Cold, Winter Days and Mittens!

A Mountain of Mittens - a children's book by Lynn Plourde Illustrated by Mitch Vane

A Mountain of Mittens – a children’s book by Lynn Plourde
Illustrated by Mitch Vane

How many mittens does your family go through in one winter?

Growing up in Michigan with long winters and lots of snow, we went through a lot! In fact, every November, mom would pull down this barrel from the attic that was full of hats, mittens, and scarves. Many of which were missing its pair.

We played outside in the snow all the time! Not one to let us lay around the house, Mom would scoot us outside to play. I remember homemade skating rinks, skating on the pond out back, sledding, building snow forts, snowball fights and, if you said you were bored, shoveling snow.

We would go out for an hour, come back in to warm up, then go out again. With 10 siblings and 7 acres, there was always something to do outside.

Later when I had kids of my own, I remember the chore of bundling everyone up to go outside and then un-bundling them 15 minutes later, when they came in cold, wet and tired. Hot chocolate anyone?

Brrr!

But, back to mittens. As a self-sufficient family, we didn’t have fancy, leather or nylon-with-fur-inside mittens, our mittens were usually handmade. Mittens you could throw in the washer, dry on the register and not be so fancy that missing mittens wouldn’t be a problem. In any given day,  we could easily have 10 – 20 mittens drying on the register by dinnertime.

It’s no wonder my mom eagerly showed me how to knit my own when I was young.

I was probably 9 or 10 when I asked her to show me how. And, I loved it. I remember learning vividly. Knitting every chance I could and thinking the possibilities were endless! I could choose my own colors, I could make as many as I wanted, and they were mine; not part of the conglomerate, messy, pile of mittens that everyone grabbed from the barrel. I was so proud of myself and my beautiful, handmade mittens.

By the end of that winter I had moved on to hats and scarves as well. Later, as an adult, I learned to crochet and love making afghans. My mom, in a span of a few days, working with me here and there, taught me a skill that I would use my entire lifetime. Ask my kids. Everyone of them has an afghan I’ve made (wink).

When you run out of things to knit or crochet, there is always charity. Another day, another blog, but very rewarding.

I love to crochet and knit. It keeps my hands productive even when watching TV. Right now I am crocheting a rug for my kitchen out of plastic bags. Crazy, I know, but it’s very soft on the feet 🙂

This time of the year back in Michigan I use to vigorously pray that the groundhog would not see his shadow. But, most times he would and winter would drag on. If you find yourself wanting to warm up your winter days with a nice, cozy project, teach your kids how to knit. Or learn with them if you don’t know how. Give them a skill they can use forever.

I’ve compiled some basic projects to get you started, the scarf, which is a beginners tutorial is the easiest and you can go from there. For more patterns, check out my Pinterest Board: Mittens, Hats, and Scarves.

Click on images to go directly to the patterns and/or tutorials.

mittens 4Mittens 1Mittens 2Mittens 3

 

 

 

 

 Your friend in Christ,

Julie

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