Saturday, January 1, 2011

Beyond unraveling (sweater #2), and why I don't make straw hats

 And here's the other one.

This one was concocted as a solution to little children playing outside in the cold and, no matter how often I readjusted their mittens, ending up with frozen fingers. I reasoned that if the mittens were attached to a sweater, there was no possibility of them slipping askew. I had contemplated actually knitting an entire sweater just to be able to knit mittens on it as well, but then came to my senses and decided to simply sew the whole thing out of a thrift store sweater. I still haven't perfected the design - especially the part where the mittens can easily be flipped up when needed: these are a bit clumsy to pull on and off.

Despite the speed with which I can whip up a sweater for one of my girls via this method, I still long to knit things from scratch. My husband claims this is because I enjoy doing things in the most time-consuming, complicated way possible. I guess he's right, though I'd put it in less negative terms. Yes, I've often day-dreamed of having sheep and spinning my own yarn. There is something so satisfying about knowing how to do something from start to finish. I love the Little House on the Prairie books and wish I knew how to make brooms, straw hats, and soap; how to not simply grind my own flour to make bread, but also how to grow and thresh my own wheat. And yet lack of time wins out in the end - I have to pick and choose what things I will make and what things I will buy through our society's efficient, but in many ways disturbing, network of factories, overseas trade, and Targets.


  1. Now thats a GREAT idea!!! As a girl my Aunt relied on me to spin wool for her when she needed it to be bobbly and non uniform... I was the queen on the bobbly, lumpy spin! I miss the smell of sheeps wool straight off the back of it's owner. There were some advantages to growing up in rural New Zealand.

  2. my grandpa was a sheep rancher and a number of us cousins tried to figure out a way to get a hold of the wool and do something with it. unfortunately, none of us learned the "do something with it" part before he passed away and the ranching ended. but I still dream about it.

    the sweater mitten combo is ingenious. I wonder if it would be possible to sew mittens onto an existing sweater? I'm going to have to ponder on this one awhile. beautiful.

  3. and I love the red button. perfect..

  4. I wish I knew how to even spin bobbly, non-uniform yarn!

  5. I knew a woman whose dream it was to grow her own flax and weave it into linen. Mmmmm... wouldn't it be lovely to have a weaving machine?

    I thought about sewing mittens onto an existing sweater, or even just picking up stitches around the edge of the cuff and knitting them on. I'm sure both would be completely doable. I'd love to see what you come up with, Allyson.

  6. Can I order a few sweaters with built-in mittens? That is an awesome idea!