Saturday, January 31, 2009

An Ode to Self Indulgence

Anyone who has been within whine range of me has heard me exclaim - once or twice maybe, or perhaps even as much as three or four times - that I have been knitting Christmas gifts ever since the beginning of last July. That's seven months now. Seven. Very. Long. Months. It started to get on my nerves back in September or so. But now I finch and utter a little mewl of terror whenever I clap eyes on my very last, unfinished, Christmas gift project.

Don't mistake me. I love every single thing I've knitted. I've loved the yarn I've worked with. I love the people I'm knitting for. I love seeing them appreciate the beauty and the utility of what I have made for them. But dang, I'm ready to be selfish again. I've got some grandiose knitting schemes cooking in the back of my brain, just dying to be let out into the light of day and onto my needles.

Luckily, I always need to have a small project to carry with me for those times when I had better have knitting on hand to keep myself sane (would have helped a LOT this morning when I showed up for my class an hour early). And so sometime back at the beginning of September or so when I ran out of gift socks to knit, I cast on for a pair of Mermaid Mitts for myself.

I only had rare flashes of opportunity to knit them - a bit in the doctor's waiting room here, a row or two while waiting in line at the PO. It took until somewhere in December, I think, when I decided one day in a fit of pique to just get it the heck over with that I finally finished the danged first mitt. And now I am within spitting distance of finishing the second.

Mermaid mitts have hit the Ravelry world like a debilitating winter snowstorm - everyone is affected, whether you think it is pretty or not. If you are familiar with the Pomatomus sock pattern from and designed by sock designing goddess Cookie A, you will recognize the origin of the Mermaids instantly.

And if you think about it, a fingerless mitt is just a sock without heel or toe. Oh, and throw in a thumb.

I'm making mine with some gorgeously dyed and lusciously squishy Lorna's Laces sock yarn in a colorway called Baltic Sea. This is my first time working with this yarn and I have to tell you how very much I like it. The firm twist in the yarn gives great definition to textured stitches and yet it has a wonderfully soft hand that I just know, from trying on the first mitt over and over again to admire it, is going to feel really good on my hands in just a few short days.

So if, like myself, you haven't done anything extravagant and selfish for yourself lately, I encourage you to indulge in a yarn you perhaps would not ordinarily buy yourself - perhaps a beautiful cashmere or an alpaca yarn that speaks to you every time you see it in the shop, and make yourself a lovely little something to chase the winter blues on their way.

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