I have a 15 year old nephew. I love him to death, although it doesn't show. I don't shower him with handknits (at least, not since he turned 8 or so). He was one of the first of the sibling offspring, so he got all the great baby sweaters - including a spectacular (If I may say so) bright red cabled jacket that looked great on him (and three other kids after him - I always took it back for washing, to ensure the lifespan).
But for the last few years, he has been pretty specific about the hand mades. "Please don't." So I didn't. I did hem his school uniform pants, but that was more for him Mom - he was quite happy to leave them long and dragging..., but I never sewed or knitted anything for him.
This summer, after seeing my kid in his hand made pajama pants at the cottage, he discreetly mentioned that some of those would be cool. In plaid. I filed that away, and will be making some of those for Christmas. (all the kids will be getting pj pants - the girls are getting embroidered satins and some tie dyed cottons, the boys are getting patterns to match their interests, and plaids). At that point, I debated buying some ice skates for Lucifer.
But the really "stop me in my tracks, completely gob-smacked" moment came just last week. I was on the phone with his mom, and heard him in the background. His mom came back on the phone and said "D would like a pair of handknit mittens if it's not a problem."
Not a problem? Holy crap, I've been waiting for this moment! I told her to put him on, and tried to keep it low key, although I was jumping for joy inside.
"So Dude, what colour? Blue? okay, I can do blue. I'll send some examples over of blues I have, and you can pick. Cool. Yeah, no problem, I'm sure I can find some time..."
So I grabbed blues - I had some Heilo Norwegian yarn, plain blue. I had some hand-dyed, some Socks that Rock Silke (my personal choice), some alpaca. I gave him about 5 to choose from, and at the last minute, I threw in the grey and red thrummed mitt, as well as a plain knit mitt for him to choose from. I also tossed in the bag of delicious grey alpaca roving for thrums. I put it all in a bag, and my husband took it over there on Monday, during his weekly poker game. (Don't ask - it's been going on since high school).
I got a phone call that night. "D like the plain blue (Heilo),but wants to know about the fluffy ones." I got him on the phone, and he said he really liked the fluffy ones, since they were really warm. I told him to stick his hand in the bag of grey roving, and tell me if that feels as nice as the grey and red one. I hear a muffled "wow, that's sick!" and he gets back on the phone and asks if he can get the grey fluff inside the blue mitten. "The red is nice, but the grey is sick!"
Sick it is. He's getting blue mittens with grey alpaca thrums. He'll be happy, and I'm thrilled. At least I am until all the others decide they want them. Or his friends. My track record with mittens is not good. I'm making as many as I can now before the feeling wears off and I can't stand the sight of another mitten. It will happen...
Wonder if Lucifer needs a toque?