Once upon a time, a long, long time ago. Okay, my son was seven and my daughter was five. Anyway, I was trying to find something to make to use up a box of yarn leftovers. The kids were on the floor playing with a game of wooden pick up sticks.
I had made the kids some extra winter hats and mittens already. And asked them, “Okay what should I knit next?” Kevin said, “Make me a mitten.” I said, “I did already.” He said, “No, a big one that I can climb into.” We all laughed. I said, “I don’t have any circular needles only these double pointed ones for people size hats and mittens.” Kevin looked down on the floor and scooped up the game and said, “Use these.”
And that is how it got started. I used those 17 colorful pickup sticks, size 8, double pointed knitting needled to make a big mitten from the scraps. Of course I didn’t have enough scrap to finish it that year. And times being tough back then, I had to wait until other people got around to giving me their leftover yarn or I had other leftovers. And Kevin kept on growing.
I must admit that I didn’t think about it sometimes for years at times before I’d hear from him asking about the mitten. I’d get it out and knit on it some more. Finally I bought some mismatched clearance yarn, in keeping with the rest of it, and finished it off. He was over six feet by then. But I did good. When he slipped it over his head it covered him completely. I found it on his bed at his apartment as a bed spread after he died.
The thing is seven feet from cuff to tip. I laid a yard stick on it so you could get an idea about how large it is in the picture on the side.
Yes, I know it is not true to size in the thumb. I started the thumb separately when it was going to be smaller. No, I have never thought about making another mitten to go with it. He asked me once if I would make another if he had kids some day. But he never got that far. So it stands alone. Or I should say sits alone in a box with some of his other things. And some of those the pick up stick knitting needles are still with my other knitting needles and I used them just last month. And every time I do I remember the ‘Big Mitten.’