My kids think I can make anything, which is a double edged sword. Yes, I can make a hat with fur on it. Yes, I can sew you pajama pants. Yes, I can make you blueberry muffins with fresh blueberries. Yes I can! What? Dishes...uuhhhh. No, I can't. I'm so busy knitting these mittens.
I learned to knit when my twins were 6 months old (because I had all this free time, she said sarcastically) so as far as my kids know I've always knit. I knit them brand new fuzzy mittens and hats every year. I ask for their input on colors they are into that year. I try to pick patterns that I will like to knit but that they will want to wear. I start in October and knit for them until all I can dream about is thumb gusset increases and hat welt combinations.
I knit so many mittens that I usually just make it up as I go. If I think it is a pattern someone else could use, I will write it down. I created my first mitten pattern, Triangle Thumb Toddler Mittens, while trying to solve the problem of getting wiggly toddler thumbs into mittens. The solution? I made the thumb a nice wide triangle instead of a narrow tube. My second mitten pattern, Fade In Mittens, uses SilverSpun Sport (a yarn with actual silver in it that allows you to use your smart devices with mittens on) and another sport weight yarn like my Lavish base.
My son found his black mittens in his room from last year and immediately knew that these would not work for a kindergartner. This year he needed mittens that would make a statement about who he was. He is colorful and cheery, not yet mysterious and moody. He started to tell his dad all about the mittens he envisioned but my husband quickly got the boy a piece of paper to draw his design. When I got home he was waiting for me at the top of the stairs with his paper, his eyes wide with excitement. He shoved the paper in my hand and started talking a mile a minute about the mittens and I looked at dad, silently asking what he was on about. New mittens, I finally deduced.
My son didn't ask if I could make them for him. It didn't even cross his mind that I wouldn't be able to make them. Of course I could and did make the mittens, but they don't even stop to ask what is possible, they just go on the assumption that mom can make it happen.
I knew I was going to need a lot of colors in worsted weight yarn. I knit my mittens on a size US3 in worsted weight to be sure that they are as warm as they can be. The problem was, I don't knit with much worsted weight anymore except to make hats and mittens in the fall but they are all man colors: black, grey, green and maybe a bit of orange. I was going to need a little help from my friends.
In case it wasn't obvious, I have some great friends. We live across the country, but if one of us needs something, we all see what we can do to help. I asked if anyone had any worsted scraps they could send me and I got so many great colors. Bright aqua blue, chocolate brown, raspberry pink, bright kelly green. With each package, I would open it and show my son the new colors. He was so excited.
I started knitting the mittens and he was very opinionated about the whole operation. I should start with this color. Why didn't I use this color next? This didn't look exactly like the picture. Yes, I like it. Good job knitting mom. He wanted fingerless mittens like he had seen on the movie Box Trolls, but I convinced him that if the Box Trolls had a mommy knitting for them their mittens would have tops and he seems to accept that, but grudgingly.
As a knitter, I feel like I have super powers. I can create things out of what is essentially fuzz. I can have a vision in my head of what I want a project to look like and I can use my hands to make it happen. There is something so satisfying about that on days when I struggle so hard to do the simple mom things like thaw the chicken for supper (Pizza Night!) or remember to wash...well, anything really. I may not have a clean house but I did just knit those mittens.