Expert tips

I feel like I worked on this Circumnavigate cowl forever.  I started it well in advance of the date I needed to finish it by because it’s not knitting that can be done with interruption.  For weeks I aimed to knit one round each evening after my kids were in bed.  I finished it up just in time to celebrate one of my best friends reaching advanced maternal age.  I’ll be celebrating the same birthday myself in a few weeks.  Woohoo!

It’s kind of tricky to knit for friends.  The element of surprise is nice with gifts, but in this case I sort of had my friend choose what I would knit without outright telling her that was what she was doing.  I showed her the Circumnavigate pattern knit up by the lovely Lori one day, asking, “Don’t you think that’s pretty?”  She agreed that it was.  Then on another day (not the same one that I showed her the pattern because I am soooo tricky!)  I sent her a link to some yarn and asked what she thought of the color.  She emailed back a list of yarns in colors that she liked as well (it’s possible that she was on to me at this point,) and one of them happened to be just what I would need to knit that cowl so I ordered it and started knitting.  All of this plotting and planning went on in March of this year, if not a bit earlier, and my friend’s birthday was in late November.  Mom’s are forgetful, so if you ask questions early, it will all be forgotten long before you finish knitting.

So there you have it, my expert tips on how to knit something for a friend knowing that she will like it, but keeping the element of surprise as well.

My friend will probably read this and say, “Yeah right, I was totally on to you.”  I can pretend otherwise.


  1. that is so pretyy…I want to learn to knit and crochet again…I was taught in college, but didn’t get to practice much, so do not remember how

  2. It’s stunning Ginny. Love the color!

  3. I happened to have started this pattern before I saw it on your blog a while back and felt very proud you had chosen the same one. For me it is a real stretch skill-wise. I am slowly working along, and decided I would accept imperfection in the name of progress.

    Yours looks great and gives me inspiration!

  4. I love it! I have to admit, your strategizing is my favorite part. Also, don’t talk to me about advanced maternal age! Lalalala, I can’t hear you!

  5. Tricky!
    I had a similar trick and knit my loves St.Nikolaus socks in May. I had him trying them on just for fun. He couldn’t remember that yesterday. Fun tricky mum!

  6. Expert Tip- be friends with Lori 🙂 She is the best. I love your cowl and I hope your friend loved it!

  7. bahaha advanced maternal age!! I need a cowl darn it!! Love the color and the cowl but my money is on her being on to you too ; )

  8. The cowl is beautiful and looks amazing on you! Lovely! 🙂

  9. So pretty! Your a gift Ninja! 🙂

  10. Mirna Cannon says:

    What a lovely cowl. That color is amazing on you. It looks like you have green eyes and they reflect the turquoise blue in the cowl in a wonderful way. I hope that your friend falls in love with this lovely piece.
    You are a great friend for knitting it for her.

  11. Ginny the cowl looks gorgeous. Your friend will be very happy that you knit it for her with lots of love going into it. I love your new header too. I really need to get started on the Sunday sweater as well, it is all printed and ready to be cast on.

  12. Ginny,
    It’s lovely!

  13. You are a Sneaky McSneakerson! But it takes one to know one – I do the same sort of sneaky things. 😀

  14. Hee hee…I had my first baby at “advanced maternal age.” Guess that means I had my last at “geriatric maternal age”…

    The cowl’s gorgeous, Ginny!

  15. Well, I guess I had some suspicions when looking at yarn colors, but I do not remember you showing me the pattern! Very sneaky!! And you’re right – I did forget! Thanks for softening the blow of reaching AMA 🙂 A beautiful cowl is some serious consolation!! I won’t be giving you any hand-knits when you hit this milestone, but maybe I can like babysit or something. That’s my skillz!

  16. It’s really lovely…what a lucky friend you have! And what a funny story.

  17. It’s beautiful!!

    And boy do I remember hitting “AMA” status, and the additional paperwork and tests that went along with my third son’s pregnancy. Fun. But now, at 40, I’m loving the street cred that comes with this new decade:-)

  18. how funny. 🙂 and the cowl is lovely.

  19. Lovely!!! I love how sneaky you were or thought you were. I am even older than that maternal age. Happy birthday to your friend!!

  20. Oh my goodness, it’s funny cause it’s true! Ginny, you’re hilarious.

  21. The cowl is great, and the advices too. I’m 32, so kind of close.

  22. Ha! I officially reach “advanced maternal age” this coming Wednesday.

  23. What, pray tell, is “advanced maternal age” :)? The cowl is beautiful…I know your friend will love it.

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