As someone who is inclined to the handmade over the mass produced, I get especially excited about making little items of comfort for myself, friends, and family this time of year. However, recently my time has been overly occupied (hence the minimal blog posts) and I decided to stop by Target to look at their gloves and mittens. The numerous, very colorful, machine knitted items included a variety of choices ranging from the traditional (very thin) short cuffed gloves ($1) to the slightly thicker mittens with removable tip-flaps that mimic the look of handknit mittens. They were absolutely beautiful and cost $11 (not a terribly large sum). I tried them on...they were warm and fit nicely but I knew they were not handknit. If you've never worn a handknit garment you might think I am a little crazy for not being over-the-moon about finding a nice mitten that was inexpensive and that fit well.
Wearing something handknit versus something mass produced is...just not the same. Handknit items, like a great piece of art, are food for the soul. Even better, they are food for the soul that physically comforts you. The feeling just can't be beat. Each knit and each purl (those are knitting stitches for the non-knitting readers) carry with them the history particular moment. I couldn't bring myself to purchase the machine-knit mittens in Target...no matter how nice they looked and felt.
I left Target, went home and began knitting my first pair of mittens (see the photo collage above).