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Mercury Glass Mittens Rereleased

Well, the holidays are over and quite frankly that was a pretty rough Christmas. Our particular holiday was sorta.. well awful.. both the Hubs and I contracted the stomach flu late on Christmas Eve which resulted in neither of us checking on the chickens properly before bed. And yes of course that means we woke up to one less alive chicken on Christmas morning, sigh, RIP Puddin' you were a lovely bird. Needless to say no one was hungry so turkey was postponed until the next day, the poor kids opened gifts to rather unenthusiastic arghs and ughs and then we both slunk away to trade off napping and watching the baby. Not Stellar. But we made it through and hopefully our girls remember it with tender hearts and understanding.
 I always like the anticipation of the holiday season much more than the actual day. I prefer not really knowing what is in a gift but rather just knowing that someone picked it out for me. Somehow waiting for it seems to be more satisfying than the actual unwrapped thing. Same with the tree and decorating the house, the act of putting away our usual stuff and preparing a place for a living tree to be part of our loving home is meditatively soothing. Lifting each decoration out of the box and remembering how we received it and from whom is my favorite part of the holiday. Closely followed by the girls constantly arranging and rearranging the tree with their baby ornaments and decorations from their grandparents.

When I was young we had a huge tree, the living room in my parents house has a vaulted ceiling which is about 12 feet high and we would get a tree that would touch the tip of the ridgeline with the star. It took forever to decorate that tree, it was the open kind of tree with sparse branches that could accommodate hundreds of ornaments (or so it seemed) and so many of them were from far off places and people. A Grandmother who passed before I could make memories with her, salt dough portraits of my parents that my mom made when they lived in Cape Town, beaded pin ornaments from a very special family friend turned adopted honorary Grandmother, handmade Santas and Angels from my dearest Aunt Diane who left before her time. Even a baby ornament from my birth year with tiny baby Meghan photos on one side and an ice skating angel on the other!
Of all the precious ornaments that we encrusted the tree with the Mercury Glass ornaments were the most rare, breakable, and beautiful. Passed down generations from my mother's Grandmother they were amazing shining orbs of glass with jewel toned color and delicate frosted Mica accents. I can STILL HEAR MY MOM saying to be careful and not break them as they were precious and beautiful and perfect. And we tried, oh did we try, but inevitably one or even two got broken every year. I don't know how many are left now, I moved away and since we are the family with the kids it is easier to have Christmas here at our house. But I suspect, since I know my mom can be cagey when she wants to, that there are still a few around somewhere.
When a call for submission for Interweave Gifts went out a few years ago I immediately thought of the Mercury Glass ornaments. They were so beautiful and if I could only come up with a way to let them inspire a piece it would be a perfect Christmas tribute. I realized that if I knit mittens sideways with short rows that they could be knit to look like the ornaments what were a circle divided into 4 petal shapes. Then an addition of fern stitch embroidery would represent the frosted sparkles that so defined the ornaments of memory. I remember being incredibly excited that when Lisa Shroyer picked the yarn for the project she was able to find the perfect blue and pink, if you look at the above photo the blue and pink ornament was exactly the one I was thinking about.

This pattern is worked in an Aran weight yarn and is perfect for stash busting as you could work with 2 colors or even 4. It is now available for purchase through Ravelry and remember if you knit a pair I would love to see a photo!


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