Sunday, September 2, 2007

He's too sexy for the Birch shawl!

Yesterday, Puttermeister posted about one of the frustrations of knitting for muggles. (What we knitters call our non-knitting friends and neighbours, with obvious borrowing from JK Rowling). While many muggles are appreciative recipients of knitted gifts, some have either no knowledge of, or no patience for, the care required by natural fibres that have been handspun and handknit. Puttermeister's post detailed some of the ugly results of this lack of knowledge/patience. I commented on her site that another problem of gifting muggles was that the knitted garments sometimes disappeared into a black hole of invisibility, leaving the knitter to imagine them in the bottom of a drawer, back of a closet, or even on the racks of the local thrift shop. Sometimes you muggles request a knitted item but when it's delivered, you remember that you don't really like to wear wool sweaters because they're too warm, or you like the idea of a lacy shawl but really have no occasion to wear it, or love the retro-ness of knitted socks but they're too much trouble to wash. Etc., etc. One of my daughters, for example, fell in love with the photo of the Butterfly camisole in Rowan magazine a winter or two ago. I agreed to make it for her, hours and hours of work, although admittedly a joy for a process knitter. I have not yet seen her wear it, altho' she at least hangs it decoratively in her apartment.
CAME BACK TO ADD THIS IMPORTANT PROVISO: If I knit something for you without asking you first, then I'm taking the risk you may not like it. It would be nice if you wore the item once or twice so I could see it, or at least mentioned wearing or enjoying it, but it wouldn't be fair for me to expect you to wear something that might not suit your style. If I give you socks for Christmas without finding out whether or not you're allergic to wool or give you a toque despite knowing that you can't stand hathead, well, that's my problem, not yours!

My oldest daughter, Bronwen, is very gracious about any gift she receives and makes a point of wearing her gift in front of the giftgiver (at least once!). But it's over a year since I gave her a Birch shawl, made in a KidSilk clone from another Rowan pattern. At least I knew she'd worn it to a wedding last spring and received many compliments and even a request for the pattern. But especially since starting my blog, I'm trying to keep a photo record of my knitting projects so I asked if she'd send me a picture of it being worn. And boy, did I get mail!

This is my son-in-law, Adam, one of my favourite people in the world, modelling Birch. As soon as I got the e-mail with the attached photographs, I shot a note back to my daughter: "Did Adam sign a waiver? You know this is gold for my blog, right?" And this morning I got her reply: "hehe. trust me, he won't mind."

And I know she's absolutely right. This is the guy who traumatized my then 14-year-old daughter when he dressed up for Halloween one year as a 70's tennis player -- will we ever be able to forget those shorts? The guy's a little bit of fun, alright, and a whole lot of exhibitionist to boot!

Here's a shot of the shawl on my daughter's back.

I made myself one as well and love wearing it through the winter as a scarf (I should get Adam to demonstrate how that works). Like the traditional Shetland shawls, this will actually pass through my wedding ring so it folds nicely to distribute its luscious kid mohair and silk around my neck.

Bronwen also sent along photos of herself wearing the cashmere sweater I gave her for her birthday. She wouldn't have got it if it had looked this good on me. It's the most satisfying, scrumptious cashmere, 4-ply, from Handmaiden and the pattern is theirs as well -- it's all available as a kit. I'm debating making another for myself and I would either make the next size up or just block a bit more forcefully.

So with a bit of retrospection (aka cheating?) I've finally got two FO's for you. And I love to think of knitters coming to my site via a Google Search for some info on Birch -- I've done that same search myself and seen many lovely and elegant versions, charmingly modelled, but I'm pretty sure I'm providing something unique here today. And if that's not enough humour for you, check out yesterday's post for some subversive restaurant plating.


  1. Wow, I'm so impressed. You're quite talented!

  2. thanks, deja--I'm not sure that I'm talented especially, but I feel lucky my mom had the patience to teach me when I was quite young.

  3. The really awesome thing was that Adam asked me if he could model the shawl - it's not like I put him up to it! I loved wearing it to the wedding last spring and got tons of compliments - it's the perfect thing to throw on over a black dress to lighten it up a little. I hadn't thought of wearing it as a scarf but I think I will this winter.

  4. Unique is right! That is one fabulous picture - what a great sense of humor he must have. And your daughter looks great in her cashmere sweater. It's a classic and a perfect fit!

  5. Adam, clearly, should be your new model of choice, regardless of the item.

    Oh, for a glimpse of that tennis outfit!

  6. "IT"S A WALK OFF"....
    Adam zoolander!

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