Let me tell you about my mother-in-law. About as seriously perfect a mother-in-law as anyone can possibly hope to have: friendly, generous, supportive, and not the slightest bit interfering. All of that is of course fantastic, but there's one thing more that makes her almost magical in her awesomeness: the knitting support.
From her, I have received more compliments of and support for my knitting
habit hobby than I can possibly remember. She's even looped a skein around her wrists/hands and helped me to wind it up.
And then, there have been the gifts, which not only give me oodles of glee and hours of knitting fun, but also have (I'm sure) been a source of delight to the owner of her LYS. Think I'm kidding? Over the years, she has given me:
- King Cole Sapphire Confetti DK yarn, which I used to make a sweater for my older daughter
- Plymouth microfibre baby yarn, which I used to make the Heart-Warmer sweater for my older daughter
- The pattern, yarn and buttons to make my older daughter's Baby Poncho
- The pattern book, yarn and buttons to make the Ljod cardigan for myself
- The pattern book and yarn to make my husband's Larry's Cabled Cashmere Sweater
- The pattern book, yarn and buttons to make my older daughter's Carnival Coat
- A yarn barn (an unruly knitting ball container)
- A knitting bag, needle case, and accessories case
- A skein of Fleece Artist Curly Locks in hues so gorgeous I used them as the basis of the colour scheme for this blog
- This package of Christmas gifts:
Which contains the basket, the kit to make my Lotus Blossom Shawl, the kit to make my older daughter's Twizzle cardigan and hat, two books by Elsebeth Lavold: The Sophisticated Lady Collection and The Mellow Tone Collection, and enough Fortissima Colori sock yarn for two pairs of adult-size socks
- This package of Christmas gifts:
Which contains the book Total Baby Knits, enough sock yarn for 3 pairs of adult-size socks, a pair of Knit Lite needles, the 2007 Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar and a set of Denise Interchangeable Needles
- The kit to make a vintage beaded bracelet
- Most of this package of Christmas gifts:
Which contains the best needle gauge I've ever owned, the 2008 Knitting Pattern a Day calendar, the book Arans & Celtics: The Best of Knitters Magazine, a book by Elsebeth Lavold: The Sentimental Journey Collection, Sirdar Baby Bamboo yarn, pom-pom makers, a skein of Trekking XXL sock yarn, a 'luv 2 knit' brooch, plastic spiral coils for keeping stitches on the needles, the kit to make the Paisley Long Shawl, and Knit Klips
- A 100g skein of mostly-alpaca sock yarn
- A booklet of patterns to make with Sirdar Escape yarn
- 10 balls of Sirdar Escape yarn
To top it all off, she has been tremendously easy to knit for. It has always been laughably easy to find inspiration for knitted gifts for her. Moreover, her colouring and my family's are completely different, so when I knit for her, I get to pick colours I could never ordinarily use. As an added bonus, everything which has ever screamed "Knit me for your mother-in-law!" at me has been an absolute joy to work on - and is almost always a project which expands my skills. I would indeed be a much poorer knitter today without the experience of the projects I've made for her under my belt. And I have scads of beautiful, exciting projects planned for her in the future, not to mention a bunch of yarn I've bought (on sale!) to make some of them. Here's a gallery to show you the sort of thing I'm talking about:
- Christmas 2004: Catherine Parr sweater
An Alice Starmore from the Tudor Roses book
- Christmas 2005: Cape Cod sweater
Another Alice Starmore, this one using traditional fisherman's gansey construction, from the Fisherman's Sweaters book
- Christmas 2006: Garden Shawl
Possibly the most complex lace concoction available from the fabulous Fiddlesticks Knitting
- Christmas 2007: Elizabethan Jacket
A Jade Starmore blazer with steeking
- This year: Lliclla
Just finished. It's gorgeously scrumptious and I love it to pieces. The knitting and finishing was all totally done, but it still had to be washed and blocked. I did that this week, wrapped it up, and sent it off to her.
You see, earlier this month, my dear MIL had such a bad cold that it turned into pneumonia, and she checked herself into the hospital. While undergoing treatment for that, they did a CT scan of her lungs to make sure there wasn't anything else going on (she'd been a smoker for several decades before quitting cold turkey several years ago once grandchildren were on the way). And they found cancer. Cancer which was doing very nasty and painful things to her system, and at an alarming speed.
On Thursday, DH took DD1 over for a visit. And I insisted he bring along my gift, while there was still time for it to be useful and appreciated. If she's cold - particularly if she needs to go outside in the winter weather in order to be shipped from hospital to hospital for tests or whatever - she should be wrapped in something warm and insulating: wool. Nor did I want to chance her not seeing the last gift I made for her. And if she's feeling scared, or hurt, or down, she should be surrounded by a personalized garment which has the happiness of a totally-thrilled-with-her-project-knitter-who-loves her worked into each and every stitch.
I have been working on other stuff, but I'm not feeling much like writing about it right now. Next post.
P.S. If you are a smoker? Please. Stop. NOW.