I have something to tell you. It’s an embarrassing, shameful thing, and a secret I have been keeping for almost two years. I think of telling you often, and you shouldn’t think that because I haven’t we are not close, but the truth is that I haven’t felt ready. I know that so many of you could have helped if only you had known, but it has seemed easier to carry it alone than to reveal it. It’s finally time.
I have been wearing store bought mittens.
Oh, it gets worse. Not just any store bought mittens, but crappy acrylic mittens that I bough from a sale bin at The Bay when I had super-cold hands and my last pair of fantastic hand knit mittens had finally shovelled one too many driveways, and left this earth for the great big sheep pasture in the sky. Since then, I have knit (checks records) about 14 pairs of mittens for other people. Beautiful mittens. Mittens with fancy cuffs, mittens with Latvian braids, colourwork mittens, simple woollen mittens, and trigger finger mittens. Hell, I knit four pairs of mittens for other people in December alone, all while jamming my hands either into my pockets, or shamefully donning the craptastic store specials when the weather demanded it.
Suddenly, I could take it no longer. I grabbed a ball of some decent upstanding wool from the cupboard, and slammed out a pair for myself, just using the mitten pattern I carry in my head (thanks Aunt Helen) and this morning when they were done and dry, I looked at them and realized that I deserved better – sure, a good plain pair of handknits is never wrong, and at least I was back in the game, but I was pretty sure I could do more. I’m still deep in baby-knits land (the blanket is in the round now, and I’ve entered the phase where it looks like the worlds fanciest shopping sack) so frankly all my bandwidth for fussy things was used up, and then I had an idea.
I’m embroidering them. It’s a fast and pretty way to take them to the next level, and make them something that a textile artist can be proud to wear. A one of a kind pair, made with my own two little hands. I worked up a sketch on the back of an envelope, found oddments in pretty colours from my leftovers bin, and I’m almost done.
Bouillon roses with french knot centres, and fetching little satin stitch buds, a meandering path of split stitch, and wee lazy daisy leaves.
Tomorrow, I walk among us again, with my hands proudly out of my pockets, and my head held high.