I’ve said before that I don’t make resolutions with and for new years and that I don’t really have defined plans for what I might knit during any year. Of course, there are things I have an idea I’ll get around to doing, anual goals I might achieve such as birthday knitting – YoungB’s new jumper comes into that category; but he’s having second thoughts about which design he’d like, hence it’s already stalled! – and others that I wouldn’t have foreseen in any planning – cousins with cancer and jungle-themed birthday parties might come into that category in terms of unexpectedness – but which require my doing something. Well, to me they do. Others might do different things but I suppose my response to bad times as well as good tends to be handmade gifts: mitts when Youngest Aunt had a heart attack; a moebius cowl for a friend when her mother died; a cowl and bandanna for the cousin. It’s what I do and I think it’s too late in life to try to change my habits, at least in that respect.
Then there are all those serendipitous little things that happen along – new babies in the family and so on – and other things that you decide on a whim you’ll make. Today’s plea for assistance relates to an item in the whimsical category. One of YoungB’s mates is turning 21 soon. Her party takes place at the same time as the family’s jungle-themed one so YoungB won’t be here. However, he’ll certainly catch up with both birthday girls at some point. I offered to knit some fingerless mitts for the friend. She’s also a scientist and her fingers would get cold in winter, too, and handknitted, woollen, fingerless mitts would be a wonderful, impossible to replicate gift (well, I suppose they might be found somewhere if you knew where to look, but not at prices affordable by an impoverished uni student; as if there’s any other sort).
We’ve decided on the these mitts (another of the many wonderful, free patterns on Ravelry) but not yet the yarn. I’m wondering if Bendigo‘s sock yarn, that blue, self-striping colourway, might be an OK substitute (colourways available in other yarns might be better but aren’t available in 4 ply). What do you think? (I’m not against attempting to find something closer to the specified yarn but I am loath to order from an overseas supplier if I can find anything local that’s remotely similar; and I’m also fairly impoverished, being still unemployed and all that, so there are budget constraints at all levels.) I accept it might not be quite as subtle a result as the yarn specified and, indeed, may well be far too strong for the delicacy of the design, but – well, has anyone used it that I could see made up? Or do I need to just buy some, start knitting and see for myself?? (It would be no hardship at all to do that, of course, because if I thought it wouldn’t work for the mitts, I could use it to make socks.)
Lincraft‘s Hand-Dyed Effect (in either of the Rock Garden or Regal colourways to capitalise on the blue favoured by the birthday girl) might be a good substitute but it’s considerably dearer and its quality unknown even though the fibre composition is similar to the Bendigo yarn. There’s a shop in town that sells Noro yarns so I could pick up some sock yarn when I’m in that vicinity (employment agency interviews and things of that sort invariably happen in town). I love the unexpectedness of Noro’s colourways but suspect they also might be too strong for the subtlety of the Hedgerow pattern. In addition to the financial consideration, there’s a time constraint, too, and it’s quite pressing, so I need to find something suitable immediately if not sooner. Yesterday would have been good!
Or, of course, if this gets all too difficult and headache-inducing, I could use a different mitt pattern. There’s no shortage of those, I know, or I could stick to this designer’s work that I keep coming back to (and of which I’ve made a goodly number of pairs and they’re all lovely). But the Hedgerow one is lovely, too, in a different way; and a 21st birthday is a special occasion. So if you have any yarn substitution suggestions, I’d be forever grateful. Thank you.