Thursday, 14 February 2013

My Funny Valentine, Sweet Knitted Valentine

I try to ignore Valentine's Day. Mine have, frankly, always sucked. The only one I ever got to celebrate with anyone was in 1992, when I got a card. From a guy who a) turned out to be gay and b) when I found out about his actual sexual orientation and reproached him for not telling me, claimed I'd just imagined that we were ever romantically involved. So maybe that card doesn't count, because it just might have been a figment of my imagination too. All my other Valentine's Days have just been non-events, with the possible exception of Valentine's Day 2012, when I was coming home late from work and got hit by a car. The driver was a young guy on the way to see his girlfriend. I don't imagine they had too pleasant an evening either, even after he eventually arrived at her place a few hours late.

But I'm not going to ignore Valentine's Day on this blog, because I do love researching and writing holiday theme posts (I'm even looking forward to creating a St. Patrick's Day post), and in this post I offer a bouquet of knitting project ideas to you that I hope you can enjoy regardless of your romantic status. Knitting, after all, is inherently a self-sufficient activity, and you can make one or two of these items for yourself or for someone whom you love, and you'll find it won't matter whether you love them in a romantic, platonic, or familial way — they'll appreciate the item and your efforts just as much.

A number of these projects employ hearts as a design element. I don't normally like heart motifs as they tend to look cheesy and too child-like for adult wear, but in these cases they've been incorporated into the pattern with such intricacy, cuteness, or attitude that they all work.

The above picture is the first of the project ideas I'm suggesting. It says it all, doesn't it? If you think it doesn't, you can always replace the text with something else (e.g., "Prenup Okay?", "Trading You In", "Now You Tell Me" or "Expletive Deleted"). The pattern is available for sale on for $2(USD).

Seeing a little kid run around the house in the LoveSocks, designed by Devon Clement, would make my day. It's a free pattern.

Beautifully designed Coeur D'Or, by Heatherly Walker. If they look too much like Valentine's Day wear to you, just make them in another colourway. This pattern is available for $6(USD).

Love these Heart mittens, by Matilde Skår. Making these mittens in different colours would make them all-winter wear. It's a free pattern.

Here's a Valentine Envelope, by Cindy Craft, that could be used from year to year. Or if you make it in some other colourway, it could be a nice vanity case. The pattern is available for $2(USD).

Gorgeous, intricate Little Valentine shawl pattern, by Sylvie Beez, and apparently it takes less than one 100g skein of fingering yarn to make it. It's a free pattern.

This Lucy's Chemise Nightie, by Joan McGowan-Michael, is a romance in itself. The pattern is available for $8(USD) at White Lies Designs.

Lace stockings for the woman who has a fetish/love affair with awesome hosiery. The Marlaina Thigh-High Stockings design, by Joan McGowan-Michael, is available for $7.50(USD) at White Lies Designs, where all the designs are romantic — the whole site is worth checking out if you like a touch of that style in your wardrobe.

And if you need a lift today, here's a story a friend of mine told me last year to make me feel better. One year back in his university days, he had no money to spend on buying flowers for his girlfriend, so he decided to make her a bouquet of paper flowers. He stayed up most of the night, cutting and pasting. The next day when he presented his girlfriend with the flowers, she looked puzzled, reluctantly accepted the flowers, and said, "I didn't know we were going out."

This story does indeeed cheer me up whenever I think of it. Even I have never experienced a burn like that one.


  1. Joan McGowan-Michael used to design Lingerie for Frederick's of Hollywood -- that's why her designs have that romantic, filmy lingerie air to them, even the ones that aren't lingerie.

    She's also an amazingly thoughtful, helpful knitter who has been a huge advocate of knitting for plus-size ladies. Glad to see you linking to her!

  2. I find it helpful to think of Valentine's Day as "more of a kids' holiday." Like Easter, for those of us who are not religious. Something that adults can participate in if they feel like it, but it's mostly about the kids - and delicious candy.