I wonder if there’s a place in the universe where all the missing socks go. Its twin planet would no doubt be where all the missing mittens go. They probably get together and have a giant party, laughing at all the people wandering around with mismatched socks and one cold hand. Seriously, where do all those missing socks and mittens go? My son and I go to the playground almost daily. It’s a ritual he’s come to expect and love and I enjoy spending time together there with him, watching as he gets bolder with the curly q slides or the swings. We went from hanging out on the fringe while he got the lay of the land to running full force from one enjoyment to another. It’s been a joy watching him join in and build confidence.
The place is crawling with kids of all ages, shapes and sizes, colorful blurs running here and there with pink cheeks, icy cold hands and bare heads. I’d like to say (as both a knitter and a mom) that my kid would never be one of those cold children running around mittenless or without a hat on his head. I’d like to say that, but it’s just not true.
My son will wear a hat without complaint, but he hates mittens. I noticed his innate ability to quickly lose a mitten in less than 20 seconds flat, even with mitten clips. I’d watch him like a hawk and he’d still pull a Houdini and we’d walk home, one mitten less. “Leave no mitten behind!” I’d proclaim in my head, but it’s a battle I lost almost every time. Eventually I gave up, letting him play with cold hands and feeling like a terrible mother.
I’d discuss this phenomenon with other moms, dads and caregivers at the playground. We’d all accepted it as our fate to have cold children, shuffle around a bit, shake our heads and move on. Until one day, when I decided I was tired of buying and losing mittens and I’d use the power of the knitted icord to win this battle once and for all.
Whomever invented superwash yarn should be declared a saint. My favorite superwash is Cascade’s 128 Superwash, a 100% superwash merino wool with 128 yards per hank. I love it’s gentle ply, it’s soft squishiness and how quickly it knits up and how in no time, you’ll have something cute made up that can be thrown in the washing machine. They have almost 70 colors with endless combinations and it was difficult choosing just two. It was with two hanks of 128 Superwash in hand that I began my battle against the missing mitten.
Feeling smug (as if I’d won the battle already), I knit my son a pair of adorable striped mittens in Sesame Street colors with a corrugated ribbed cuff, measured his wingspan from wrist to wrist and attached an icord. It’d be next to impossible for him to lose a mitten, since they are attached with a nice, springy icord. I was surprised at how far two hanks were going and decided to make a matching hat. I was shocked when I STILL had yarn left and put a pom pom on top of the hat. Talk about great yardage! And I even had some left! I doubt I’ll ever make him another hat and mitten set in any other yarn (though the colors will probably go from his favorite TV show to school or sports team colors over time). I am smitten with 128 Superwash.
We walked to the playground yesterday. He ran and ran around until he was tuckered out and guess what? We walked home victorious, with warm hands and with both mittens.
Download the free Banding Together pattern here.