Discussions with Yarn

The Christmas Knitting and I have had a nice long chat. We’ve decided that it would be just as happy to be Birthday Knitting. The Birthday Knitting (as it shall hereafter be known) pointed out that “everyone knows” that you ought to start knitting for Christmas in the first half of the year, but no one ever does. Therefore, it reasoned, if you started crafting for birthdays when most other people started on Christmas, and started on Christmas when other people were making birthday (or other holiday) presents, you would never need to stress about deadlines or time crunches. I agreed wholeheartedly – what yarny wisdom! – and the Birthday Knitting seems pleased with the solution. At least, I haven’t heard complaining from the bag that it’s been shut in.

Everyone who suspected they might be receiving something handmade for Christmas, please adjust your expectations out the appropriate number of months.

Since then, I’ve begun a project that I promised Greg a while back – I’m making him a new pair of gloves to wear for extra warmth underneath his motorcycle gloves. Right now he’s using a thin, storebought (sorta girly) pair that I had from college. I’m using some nice black Wool-Ease (which, if I had been more diligent, would have been crocheted into Christmas socks for him last year…) on size 3s. When I swatched the same yarn on those needles for socks a few months ago, it seemed ridiculously tight. Now it seems good. Weird. Anyway, as is often recommended, I took it down another size for the ribbing (size 2s).
As it turns out, My 2s are my one set of dpns from Knitpicks.
They are, in fact, the nicest needles I own – everything else (hooks, needles, the whole shebang) are colored aluminum. I mean, except for the steel hooks. Obviously. As I worked with them, I remembered why I had loved working with them so much the first time.


They’re so smooooth. They slide like buttah. They slide like silk. They slide like a rich kid’s traffic ticket. (The fact that they have heft without being heavy and a tip of perfect pointy-ness only adds to their charm). As I worked my 1×1 ribbing and the stitches slid effortlessly from one needle to the next (without just slipping off) I thought, ‘I want to have these needles in every size.’ My only qualm is their utter featureless-ness. There are no numbers on these. They are not, like Susan Bates needles, in different colors for different sizes. If I had a bunch of Knitpicks dpns, I would have to have some sort of System to organize them. I’m thinking teeny little pouches with the size embroidered on.
Not today though, and it was with a sigh that I transferred the stitches to my blue aluminum 3s. Doesn’t that tiny shick, shick when you knit with aluminum annoy you? It didn’t me, before yesterday. Now it does. I think I’ll get over it, though. Until I have to work the other cuff, and pull out my sleek, smooth, nickel-plated double-points.

On an entirely unrelated note, I was unpacking with Max in his bedroom this morning when he uncovered something.

orange set

You’re looking at history, here. This set may well be the first item(s) I ever created from a pattern, over a year and a half before Max was born. As you can see, at the time I had no idea what ‘gauge’ was – I think I didn’t even know yarn came in different weights, which could account for the fact that a set made from directions to fit a 6-month-old is being worn by my two-and-a-half year old. He was delighted, told me that the mittens were orange monkeys, and insisted on wearing them until he realized that no fingers (or thumbs) meant that he couldn’t grab anything or even take them off himself.

Come to think of it, he may be due for a set of fingerless mittens. Overdue.


  1. mom says:

    Looks ready to go hunting, one wonders why oh why they make some colors of yarn anyway. Max, as always is cute!! Sewing is going as the knitting, with 2 adult daughters on opposite shifts living in the home there is virtually NO time I am home alone to sew. Love mom

  2. bezzie says:

    Aww…he’s too cute with that hat and mittens! Why is it they latch onto their first pair like that! I had to finallly wean my son off of a hat I knit him when his head was two sizes smaller but he kept wearing the darn thing–it wasn’t covering his ears anymore and he kept wondering why his ears were cold!

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