper, which would be great and I wouldn't mind doing one, but that would mean driving to a City to find a Fabric Store with Separating Zippers in the Correct Length. Believe me, at this point, with Christmas just mumble-mumble days away and with this gift needing to be mailed to another state … it's getting buttons.

She probably won't button [or zip] it anyway. Heck, she might not even wear it!

That's the thing about gifts: You give them with no expectations. The knitting lists are chock-full of people wailing about how poorly received their handknit gifts are. One woman was insulted when someone told her how much she loved the bedsocks she received last year. Apparently they weren't supposed to be bedsocks.

I have loved making this sweater, and that's pleasure enough for me. It's an interesting, well-written pattern and it's very attractive. [Want a copy? You'll need to subscribe to the designer's newsletter.] Maybe a nine-year-old won't think so. I'm just glad she thinks for herself and doesn't mind telling me when something doesn't suit her. And my daughter has been told that if a handknit no longer fits or doesn't get worn it is to be passed along to someone else, either another family member or a thrift store, where someone with meager resources can benefit from it.

Were I truly altruistic, I would skip the gift-for-my-granddaughter part and just knit for charity all the time. There's just so much knitting time available, though, and my charitable fiber contributions are of the type where I give yarn to women who have no resources but love to knit and crochet for others. [The Alderson Hospitality House collects worsted-weight acrylic yarn for female inmates who participate in Alderson Federal Prison Camp's Yarn Project.] I clean out my yarn closet, or otherwise collect and solicit donations; they learn a new hobby and give something to the community, and disadvantaged Appalachian schoolchildren get something new and warm to wear every winter. Win-win-win!

I was talking with my daughter on the phone recently, and she mentioned that her husband and son have each been wearing some fingerless gloves with mitten flip-tops that I'd made for her. My son-in-law apparently asked if it was too late to ask for a pair of his own, to which she replied: "It's December! You don't ask a knitter for a handknit gift in December!"

She's a knitter, too. Heh.

Yesterday's exercise was two miles walking on the treadmill. I haven't gotten my mojo back yet, but I'm doing what I can and dreaming of half-marathons. Food was good, even including a buffet dinner at a restaurant, where I skipped the swimming-in-butter mashed potatoes and dessert. Green beans, steamed carrots, chicken and a thin slice of roast beast beef.

Updated to add: I just found Jennie's comment from yesterday, where she said she's inspired to begin her half-marathon training on January 8. You go, girl! I'll be right there with you. And you're right: walking or running, it just doesn't matter.

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