My BFF spilled some sad news to me recently…even though her mom said she should spare me it.
The BFF is Irish, and I always had wanted to knit her something whimsical but useful, complete with shamrocks. I went on a mad hunt for a while, searching for mittens, until finally I found a kit from Yarn Harbor in 2011 that was perfect: it had a pattern with slightly customizable mittens, and came with Jamieson’s Double Knitting in Spruce and Apple.
It took me forever to knit them, and they taught me that (1) gauge is important in color work, (2) if you don’t check gauge, at least use wool so the mittens can felt / full and shrink to size, and (3) take lots of photos of ALL your projects!! (Bonus: keep note of your projects in a special book or on Ravelry for memories.)
I didn’t check gauge, so they turned out huuuge, and my gauge changed from the first to the second mitten, since I got bored of knitting them (I may have taken a long break between the two..) But because of the wool, I was able to shrink them to (about) the same size. I officially gifted them to her on St. Patrick’s day in March 2012 (what a coincidence!), even though they were meant as a Christmas present.
So back to the story. My friend discovered the family’s winter accessory bin this autumn with the wool items missing and “fuzz” in their places. My poor mittens were one of the victims – the BFF thinks the family cat may have brought in some strange bugs that were attracted to the wool, as all other wool items were also shredded / fuzzed up. She just wanted to let me know that’s why I would never see her wear them again!
I was a little shocked at first, and didn’t know quite how to react. This is the first time a knit wool item has been a casualty of wool-destroying “things.” Surprisingly, I wasn’t too sad. They weren’t my best knitting, and I knew I’d be able to knit her another pair of mittens (this time wool-free!).
Luckily, I added the mitts to Ravelry with photos and some short notes. Otherwise, I might have had a hard time finding photos – I didn’t print them off, and the computer with the original photo files has since broken down.
…Moral of the story: Check gauge, finish projects within a reasonable time frame, take photos (and save/print them!), and write notes of your project in a journal or on Ravelry. Oh, and choose appropriate yarn fiber for the recipient 🙂