Oh, my family, they have requests. Lots of requests. Specifically knitwear requests. They'll keep my needles happily in motion for y-e-a-r-s. I have a mental list of Scott's requests and Leah's list is so long that I keep telling her she better knit faster because there's no way I can make all the things she wants. But Jesse? Nuthin'. Doesn't wear sweaters. Has gloves that he likes. No need for a scarf. Not interested in warm wooly handknit socks (or at least so he says, though he does seem to enjoy stealing them from my
sock drawer in the winter).
So, on packing away the winter wear this spring, when the boy's favorite balaclava was proclaimed too worn out to keep around for another snow season, he said, "Can you knit me a new one?" You bet, kiddo!
There are many free online patterns for a balaclava/head sock/helmet liner. Jesse chose this knitted helmetliner pattern
and some Patons Classic Wool Merino from the stash. He even agreed to model the finished project, even though it's July...with promise of some fresh raspberries from our bushes after we took the pictures. :-)
I made the neck portion about 4" longer than the pattern called for, which was a good move. If I knit another one, I'd do the ribbing around the face in two sections, top curve and bottom curve, with overlapping intersections near the eyes, because it gaps out a bit at the eyes when he pulls the bottom curve up over his nose, as for snowball battles and crazy sledding fun, but such details are not important to a 12 y.o. boy in the midst of snowstorm glee. This pattern also called for decreases in such a way that the ribbing around the face looks less neat than I'd like, but again, I figured it doesn't really matter on this type of project and I knew the recipient wouldn't care as long as it keeps his ears and neck warm during snowstorm romps.
Also off the needles this week: a pair of socks in Cherry Tree Hill yarn, received for my birthday in January and mostly knit while the kids were splashing about in ponds or the ocean lately.
As usual, toe-up construction, magic/figure-8 cast-on (I'm not sure which I actually do, but it works for me, so I haven't bothered to look it up), 2x2 ribbing on size 2 needles, Widdershins gusset and heel, plain old loose bind-off at the top. I'd like to find an improved bind-off for socks, so I hope to try the one Brenda Dayne has mentioned on Cast-On lately. Socks are easy, mindless, portable, practical, lightweight knitting...perfect in the background while visiting with friends.
I'm just glad there was no one else around with a camera while I was taking sock pics. The contortions required for such a feat were quite entertaining to raspberry-munching boy, who giggled hysterically at my efforts at socky self-portrait.