Archive for the ‘Red Mittens’ Category

Knitting Withdrawl

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

My symptoms:

  1. An enhanced awareness of all things textile related.  This may involve following people in the grocery store to sneak an extra look at the design on their hat, or examining friend’s mittens and making mental pattern notes.  I noticed this week a young man wearing a parka that had been painted to look like it was knit.  I had seen “faux-tartan” parkas, but this was a “faux-sweater”.  It was intriguing.  I hope these people don’t realize that I was following them.  I try to be stealthy.
  2. Twitchy fingers.  I have been fidgeting with pens a lot lately, and tapping my fingers.  I think knitting helps me to focus; it keeps my fingers busy and my brain engaged.
  3. Increased Tension.  Without my daily dose of knitting (aka. relaxation time, and creative time) I tend to get frustrated and overwhelmed earlier than normal.  I’ve been taking lots of deep breaths this week and counting to 10 many times over.
  4. Generally feeling unproductive.  If I sit for an hour or two in a meeting I do lots of thinking, listening and talking, but I don’t see the results of that time.  If I sit for an hour or two in a meeting with my knitting, I do lots of thinking, listening, talking, AND I leave with half a mitten.  I don’t get distracted by my knitting, but others sometimes do.
  5. Daydreaming….I find myself coming home and looking longingly at my yarn stash, thinking of the marvelous potential for warmth and creativity within that yarn.  By the time I get home though, I’m too tired to start anything, so I go to sleep–and I kid you not–I have dreamed up some interesting patterns.  I should write them down when I wake up.

I haven’t knit in 5 days.  I will knit tonight–I’m heading out for an evening of musical theatre with my 4.0mm DPNs and the left over Cascade Ecological Wool from my “Those Could Be Mountains” hat.  The yarn is already speaking to me….I think it wants to be a pair of fairly simple mittens–perhaps with some simple colourwork.  We’ll see what the wool decides tonight.

In Red Mitten news:  $550 has been raised through the sales of $5 Red Mitten Patterns.  Thanks to all who have purchased a pattern–The Penguins Can Fly swim team is so pleased!  Wool-Tyme in Kingston had run out of red Cascade 22o, but their new order has come in, so if you are local–go get your skein (or 3) and get knitting before the start of the games on Feb. 12th.  I’ve got to finish another pair or two!

How do you cope with knitting withdrawl?

My Grandmother’s Red Mitts

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

These hands are the hands that taught me how to make mittens over 20 years ago.  Things have now come full circle, as I help my grandmother figure out my red mitten knitting pattern.  It was touch and go for a while….but she persevered!

At 94, she’s tackling chart reading, colourwork and new terminology (SSK vs. S1 K1 PSSO).  She finished a pair of adult mittens to mail to a friend in B.C. and has already cast on for a pair of children’s mitts with the left over wool.

May we all be so willing to try new things at age 94!!

Red Mittens Are Off To Kandahar

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

I was wondering what I should do with the extra large pair of red mittens I made this fall…I certainly don’t have hands large enough to wear them.  I want them to go to someone who will appreciate them as a gift, as mittens, and as a show of patriotism and unity as a country.

Last week I got an idea….don’t you love it when inspiration hits suddenly, and you just know what to do…

care package

I’m in the middle of preparing a care package for a friend who is serving as a military chaplain in Kandahar.  Along with letters and snacks and silly toys and trinkets, I’ll include this pair of large red mittens.  I bet they don’t sell red mitts in Afghanistan!  My friend will be dressed in style to cheer for the Olympics.

Who are you knitting red mittens for?

Today I Learned That Penguins CAN Fly!

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Did you buy your red mitten pattern yet?  This is where the $5 pattern cost is going….to support the Penguins Can Fly swim team.

I had the pleasure today of going to the YMCA to watch the Penguins Can Fly swim team in action, and boy….do they swim fast!   When they are all swimming in the water, it is impossible to distinguish which swimmers are disabled, and which are not.  The wonderful thing about this swim team is that they celebrate the ABILITY of each and every swimmer.  “They are kids, being kids, having fun and working hard” said Vicki Keith, their coach and mentor.

YMCA Penguins and coaches

Photo Credit: Hippo

Lap after lap they swam while I chatted with Vicki. She told me about the team, and how some of the swimmers are preparing for the Ontario Parasport Games which will take place in Kingston on Jan 22nd – 24th.  The swimming events will be at RMC on the 23rd.  If you are in the area, stop by, cheer for the Penguins at the pool, and catch a game of wheel chair basketball or wheel chair rugby in the gym.  Vicki said that wheel chair rugby is something that everyone should see once in their lives!  I’m planning on going.  I’ll be the one knitting in the crowd.

Heres B. a penguin, and excellent mitten model

Here's B. a penguin, and excellent mitten model

The Penguins were pleased to hear about the money being raised for their program.  So far 84 mitten patterns have been sold, earning them $420!  Thanks to you generous knitters, more YMCA Penguins will be learning to fly here in Kingston.

Red Mittens In the Whig Standard

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

My mittens and I are in the Kingston Whig Standard today!

Many people have been contacting me for patterns so they can make their own red mittens.

You’ve come to the right spot!  Here’s the pattern available for download in .pdf format for $5.00 CAD.

The money will be donated to the Penguins Can Fly a YMCA Aquatics Program for children with disabilities and their able bodied siblings where no one “sits on the bench”.  Some of the penguins have qualified to compete internationally, but all of them have made friends, developed self-discipline and self confidence.

Thank you all for your interest.  Get out your needles, and get knitting!

My Olympic Red Mittens on NBC

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Have you got your Red Mittens yet? They are rather hard to find around here…so I made some, and I’m working on making more.

I’ve sold 25 patterns so far, raising a grand total of $125 for the Penguins Can Fly Swim Team for disabled children and their able bodied siblings.

Yesterday I was thrilled to see an article about my mittens posted to the NBC Olympics website.  Have a look!


I hope that the Olympic spirit is alive and well where you are. There’s still time to knit yourself a pair of Olympic mittens before the games begin on Feb. 12th.

I’m going to cast on for another pair tonight!

All the best in 2010