Thursday, 18 October 2012

Past presents and future

Christmas is on the way, and I enjoy making as many gifts as possible.  Partly because I think most of my friends and family have as many "things" as they want or need, and partly because I like the personal touch if I can get it right.

About 7 years ago I rediscovered knitting, which meant that 6 years ago I gave a few scarves as Christmas presents.  Since then I've experimented with baby/toddler jumpers, fingerless mitts, hats and more scarves... not to mention a few blankets for new babies, a house-warming and a wedding.

Two years ago I discovered making chutney, which seemed to go down well so I made more next year (and for one or two birthdays in between).  We made little boxes of edible treats, with things we hoped were a little unusual and that might be an alternative to more clutter around the house.

So my question now, as Christmas approaches, is what to plan for this year?  I'm looking for ideas which can be interesting (and quick!) to make, and fun to receive...  I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Why skeins?

Today I spent some hours untangling a skein of a lovely lace-weight yarn which I'd previously helped my mum make into a tangled mess...  and it got me thinking - why?  Why are some yarns still supplied as skeins instead of pre-wound as balls?

It seems to be mainly the "nicer" yarns which are supplied in this form, so could it be that it adds to the sense of luxury?  I quite enjoyed the feeling of running the soft yarn through my fingers, and my first attempt at winding by hand was surprisingly satisfying.  Perhaps this gives us the opportunity to get to know the yarn before we use it: by handling the whole length I now know how it feels, that there aren't any knots, and can have some idea of how it could be put to best use.

I've got some Silk Blend upstairs waiting for me to brave winding it into a ball.  There's some Debbie Bliss Paloma keeping it company.  Now, maybe instead of waiting to decide how I want to use it I'll try winding at least some of it... the inspiration may flow.