Sand and Snow

This weekend we visited Grandma and Grandpa at the beach. With the sun out it was warm enough to grab the chairs and the sand toys and head to the sand. Our favorite beach is Huntington Beach State Park. It was empty when we arrived, but as the day warmed, more and more people slowly trickled down. At first it was just people walking or walking their dogs. But as the sun got higher more families came out to play like we were doing. I can’t believe these pictures are from Saturday! Feels so long ago already.

Look closely at this first one. Grandpa made Maggie into a mermaid and it was The Best.

Murrells Inlet

Grandma was the best bucket flipper.

Murrells Inlet

Maggie played and played. She loves the beach.

Murrells Inlet

Grandpa was the best paddle-baller (sorry, Grandma!).

Murrells Inlet

But Jerry’s getting better and better.

Murrells Inlet

Warm enough to be barefoot, but cold enough to cover up with the blanket. My Mom and I both had jeans and fleeces on!

Murrells Inlet

So that was Saturday, four hours east of here. We came home Sunday and on Sunday night it snowed! Even just a little bit of snow here usually means school is cancelled! And it was, yay! We went out bright and early on Monday morning because I knew it wouldn’t last very long. I took lots of pictures.

And you know why I took so many pictures (other than avoiding snow balls by having a camera around my neck)? Well, if you’re a knitter you know. These are the days I live for. Children begging for more wool to put on before they go out? Warms my heart. I love how the snow got stuck all over them. LOVE.

Winter Snow

Jerry’s wearing this seamless EZ sweater, knit nearly three years ago.  The sleeves were really long on him then, but that was easy enough to deal with. The fact is, he never wore it. Not even once.  But I asked him to try it on recently and was surprised to find that it fit! It’s not quite wide enough for him since he prefers his shirts loose, but I think it looks awesome. I like a slim fitting sweater on a boy.

Snow Day

Snow Day

The mittens all caked in snow?!?!?! And no complaints of cold fingers!?!?!?! WOOL!

Snow Day

Snow Day

They sled down the hill in the backyard. Straight at the chicken coop. There was clucking.

Snow Day

Snow Day

Snow Day

Oh my gosh. This kills me, the way the snow is caked on her bum.

Snow Day

Maggie was master of the sled. It was hilarious.

Snow Day

Snow Day

Eventually they did get cold. Jerry was on his way inside about five milliseconds after this picture.

Snow Day

But what fun we had! In the sand and in the snow.

What they Wore
(all links to Ravelry)

Jerry: sweater, scarf, mittens, hat
Maggie: sweater, scarf, mittens, hat (and a classic sweater underneath that also fits her better now than when I knit it)

They both had on their SmartWool socks from Santa at Christmas.

 

The Mittens

Let me be honest here. I thought there would be more mittens. Last year I felt like I knit all mittens, all the time. That would mean a mountain of mittens, but it’s only just a mound of mittens. It’s still a lot. Let’s count them.

The Mittens

Clockwise from top left (for ease, all fingerless or wrist items are referred to as mittens for now):

A few of my own design samples: 4 pairs (8 mittens)
Failed design that I am still trying to work out: 2 pairs + 1 (5 mittens)
Samples from The Red Collection: 7 pairs (14 mittens)
The Worst Pile – Mittens with no comrades: no pairs (11 mittens)
Bag of pulsewarmers in various stages of completion: 4 pairs (8 mittens/not really but whatevs)
Mittens and gloves that live in the Mitten Bin and get used: 6 pairs (12 mittens)
The Best Pile – Baby Maggie mittens: 3 pairs (6 mittens)
Other people’s patterns that don’t get much wear anymore: 3 pairs (6 mittens)
Gifted mittens (from my sister and from Elinor): 2 pairs (4 mittens)

The math says that’s 31 pairs of mittens and 74 mittens total.

Like yesterday, I can only assume there are some mittens in my house that I cannot locate, and I know of at least one mitten on the pins. There are probably more half-knit mittens that I have hidden in a bag and stashed away somewhere deep.

I took another picture from the side, to show the extreme height of some of these piles.

The Mittens

Here’s a confession: I actually think I need more mittens. But more specifically, I think I need more mittens that fit the kids. Assuming it snows (and some years it doesn’t) the kids go out to play for 20 minutes, come in for hot chocolate, then want to go back out. But their mittens are then WET AND COLD. So they need at least two pairs each, and three would be better!

Okay, writing that last paragraph made me feel slightly insane. But I’ll probably knit more mittens anyway. I HAVE A PROBLEM.

On the other hand, the other categories (sweaters, socks, scarves, shawls) are totally under control. No really.

 

 

Mitten Maintenance

trimming pills

After being used frequently last winter, my Fiddlehead Mittens were looking very ragged. They’re knit with Cascade 220 and handspun and they are so pilly! I went through the wool basket this morning and found a few other mittens and mitts that were also in need of some pill maintenance.

My Girdwood Mittens in Cascade Eco:

trimming pills

The Mallory Mitts knit with Nature Spun Sport:

trimming pills

And my Zigzag Study Hall Mitts knit in Reynolds Whiskey:

trimming pills

My method of dealing with pills is to snip them off carefully with scissors. If you have read The Knitter’s Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes, then you know that for many fibers, pulling the pills off will only lead to more pills. By snipping the pills off with scissors (or a sweater shaver if you have one) you leave the surrounding fibers undisturbed. Clara discusses it much more eloquently in the book – it’s on pages 64-65 if you own the book. Read it again, it’s worth it.

After snapping my “before” pictures, I did some careful snipping.

trimming pills

The Fiddlehead Mittens look dramatically different after their haircut!

trimming pills

Nice, right? It just takes a few minutes of attention, plus some vacuuming, and my raggedy mitts and mittens look like new again!

trimming pills