Playing Favorites

First off, let me just say that I promise there is a knitting aspect to this post, if you're willing to get through the wordy part. :) Trust me, the background story is helpful in understanding the reason for the knitting part. (At least I hope so. It's possible that this will make no sense at all.)

Oh, and one other thing...I feel a little bit like I want to start sharing just a little more about myself on this blog. I know up till now this has been 99% about knitting...but I know that when people whose blogs I read share more about themselves, I find it more fun to read. So in an effort to make this blog less boring, I am going to try and open up a bit. :)

Now on to my story.

I consider myself to be very lucky in that I married into a really great family. My in-laws, every last one of them, are wonderful people. I've become good friends with my husband's two aunts, and especially one cousin. They are fun people, and there are many laughs when everyone gets together. They've really made me feel like part of the family, too.

This past Thanksgiving we went to visit my husband's family in upstate New York. Almost all of his family lives close to each other...my husband (his name is John...perhaps that will make this easier? :) heh) and two of his three siblings are the only ones who actually moved away, and we're the only ones on the east coast.

Anyway, holidays are big family events with them and everyone comes over to John's parents' house for the big meal (they host Thanksgiving every year no matter what). So this year it was the usual crew, and after the meal people sat around chatting and enjoying themselves. I found myself sitting in the kitchen with John's two aunts and one of the aunt's two daughters.

They're all fun-loving people and though I don't know the history of it, somewhere along the way a sort of "game" was born where the two daughters began vying for the position of "favorite" with the aunts. This involves fetching a cup of coffee or tea or water when needed, and just doing little chores or favors, all in the name of fun. The rules (if there are any) are vague and really it's just a mutual "I'll do something nice for you in order to be your favorite" even if it's the cousin's affections you're after. Oh and yes, this "game" makes no sense. It's just fun, is all, and the source of many laughs.

So on Thanksgiving we were all chatting in the kitchen, and John's one cousin happened to be sitting on a suitcase as there were no more chairs. I was at this point mostly unaware of the "game" and I quietly left the room to get another chair for her. Well, this was taken as a strategic move in the "game" and I was instantly adopted into the game myself. Much laughter was shared (I really only got the chair because I saw it was needed...I just like to do those sorts of things if I can) and the conversation turned to things people could to for one another to win points.

At one point, one aunt commented that she wanted to try the coconut cake we'd brought up, and (even though I am a shy person and this is not something I would ordinarily do), I heard this as, "Hey, I can win some points if I get her some!" So I made a great show of hopping up and exclaiming that I would be most happy to get her some. (Again, this is actually not a "me" sort of thing to do! I prefer to blend in and not be the object of attention, especially in a group.) But everyone roared with laughter and the one cousin with whom I've become friends hopped up after me and chased me into the dining room, where she proceeded to hold my arms back as I tried to get a piece of cake for her mom, and we were both hysterical. I finally succeeded and ran back to the aunt who requested the cake. Meanwhile, the cousin then heaped another plate full of other goodies and was close on my heels offering that as well. It was very funny. I hadn't laughed so hard in a long time.

Fast forward to Christmastime, and when we got a Christmas card from the cake-requesting-aunt, it had a little note indicating that I was very close to becoming the favorite. hehe. ;)

Fast forward further to Valentine's day where my husband and I were chatting at dinner and he came up with the idea that I should knit his two aunts each a hat, and send them off in the mail to them. I thought this was a great idea and then decided I'd add a note saying that the hat was for "my favorite aunt-in-law"...with the hopes that they'd each get a chuckle out of it and then show them to each other, thereby discovering I am playing favorites with both of them. :) Mock-sneaky, fun, and almost guaranteed to elicit a laugh.

Which brings me to the knitting portion of this post (thanks for reading through all that!) I found this yarn called Caron Simply Soft Shadows. I wanted something soft and machine washable since they're gifts.


The yarn is neat and I like how it knitted up...it's basically a solid color but one ply is a long-color-changing strand that gave a subtle change throughout the hat.


I used my usual roll-brim hat which is quick, easy, and fits most people.

This color was called Opal Twist:


It was basically black with a thread that changed from white to gray to browns.

This one was an off-white with a brown/off-white thread, called Pearl Frost:


Specs on these hats:

Pattern: Basic Roll Brim Hat
Needles used: Size 7 (16" circs and DPNs)
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Shadows
Colors: Opal Twist and Pearl Frost
Amount used: 1 ball of each
Started: 2/20/08
Finished: 2/27/08

Now I'm going to get them ready to mail off to John's aunts, and hopefully this will elicit some sort of response! I'll keep you posted of any developments. :)


Nell said...

Cool hats!!! You are TOTALLY the favorite now!

Anonymous said...

What a fun story! My husband's family has a joke about being a "po de creme" child -- something about a recipe she made that resulted in one more serving than there were family members. If you were the favorite the next day you got the extra serving as a snack.

Tammy said...

Great story. Sounds like a fun family. Keep us posted on what the Aunts say about the hats!!! I bet you're the favorite now!

Carrie K said...

That's so cute! You're totally going to be the favorite with those hats.

peaknits said...

If YOU are not the favorite now, you must divorce your husband. (total sarcasm:)

Love the hats, especially the white one, the subtly stripe - oh, you know what this means? The one who gets the white hat will name you favorite for sure! What a fun game and loving in-laws to inite you into their famiy! Obviously they know they are the lucky ones as well!

Too Little Time said...

How absolutely FUN! - The hats came out really nice - you will surely win the "favorite" award =) K

Knitting Kris said...

What a great and funny family tradition! These hats are just bound to move you into the most prized position of "fave."
They are really pretty. I love the colors and how they turned out!