Sunday, February 06, 2011

Unflinching

There are lots of reasons to love my sister-in-law.  She's smart and funny and bakes like nobody's business.  She's fun to hang out with and makes an effort to see that I'm included in all the going's on.  She also understands when my social abilities are lacking and being with the humans is just not going to work out. Oh, and I guess there's also the part where she seems to make my baby brother happy...

But the best thing about her is that I have never once seen her do The Yarn Flinch.  That is a quality not often seen.

What's that?  You are unfamiliar with the Yarn Flinch?  Well, it's quite common, really.  It is based upon the same impulse that causes people to inform knitters that they should be selling their handknit socks.  In fact, they are often quite disgusted with us for not doing just that since we could obviously be making millions if we'd simply put our mind to it.

If the conversation progresses far enough, you'll see it.  We patiently explain that, even if we didn't factor in the cost of our time, the yarn alone could put that pair of socks in the $20.00 range. Or more.  And sweaters?  They don't wanna know.  But when they do know, you'll see The Flinch.  It also happens when well-meaning shoppers think to purchase yarn for their knitting friends.  Unless they've done this before, they generally aren't prepared and will Flinch right there in the store in front of God and everyone.

Note:  The Flinch isn't just a Yarn Thing.  Quilters aren't covering their king sized beds for free and casual cobblers don't have closets full of designer shoes at a penny a pair.  It's the nature of hobbies...

My sister-in-law has gifted me several times with fiber in both spun and unspun form and has never once Flinched.  At least not to my face.  She even has the good grace to put my brother's name on the tag when she wraps the gift, but I know the truth of the matter.  My brother would Flinch.  He'd probably still make the purchase.  But he'd Flinch.  At least a little bit.

Note:  Baby Brother Sheep has given me some truly amazing and thoughtful gifts over the years.  He's actually quite good at gifting.  Like that time he went back to purchase the tea chest he saw me admiring and then shipped it across the country for me at Christmas.  The fact that he Flinches is in no way an assault on his character.  I just sort of know that it was my sister-in-law who did the holiday shopping is all...

Hence, it is not a surprise that my Christmas gift this year included not one, not two, but three skeins of llama/silk blend yarn.  If you consider that my sister-in-law is not a knitter and that the also thought to give me a set of stitch markers, then you can surely see why I consider her to be a truly marvelous addition to the Sheepish Clan.

She told me to knit myself something special with it.  Having recently lost a fingerless mitt to the ever-growing snowbanks and with hands cracking from the icy chill, I think that something with which to cover the poor things qualifies.  Plus I used that weird, but oddly satisfying pattern I made up during the holidays so that adds to the special-ness a little bit, I do believe.  Granted, it's crochet and not knitting, but I still believe this.


Even if I didn't believe, it's too late now.  They're done.  And I'm not taking them off!



I wore them outside today as I braved the icy driveway.  In spite of their lacy nature, the combination of llama and silk did a wonderful job of keeping out the morning chill.  They were done in a day, in use and appreciated shortly thereafter.  I brushed the errant chunks of ice from my windshield with nary a Flinch!  And the best part?  There is over a skein left!  Plenty more for a little something special should I feel the urge.

Especially given the turn this particular winter has taken.  It's times like these when I am grateful for the UnFlinching nature of my sister-in-law.

SA

8 comments:

=Tamar said...

I suppose I shouldn't shiver at the sight of open crochet mitts, given the size of some of the stitches on my quickly-made mitts, but wow. You're warmer blooded than I am, that's for sure. And I'm wearing mine indoors.

Anonymous said...

Flinching! My husband used to, now he tells people, "she doesn't knit to save money, but to relax"
Ginnie

April said...

I am very jealous. My sister-in-law was the shrew to end all shrews.

Your fingerless mitts are beautiful!

Beth said...

What a great gift and lovely mitts, too!

Donna Lee said...

That sister in law is a keeper! The mitts are beautiful and look feminine and warm.
The first time I saw the flinch was over a pair of socks made with a cashmere blend yarn.

Dancing Knitter said...

I had never heard of The Flinch, but I have definitely seen it :)

Julia G said...

Llama silk mitts - scrumptious! You'll get plenty of use out of them this winter. You are lucky to have such a great sister-in-law!

Mary Ellen said...

I know the flinch well - especially the "sock flinch" - thank you for putting it into words :]