Friday, August 15, 2014

Homemade Friday: Warm, Soft Felted Mittens

Winter is coming.

I know, I know.  It's an overdone cliche of a phrase at this point.  I  blame the fact that for some reason we have free HBO streaming with our cable at the moment and have been able to catch up on Game of Thrones.  (Nobody say anything.  I don't want them realizing they've made a mistake before I finish watching the rest of True Blood.)

Cliche though it may be, it's a phrase I've repeated often to myself over the last few weeks.  Winter is coming and I'm not prepared.  I'm a knitter, which means it's against the knitters' code and handbook and pinky promise to buy winter hats and scarves and socks.  And now that I can make gloves, I probably have to add those to the list.  That's not to say that I don't buy them when I have to.  I just feel really, really guilty when I resort to store-bought winter items.

And so the pressure builds to Make All Of The Things, especially since this winter is supposed to be as hard or harder than last winter, which was pretty brutal compared to normal Kentucky winters.

Sebastian may be okay on his hat for this year, as I think his last one still fits.  (Remember the Snowflake Hat?)  And if he can't wear it, then Adele can.  So I'll only have to make one hat for the kids.  But I'd like one for myself because I haven't made one in awhile.  And Chris will need one.  Then there are scarves.  Everybody needs scarves.  And socks - which are a bit time-consuming on account of the thin yarn and tiny needles.  And gloves.  Everyone needs gloves.

Add to this the fact that I am attempting to prepare for a festival by knitting the crap out of some washcloths and hats and whatever else is quick and practical and beautiful, and you can see that I am constantly consumed with thoughts of yarn.  But it's a good type of obsession.  The only issue is the amount of projects I want to knit versus the realistic amount of time I have to work on them.  But I'm okay with that.

However, sometimes I'm a selfish knitter, and can't force myself to stop working on a completely elective and unnecessary sweater for myself even though I have a ton of other practical and necessary things to knit.  In case you were curious, it's the Starbrook Pullover and I love it so much.

These felted mittens were an experiment of sorts.  I began them because I knew they would be fast and I was hoping to be able to knit a few pairs before the festival.  I think they're practical and kind of awesome, you know?  The whole felting process is pretty remarkable to me.  You take something you've knit, that is huge and loose-gauged and ridiculously floppy, and run it through the washing machine a few times and create a solid, warm, strong item.

As with most things I make to sell, I want to keep it.  It is difficult to let go of something I've taken the time to design and fight with.  But ultimately, most of what I make is for other people.  I like seeing people enjoy things I create.  It's rewarding and awesome and puts a huge smile on my face.

So these will go to the sell stack.  And if they don't sell, well, then maybe they'll find their way back to my hands.

(Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of your own hands?
(Also - if anyone is interested in purchasing them - you can find them here! I can also make them in any size or color so feel free to design your own!)

(And if you'd like another look at the shop, you can find it here:  jaimalaya on Etsy.)

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