Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Monday, 21 May 2012

J's Birthday Present

 I think I'm regressing.  I got fed up of looking at myself in the mirror and feeling slightly nauseous at the reflection so I had a thorough scrub in the shower last night, pampered myself with lots of steam and moisturiser, moused my hair and wrangled two french plaits down either side of my skull before gratefully falling into bed at midnight.  Not that it did me any good as I saw every hour on the clock until I finally dozed off at about 5am.  Not such a pretty face in this mornings mirror I can tell you!

Still, the plaits survived (thanks to the mousse I think) and as I donned my faded jeans, check cotton tunic and dr. martens this morning I felt like I had gone back in time (1990's anyone?) 

Do we ever grow up, or do we stick with our teenage selves for the rest of our lives?  Will I always wear jeans, shirt and trusty docs?  As my grandfather always wore a suit?  As my grandmother always wore a button down dress?  I giggle to myself as I think of a 70 something year old still stomping around in leather boots with the recognisable yellow stitching!

I don't know if I'll ever shake off this inner teen, I still get spots (holy moly, now why didn't anyone tell me that 30 somethings still get acne???) my wardrobe is still inadequate and I never feel comfortable in company.  I was never in the cool gang, does this mean I never will be?

I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing.  I've read too many vomit inducing articles and interviews where the famous skinny minny, nursing her botox, is blathering on about how she feels more comfortable in her skin now that she's in her 30's.  I feel like my skin has abandoned me in stretch mark hell.

Sigh, I digress, all I'm trying to say is that nothing gets easier just because you are older.

Which is why I wanted to make something nice for my friend J for her birthday.  She too dreads certain birthdays but I'm not sure if that's because they are milestones and place her in a certain 'age group' or if she too, like me still feels like a teenager and the two just don't match up.  

Either way, to make her smile, I made her a small cowl (Kate Davies Betty Mouat Cowl, in the smaller size in just one colour) in Sirdar Luxury Cotton 4ply, in an acidic Kiwi colour with Cockleshell Handwarmers to match (by Belinda Boaden from The Knitter Magazine, issue 37).   

I made some amendments to the original pattern.  J has teeny ladylike hands so I wasn't going to chance finger length issues and made handwarmers rather than gloves, by decreasing before the top ribbing on both the fingers and thumb.

They fit me and my ginormous hands, but hopefully they will also fit herself!

The pattern on the front is an Oyster stitch, which caused my bamboo dpn's some trouble.  I was afraid of snapping them, so I switched over to my new favourite needles, my chiaogoo red lace circular needles, which made the road to completion much more pleasurable and with considerably less hair pulling.

The back is plain and the front has a gathered stitch sort of like the cockleshell in the BMC which is why I chose it, matching without being too matchy matchy!

Together I think they make a very pretty pair.  

Unfortunately the cotton, which is soft and pretty looking at the beginning, is a demon to work with.  It is quite loosely spun and as cotton is slidey, anyway it is as slippy as an eel to work with.  The threads fray if you breath on them and snagging and pulling a thread is just too easy.  No animals, small children or jewellery around this yarn!  It is also splitty (especially with such sharp needles as the chiaogoos) so you need to pay special attention to every stitch as afterwards the resulting split is like red paint on a white wall.  There is absolutely no way to hide it or fluff it or fudge around the mis-stitch.  Come back wool, all is forgiven! 

But it does look so good when it's all knit up, so it's almost worth it.

Have decided to give my undivided attention to my poor neglected Aibréan Shawl now.  She is almost finished, I'm knuckling down to the edging right now.  

So with that I will bid you all adieu

Happy knitting



  1. What a lovely gift, she will love it!

    1. Hope so, fingers and toes all crossed in anticipation :)

  2. I always seem to feel like I'm playing dress-up when I go to work. I still listen to the same albums I did in high school. I have managed to convince myself that I have always been this size and that the stretch marks are the only thing different about my body. (In truth I'm sure it's more like 30+ pounds.)

    Maybe by embracing our inner-teens, we're the ones that have this right and everyone else is wrong! Ha! Love the cowl and warmers and I'm sure your friend will too.

    1. I am not alone! Maybe everyone feels like this but just never says because they 'think' they should feel different! I suppose we are always learning new things about ourselves and it takes time for our brains to catch up :)