Tuesday, January 5, 2016

First Up For 2016

First up, for this year, was meant to be my final finish for last year. But it didn't happen.  I started it mid-December and tried, really tried, to finish it before the 25th.  I thought it would be so special to be able to deliver it in time for Christmas.  But it didn't happen.  Instead it became my first  new year finish.

This is the article in question.

A lovely, pale pink, weightless, bed throw.    It has a history.

Near Remembrance Day, our branch of the Royal Canadian Legion hosts a dinner for veterans and their families.  Fred always goes to the local Retirement Home and brings over any veterans able to attend.  Over the years we have gotten to know these fine people and they us.  This November, when Fred brought them into the hall, one of the female veterans came over to me and gave me a bag of yarn.
"I know you knit and I don't anymore, so I'd like you to have this," she said.

It was a bag, containing 12 balls, of this Italian loveliness.

You can see that even though each ball contains only 20 grams, there were nonetheless 200 metres per ball.  Fine, fine yarn.  Fine in quality too.  80 % Kid mohair and 20% Nylon.

What wonderous opportunities did this yarn hold for me?  What  should  I  knit with this?  Extremely fine mohair in a pastel pink.    An afghan, shawl or throw of sorts was the best use for it, I felt.  And who needs that more than someone in a retirement home.  I decided to knit a throw and gift it to the veteran who gave me the yarn. A win-win.  I would have the enjoyment of the knitting, she would have the enjoyment of the finished throw.

With the yarn held double, a simple garter stitch piece, I felt would be the best  to highlight the yarn.  I wasn't long into it though when I realized I had made a purl, turn-around row after the first 6 garter ridges and ended up with  4 rows of stockinet between garter ridges.  Change of plans.  I repeated my mistake to end up with a piece  even more interesting than planned.

Nearing the end,  I thought it needed something along the edges.  Trim of some sort.  I laid the throw down to wait for inspiration.  When next I walked by, I realized it was speaking to me. The lines that  changing from garter to stockinet had created looked much better turned on the vertical. I had knit them on the  horizontal and envisioned the throw laid out that way.  But the vertical look was much more interesting.   A trim on the vertical ends alone would do the trick.

But what kind of trim. Nothing that elderly fingers could get tangled in.  A ruffle, I decided.  So I picked up the stitches across each end, knit one row then purled back.  The next row, I doubled the stitches by a Kf&b in each stitch, purled back, and   knit a purl row for turning.  I then reversed the process back down to the original number of stitches.  After casting off, I  stitched the trim down to the cast on/cast off stitches of the throw.

It is  light and airy, yet warm and cozy.  Perfect for someone in a retirement home.  Delivered on Saturday, it was a big hit. For both the knitter and the veteran.

1 comment:

Sigrun said...

A lovely piece--but caution about the laundry. If a family member does the laundry, that's good. But if the laundry is done in the institution's laundry facility it will be gravely abused: since residents' laundry is all washed together, everything is sanitized by washing hot and drying hot. You probably know this, but I had to get my 2c in just in case.