Gifts: Part Two

It’s cold (and snowy) here! I’m sitting in a warm room, but I can feel the cold seeping through the window at my back. It has been good weather for knitting, that’s for sure. I cast on a sweater project last week, the Lovage sweater from Uist Wool, with this yarn (in DK weight) that my parents brought back from their trip to Harris and North Uist. I finished a second pair of baby booties. I scoured the remaining Jacob Fleece (Bloomers). And I’ve been knitting on my shawl and blue socks. All in all, a lot of woolly wonderfulness.

This is my tenth blog post. In my first post I wrote about the honey cowls I was knitting for the girls in my advisor group. Two weeks ago, I gave them their cowls. I’m not posting a picture of the group here; I don’t have permission to do so. But I will say that the giving was as much fun as the making. The cowls that had lain on the shelf in my closet for months came to life as girls pulled them out of gift bags, wrapped them round their necks, and expressed genuine delight, happiness, and gratitude. They loved the softness of the yarn, declared my stitches “perfect,” and asked how long they had taken me to knit. It felt so good to send my cowls out into the world around the necks of these young women I’ve grown close to over the years.

I also gave to Kristyn of Yellow House Cheese the first small skein of yarn I made from her sheep. (I neglected to photograph this lovely little skein.) She, too, was delighted by my gift, telling me it was the “best” present and even raising the soft skein to her cheek–a universal gesture performed by fiber-lovers to express joy in yarny goodness. We talked for a while about the making of the yarn, her sheep, possibilities for making more yarn. (There’s another sheep’s fleece saved from the recent shearing!)

Finally, I gave to my sister-in-law (also Beth) two skeins of this yarn, some needles, and the pattern for the Honey Cowl. Beth used to knit and expressed interest in taking up her needles again. Look how far she is already:

The Honey Cowl lives on! Although I can’t take credit for making a new knitter, I’m happy that I provided the materials for Beth to find her way back to an activity she enjoys.

Wearing woolly hand knit sweaters, scarves, hats, and mittens keeps us warm in cold months. But giving gifts of yarn and knitting warms my innards in a way that no woolly outerwear can do. It’s a warmth that grows and lasts and is as welcome in July as it is in January.


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