“You first, Mrs. Boast,” said Ma, for Mrs. Boast was company. So Mrs. Boast opened her package. In it was a lawn handkerchief edged with narrow crocheted lace. Laura recognized it; it was Ma’s best Sunday handkerchief. Mrs. Boast was delighted, and so surprised that there was a gift for her.
So was Mr. Boast. His present was wristlets, knitted in stripes of red and gray. They fitted him perfectly. They were the wristlets that Ma had knitted for Pa. But she could knit some more for Pa, and the company must have Christmas presents.
By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Boasts had arrived at the Ingall’s house on the night before Christmas, so there was no time to make them anything. They weren’t expected, but they had arrived early to get a jump on settlers looking to register a claim in the early spring. I thought it was just like Caroline, Laura’s mother, to include them in the families Christmas celebration.
If you’ve followed my site for a bit, you’ll know that I quote passages from the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, quite often. I read the entire series when I was eight-years old, and have continued to read the books; at least a few times yearly. It’s safe to say, I know the majority of the passages from those books by memory. I felt like I knew Laura, after reading her books, and I continued my research of her beyond the Little house on the Prairie series. She’s definitely a person I’d have loved to have meet.
Q, recently wrote a post about a ” knitted teapot doohickey” that she’d made. Her lovely teapot would drip, when she would serve tea, and the knitted little scrunchie (as I’ve called it) solved that issue. For some reason, Q’s post made me think about Laura’s Ma, Caroline, and her ability to come up with creative ideas. I’m betting Caroline would have loved Q’s idea. When I saw the doodad resting on the spout I instantly thought about a project that I hadn’t gotten around to making; knitted wristbands/sweatbands.
A few weeks ago, when I was doing yard work outside, I thought about making some. It was over 100 F, I was cutting grass, and doing work in the garden. A lot of sweating was going on that day. While working, I thought about knitting a pair, since I could use the wristlets to wipe off the sweat while I worked outside.
As I worked, I figured that making them in a super absorbent cotton, using a rib stitch, would be ideal. Wool was out of the question, since it makes me itch. I love cotton yarn, but I was concerned that even using a stretchy rib stitch, since it was 100% cotton yarn it wouldn’t “bounce back” as I’d like. About a month ago I knitted a 100% cotton ribbed beanie hat, that hasn’t returned to it’s normal shape after washing; so that made me hesitant to go 100%. For the wristlets, I figured that this could be avoided if I added a yarn that would retain its shape after washing. And so I added a grey acrylic yarn to the 100% green cotton yarn that I’d selected for this project. No pattern was used, I started and finished with a acrylic worsted weight yarn using a simple rib stitch; k1,p1 throughout the piece.
In the future, I’ll use a yarn that’s a cotton/polyester blend, but overall I’m pleased with the simple knitted wristlet pattern This weekend, I’ll cast on a pair for myself. I believe I’ll drop down to size five knitting needles.
I wish I could report on how awesome these were when I worked outside yesterday… but I can’t. I gave this pair to my father; July 24th, was his birthday… It was an extra gift that my daughter and I gave to him. I used my size 6 Knit Picks circular needles. It produced a tightly knitted wristlets, that were incredibly stretchy!. I bound off the stitches loosely to insure they’d fit over his large hands.
My father, loves practical gifts, just like me. He also enjoys being outdoors. Since he wipes the sweat of his forehead with his wrist, he now has super absorbent wristlets to help keep his face dry.