We talk a lot here about the value of handmade accessories, especially for gifts, and even more especially as we near December (or think about getting ready for it super early for once.) In fact, we're going to be talking about gift knits again tomorrow. But today I have something quite different to tell you: the one item I wear every day it's not actually being washed, or drying after a wash, from the moment the temperatures start to drop until at least the end of March is not made by hand.
(Veronica Lake should have been so lucky, right? Okay, maybe this is more of a Cousin It thing - either way, now you know why I'm so fond of hats. They do such a great job of keeping my hair out of my eyes. But if you look down to my chin you'll see my beloved grey and black scarf, which I think is worth talking about today.)
As you know if you've been reading Hugs for a while, I've knit many things that could keep my neck warm. All lovely, all with many merits, not least the fact that I spent a fortune on yarn and hours and hours of my time to make them. But none of them suit me so well as this scarf.
It seems to be a grey silk panel sewn up perfectly to a black silk one, so that it shows both colours when you wrap it around your neck. And since I wear black and/or grey most of the time in cold weather - I know it's gloomy but I can't help myself, I just like to - it always matches perfectly. The fabric is such a dense weave it's indescribably soft, and it's been brushed as well so it doesn't have that slick feel of other, perhaps lesser silks.
What I know for sure is that it's a man's scarf, given to Pete a couple of years ago by a friend with a menswear shop. Pete came home with this one as well as another made the same way but with browns and blues in it, and when he showed them to me I just commandeered it. Is that the word I want to use here? Perhaps 'stole' would be more accurate.
Either way: it's nice that we have matchy scarves now. And it's probably worth mentioning that Pete wears his all the time too, in spite of pointedly avoiding wearing scarves before he got this one no matter how cold it got outside.
Basically, it's an awesome, fabulous, can't live without piece that came from a store that got it from a textile manufacturer.
A gift doesn't have to be handknit, my friends. It's nice when it works out that way, with a good pattern and great yarn and lots of loving hours put into it, but sometimes the best thing is just a really beautiful, soft, surprisingly hardwearing piece you bought in a store. Especially if you're too pressed for time to do anything else.
And on that note - I have a little spinning to do today, in readiness for the next gift knit, ahem. What's on your needles?