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best ever

August 31, 2007

What makes a successful hand knit?

March 3, 2006

March 3, 2006. Two days before Maggie arrived.

For me, there are a few ways for a project to be defined as successful.

A technically difficult project that turns out well is successful, even if it is impractical or won’t be worn. Jerry’s Tassled Fez won’t be used but for a few months of the year and I still haven’t figured out what to do with the Leaf Lace Shawl, but the experience gained from knitting them was truly worthwhile.

A project knit for someone who believes they don’t need it, then discovers they can’t live without it is certainly a success. I made Gerald felted slippers and he thought he had no use for them. During the winter he wears them all the time.

There are projects that may have been technically not-too-hard, but they are a success because of their usefulness and wearability. My Sweater comes to mind; also Jerry’s vest and my favorite hat The Fake Isle.

Day Two

March 7, 2006.

But what is your Best Ever project? I know mine, and you might have guessed it, too. It’s The Blankie.


March, 2006. Maggie is about a month old. See the toes?

The Blankie is the Best Ever because my little Maggie loves it to distraction.


August 2006.

I think it started when my Mom was holding fussy Maggie while I was trying to do something else, like maybe put Jerry to bed or something. She said, “Where’s her blanket?” I brought The Blanket to my Mom and Maggie calmed right down. Our lives have not been the same since.

When I first washed The Blanket, it pilled terribly (Encore Worsted, color 668?). Wouldn’t you know that Mag’s favorite pastime is pulling off the “blanket fuzzies” and eating them?

Get the Fuzz

This morning. Grabbing a fuzzy.

The Blanket is only 18 months old yet it is wearing thin, it is usually a little stinky, and it’s got a few loose strands. I’ll just say it: The Blanket is sorta ugly. I can’t get over how something so simple, so worn out, so crusty, can be the best thing I ever knit.


This morning. Taking a ride.



The Blanket

This morning. “Are you done with my blanket yet?”

What’s your best ever?

28 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2007 11:56 am

    The toes poking out are making me scream a little.

    My best ever has got to be the We Call Them Pirates hat. Mark wears that every single day that it’s cold out. He practically snatched it out of my hands when it was finished.

  2. August 31, 2007 12:09 pm

    Fun post! I wrote up an answer on my blog.

  3. August 31, 2007 2:34 pm

    I’m sure this will change, since I’ve only been knitting a little while, but I’ll have to say my handdyed, spindle-spun scarf. It’s a thick and thin single and it’s starting to pill with use but every time I look at it, it makes me happy.

  4. August 31, 2007 3:29 pm

    I don’t know if I have a best ever. I have certainly enjoyed doing some more than others–Hot Ticket and the Irish Hiking scarf among others–but I don’t know if those are the best ones, especially since neither one has really been worn yet.

  5. August 31, 2007 4:02 pm

    Cute lil’ toes peeking out! I love it! I think I really like the cobblestone sweater I just finished for my hubby the best.

  6. katie permalink
    August 31, 2007 5:03 pm

    I love those photos, esp. the last one! I’ll have to think about my best ever. Might be my first sweater, because I was so proud of it. Even though a year later I went back and reseamed it and fixed all of the beginner’s mistakes. It was Wee Willie Whistle from Miss Bea’s Band.

  7. August 31, 2007 5:19 pm

    Great post 🙂

    My best knit was a pair of fingerless gloves and hat for Kaelen. She wears them all the time.

  8. August 31, 2007 9:01 pm

    Oh my, I love everything about this post, but that last picture just totally takes my breath away.

    What a treasure, to have been able to knit something that has come to mean that much to your child.

    I don’t think I’ve done anything that has been elevated to that level of love or usefulness. It would be hard to say what my best ever knit has been. Maybe Cozy, which represented quite an accomplishment for me at the time, and since I use it (really only around the house) all the time.

    Btw, I know it must be hard having Jerry off at kindergarten, but I’m betting you are enjoying the alone time with Miss Maggie.

  9. September 1, 2007 12:44 am

    What a wonderful story. Maggie is certianly a charmer.

    The best thing I’ve ever knit has to be my first We Call Them Pirates hat. It was intended for my brother but ended up way too small. I thought it would end up unloved and unused but my younger son latched on to it and hasn’t let go. He wears it outside every lousy day, and inside on nice days.

  10. September 1, 2007 7:32 am

    What a terrific post – I found you through Ruth, and enjoyed this immensely. The pictures are perfect – it warms my heart!

    I think that my best ever is the one that I love & wear the most, though I don’t thing there is anything quite like blankie love 😉 I’ll post to my blog!

  11. September 1, 2007 11:13 am

    so very sweet 🙂 my best handknits are like yours– the ones received with copious amounts of love above and beyond the knitting time invested.

  12. September 1, 2007 1:28 pm

    Awww, that’s adorable. How wonderful that The Blanket is so well-loved.

  13. mandy permalink
    September 1, 2007 11:00 pm

    mine are so simple. thei first is the very first thing i ever knit. the very uneven rectangle w=swatch i made in crappy accrylic. when i finished it juliana picked it up and said”wow mom, you madea blanket for Lisa(the bunny). the second is a little vest i made on christmas for the same overloved abunny. they mean so much to Juliana and the bunny(i guess) and they are so normal. a good reminder that thing s need not be fancy.
    That photo of mag in the hamper is too wonderful.

  14. Robin permalink
    September 2, 2007 1:20 pm

    I’ve just recently discovered your blog. I have to say that I enjoy your style of writing just as much as the pics of your knitting. The “blanket” and “sounds of the house” posts were both beautiful and sweet. I look forward to more!

  15. September 3, 2007 8:56 pm

    What a wonderful post! You take the most beautiful pics of your babies.

  16. September 3, 2007 9:07 pm

    Great post! You should definitely submit this to Yarnival!

    As a blankie person myself (I still sleep with mine 37 yrs later) I can’t even imagine knitting a blanket that my child would love as much as I love mine. Something to aspire to! Way to knit, Mama!

  17. September 4, 2007 7:07 pm

    i am in love with the pictures. i have knitted for way to long to answer that question but i suppose what i have been wearing the most was the clapotis i made for myself last winter. the prettiest was a fair isle yoke for my niece and the most loved was a little brownish tweedy tomten for my great niece.

  18. h-spo permalink
    September 4, 2007 11:56 pm

    my best ever was the felted bag and mittens that i made out of the brown sheep worsted mixture of heather grays. i even stitched leather palms on the mittens. i waxed the palms up with snow-seal, remember that stuff we used to put on our doc martens? i wear the mittens ALL THE TIME during the frigid winters…the wind doesn’t penetrate and they grip things perfectly. the bag…i throw everything in it and it is as close to a purse as i’ll ever get. is it dorky that they match?

  19. September 5, 2007 12:27 am

    Many years ago and far away from here, I went on a six month kick of knitting nothing but scarves. Mostly because I never learned how to knit anything else, and scarves were somehow… I don’t know. Finishable. Finishable and discrete and useful, which was a wonderful feeling during that time of my life. So the best thing I ever knit, shockingly enough, was a scarf. I made it out of this super soft multi-colored eggplant-hued wool and gave it to my sister for Christmas.

    Dumb me. I gave it to the wrong sister, and she promptly put it in the bottom of a drawer and forgot about it. But the other sister (the right sister), saw that scarf on Christmas morning and knew it was hers. So after waiting a mysteriously appropriate amount time until Christmas was a memory and Wrong Sister had forgotten about the scarf, Right Sister snatched it and has yet to take it off. It used to be uniformly 5 feet long and 10 inches wide, soft and beautiful, and evenly knit. Now it is 13 feet long (not kidding) and in places no more than 2 inches wide. It has holes and loose threads. The stitches look like a crazy cross-eyed giant with needles the size of chestnut trees knitted it. It smells like beer, vomit, and a perfume called Happy. It is the best thing I’ve ever knitted.

    I’ve long since stopped knitting (I got bored with scarves) and turned my attention to photography and writing, which generally speaking fulfill my creative bursts more effectively than knitting did. But every time I see my sister wearing her scarf I think about how marvelous it is to make something the very purpose of which is to care for, protect, delight, and comfort the ones you love. I won’t ever take a picture that’s better than that scarf. But now that I think on it, I might take a picture of my sister wearing that scarf.

  20. MOM permalink
    September 5, 2007 8:40 am

    My best ever are Holly, Mandy and Eddie!

  21. Noreen permalink
    September 5, 2007 11:15 pm

    Surprise ,surprise . Here I am.Your’e far too kind and lovely to me .You make me sound much nicer than I really am.But thats OK .I don’t mind.I’m so
    excited at the prospect of getting two pairs of lovely hand knitted socks I can hardly wait.What makes me so lucky?My ‘Best Yet’ is yet in the future.One of these days I’m going to knit a’BEADED VICTORIAN EVENING BAG.Yes I am . Just wait and see.In the meantime I am perfectly contented to live vicariously through all you very talented knitting bloggers.Sometimes I sit here reading knitting blogs til my arse is numb and I have a crick in my neck .I can’t type worth a hoot.You could have discovered the cure for cancer in the time it took me to type this.Cheerio. Mo gra thu Mandy.

  22. Noreen permalink
    September 5, 2007 11:20 pm

    ‘Mo gra thu ‘ means I love you.

  23. September 14, 2007 11:34 am

    That is just so adorable! I don’t know if I’ve had a knitted item yet that I think is the best one ever, but maybe I will in the near future 😉

  24. October 21, 2007 2:50 pm

    your little girl is so cute !!!! she is so sweet !!! I have done a blanket for each child !!! they love it long time !!!!! long time I haven’t read your blog… I put it on my favorites for do not lose it again… bye Capucine….


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