Tuesday, 7 February 2012

They say bad news comes in threes

A couple of months ago I got a text message from my brother that said this:

"I got mustard all over my knitted gloves.  How do I wash 'em?"

This, of course, is a knitter's second favourite sort of information to get.  After explaining to him to use mild soap and let them soak but don't scrub too much or the wool will start to felt, and then let them air dry, I tried to show that I wasn't upset by saying that mustard adds character so if the washing doesn't work, it's no big deal.  I didn't get any further explanation from him than "It was a comedy of errors," and I didn't pry any further.

Around Christmas (after giving him the pepperoni pizza scarf), I asked him if the washing of his mittens had been successful.  He said "Oh, yeah the washing worked fine, but I lost the mittens."  Mustard on knitwear is second favourite because the outright loss of a knitted item is possibly the best thing to hear.

Mustard is fixable.  Outright loss, however, is harder to overcome by ingenuity.  Then the next thing he said was, "No rush or anything, but if you wanted to make me new mittens, that would be cool."

Being a good big sister it wasn't long before I had planned and made the new mittens.  I had yarn leftover from the pizza scarf, so I thought, why not make matching mittens?  However, I didn't want to make mittens with pepperoni pieces on them, (trust me, if I ever crochet another pepperoni slice it'll be too soon), so I opted for simple stripes.

I didn't mind making the new mittens because the benefit of the new mittens over the old ones would be threefold:

1. I'd make them a bit longer because I had noticed the old mittens were a little too small on him when I first gave them to him.
2. The colours would hide mustard (and even ketchup!) stains better than the old mittens.
3. The new mittens would be more unique, and thus harder to lose.  Whereas the old mittens were grey and easy to misplace, the new mittens look like this:

They also have the added benefit of being Gryffindor colours, if you're into that sort of thing.  I gave them to him yesterday as an early birthday present (although I think I forgot to tell him that they were an early birthday present... so happy early birthday little bro!).  Not that he reads this blog, pretty sure he's too cool for that, or at least too busy playing Doom.

Then, a few days ago I was visiting my parents and asked my dad if he'd worn the fingerless mittens that I made him for Christmas.  He said he hadn't gotten a chance to yet, and then asked me if I only knit with wool these days.  I said that yes, most of what I knit is some form of wool.  He then confessed that wool makes him terribly itchy, and asked if I could maybe make him some fingerless mittens out of... wait for it... this is hard to say.... Ok here goes....



I know, it's painful, but we'll get through this together.  I told him I had some acrylic in my stash and I could see if there was something suitable in there but that I wasn't hopeful.  I then suggested Berocco Vintage which is a 50% wool, 50% acrylic blend, and perhaps would that be okay?  I don't think I can bring myself to go out and buy some new acrylic.  Not even for my dad.

So if my brother's lost mittens was strike one, my dad being unable to wear his mittens was strike two.

At least there is still one man in my life who loves and cares for the things I knit for him, few as they may be (well except for that never-worn acrylic scarf made in the earlier days of my relationship with him, and before my relationship with wool).  The Enabler has been the recipient of two much loved knitted items.  A pair of socks, and these gloves, which are the texter gloves by Kim Hamlin.

As soon as I finished them back in October, he started wearing them, and has worn them pretty much every day since, even through that one week in January that it was -30 C every day.  Every day when he picks me up from work, he grabs the gloves off of the passenger seat before I sit down because by the time he gets to my office from his office, the car is warm enough that he doesn't need gloves, and he's usually playing with his phone while he waits for me.

Until today.  The absence of the gloves when he picked me up was immediately conspicuous, and it didn't take long until he said those three little words...

"I lost them."

My initial thought was not one of panic, but just disbelief that they were actually lost.  "I'm sure they'll turn up," I said.  Where could they have gone in between home and work?  And then I remembered that he had gone on errands during the day.  We determined the places that he had been during the day and I asked if he had called them yet.  He said no, so of course I decided that they would be at one of those places.

Once we stopped driving he made his phone call to the first place.  No gloves.  He called the second place.  No gloves there either.  He called the third place, and they told him to call back in 10 minutes while they looked and asked around.  I was convinced that they would be at that third place.  For 10 whole minutes I knew that they would definitely be there.  After the 10 minutes, he called back....

And no gloves.

He feels terrible about it, I'm quite sure that he feels worse than I do.  The way I see it, is that I spent a little money on yarn and a few hours of my time, which hardly even counts.  And for this negligible cost of time and money he got 4 months of good glove use.  Gloves can be remade.  I don't even have to buy the yarn because I've got half of the ball leftover.

Even so, I guess it's strike three.  We'll call it strike two-and-a-half.

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