When knitting something for somebody else, one has to take into account that person’s style. Most of the times, especially if the gift is a surprise, it just goes down to trial and error, and after some knitted gifts one can more or less estimate what to make and how to make it for that person to be successful.
I have made several scarves/shawls for my mother:
I don’t see my mother very ofter because we live 600 Km apart (before it was nearly 3000), but we talk to each other from time to time on Skype. And during the winter period I see her wearing a couple of those scarves. Guess which ones… Saroyan and Butternut Scarf. Why is she wearing these but not the other ones? These two are soft, warm, light and they have rectangular or pseudo-rectangular shapes. They also seem casual (my mother dresses nicely but she’s not very party-like) and one doesn’t need to be very careful when putting them on. You can just make a knot and go.
I’d really put my bet on Rhombuses. It also looked casual and nice for spring, but I think she never wore it. When she first saw it she exclaimed that it was perhaps a bit too large and heavy (it’s make of cotton). So large and heavy scarves are out of the question. I should also mention that my mother is on the petite size.
Ishbel is beautiful, but I made it in September, out of a cotton-rayon blend, and then the winter came. The fabric just felt cold to the touch and then I also realized that triangular shawls are not the most wearable ones. They can feel a bit awkward if you are not used to them. So no more triangular shawls for my mother.
I thought Nashira was going to be a big hit, because it seems very similar to Butternut Scarf in size and shape, and I used the same yarn in a different colorway (Malabrigo Lace), but I haven’t seen her wearing it, at least during our Skype talks. If she’s not wearing it, I reckon it could be because it seems more delicate than the Butternut Scarf. I didn’t block that one because it had a nice texture, but I did block Nashira because it really needed it. I think my mother is not wearing it because it seems perhaps a bit too delicate.
So in conclusion: Small, rectangular and not heavily blocked or with a too delicate appearance.
I really wanted to make the mini-Hawthorne for her, but I know it will be a fail and she will never wear it, so I am trying Clapotis this time in a green color that I know she loves (her favorite). I have delayed this for a little while because this shawl seemed a bit too simple (and the mini-Hawthorne so gorgeous), but that’s maybe what my mother prefers, so I decided to give it a try. The original design is a bit too large (I’m not making the same mistake again) so I’m making less repeats and we’ll see what comes out. It’s the first time that I use dropped-stitches, and I have to confess that it gives me a strange feeling. As I’ve mentioned, I want to learn new techniques along this year. At least this project fits the bill.
some lovely possibilities here – i particularly like the look of butternut
Butternut is a wonderful scarf. It’s lacy but after some repeats you get the hang of it and you don’t need the pattern anymore. Interesting, not boring but not too difficult. It’s beautiful and you can either block it or not. It looks nice both ways. And the most important thing: it’s very wearable. From the ones I made for my mother, Butternut is my favorite… and also hers!
I’m not big on blocking, so that sounds ideal. I’m tempted to try it with a lace sauberball I’ve got, but I don’t know if that might be a bit much!
I started Clapotis once…. but it’s a bit boring, you get an enormous weird triangle before seeing anything interesting. Maybe i should try again making less repeats like you, because i really like it. I’ll wait to see yours.
You are absolutely right: Clapotis is quite a boring knit. Boring, boring, boring (that’s why I was interested in Hawtorne), but I usually knit while watching a show or listening to podcasts, so I survive 😀
In my opinion, it will look a bit wacky until it gets blocked. It will improve then. I hope my theory is right, so this boring knit will be a completely fail :/
By the way, where do you get all those beautiful Malabrigos here in Madrid??? I Neeeeed to know it 😛
I haven’t found them in Madrid :/. I usually order them from Téjeme or Laine et Tricot.
This one for Clapotis I got it for sale at Téjeme, but the other Malabrigo I’ve used (like the one of Freija) I got it from Laine et Tricot. I’ve compared several shops in Europe and it’s one of the cheapest. They also have Cascade yarns at an excellent price. They add 8 euros for shipment, but if you’re interested in getting yarn from them, please let me know and we can maybe share shipment costs.
It’s very sad, but there are shops here in Madrid where they’ve never heard of Malabrigo. Unthinkable!
I made this one with just one skein of Malabrigo Lace so it should be fine.
My mother is older than yours, and of the shawls I have made, she absolutely loves Wisp, made with mohair. And not only my mom but also a dear friend of the family, over 90 years old. They find it soft, light and warm. A total surprise for me.
Thanks for the hint! I’ve checked it out and it looks, nice, cozy and warm. I have 3 balls of a silk-mohair blend which I bought in Brussels when I was just starting to knit and that I’ve forsaken after casting on almost 300 stitches and dropping several on the first row. I should give it another try with an easier pattern and this one looks the perfect for it. I’ve already added it to my queue. Thanks! 😀
Yeah…It’s hard to keep the giftee in mind sometimes. My urge is to knit patterns that interest ME.
Keeping the giftee in mind can be torturing sometimes, doubting whether she will like it or not. I knit patterns that interest me when I’m making things for myself, which is, I confess, most of the time.
I’ve knitted a couple of very dull designs recently that we’re I tended as gifts. The yarn was nice but the pattern almost killed me.
I know what you mean. I made two pairs of Hermione’s everyday socks for me last year, and my family loved them. I made then a pair for my mother and my sister requested another one. My mother wore hers so much that they broke and I have to knit some more pairs for her. I like that pattern, but I’ve made it so many times that just thinking of it kills me.
I have to travel to Barcelona by train next weekend, so I guess I will finally start a pair to fill those hours (Sigh).
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