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The Mitten

January 14, 2015


Like many parents I love reading to my kiddies. We snuggle close and read about caterpillars who eat too much, kids who have to pee, and bears of all kinds! Lately Hunter wants to do the ‘reading’ (to the endless annoyance of Jones) and Bodhi wants to eat the books (to the endless annoyance of everyone).  They have their favorites, including the book The Mitten by Jan Brett.


If you aren’t familiar with the story of The Mitten, it is about a grandson who begs his grandmother to knit him a pair of white mittens. Grandma warns him they will get lost in the snow, and that is the first thing that happens of course! An improbably number of woodland creatures crawl into the mitten and when a mouse crawls on bear’s nose he sneezes! Out the animals come, tossing the mitten in the air for the boy to find.


I like the idea of toys based on books. It brings the story to life in a new way. It’s for sure my kid needs that! We already had some of the woodland creatures but for Christmas I filled out the collection and knit them a rather large mitten to accommodate them all, !


I kind of winged the mitten. It was worsted weight yarn and I cast on 56 sts with smaller needles, ribbed for a bit, changed to larger needles, did a thumb gusset, etc. just like in the Maize mittens. It came out pretty big, I think an adult large mitten would have done just fine!


The kids loved it (even Bodhi, she is really enjoying chewing on the hare), they pile all the animals into the mitten while I read, or they make up funny voices and stories for the animals. Story time is always my favorite!

What are your favorite children’s stories? Have you read Extra Yarn?

More mittens from TCK

43 Comments leave one →
  1. Littlestsadventures permalink
    January 23, 2020 9:28 am

    Love the animals, esp the badger & mole. Any ideas where they are from please?

  2. lyn permalink
    January 9, 2020 5:48 am

    I have knitted the mitten and am trying to find the wooden animals. Do you remember where you got yours? Thanks

  3. January 11, 2017 10:29 am

    I love this, I Made the mitten and started knitting the creatures too. Have also done “The room on the broom,” The Gruffalo and of course several traditional fairy tales had to be recreated.
    I love seeing the children’s faces when they bring the characters to life.

  4. Helen permalink
    January 24, 2016 3:48 am

    This is just wonderful, so thank you for sharing.

    Inspired by you, I have just ordered the book and the animals ready for a Christmas present later this year when my second grand-daughter will be 18 months. Just the right age I think, and her sister will be nearly four by then (scary!) so will also enjoy it. This leaves me plenty of time to knit the mitten!

    Other knitting stories I have ready for them are “Extra Yarn”, which has already been mentioned, and there’s a newish one out, which I haven’t seen yet, but is called (I think) “Stanley, the knitting cat”.

    The other thing I have stored away until they are the right age is a beautiful French knitting bobbin, painted like a queen, made by Djecco.

  5. Deepa permalink
    March 2, 2015 4:26 pm

    You must read Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep- a yarn about wool. A delightful, colorful, silly and truly educational book about how wool yarn is created. Also, Muriel’s Red Sweater, about an unraveling sweater (the horror!) And finally, How a Shirt Grew in the Field, about how a linen shirt is created. All terrific for fiberista kids and moms. :)

  6. January 28, 2015 6:34 am

    I love the way you included the book–one of my favorites! Happy knitting to you!

  7. Valerie R. permalink
    January 22, 2015 10:48 am

    Love this! We just received this book as a gift for our littlest dude. What a cute way to incorporate playtime with reading :) Really brings the story to life!

  8. January 21, 2015 6:45 pm

    This is WONDERFUL!! That was one of our favorite books! I will have to find those animals and make up a gift pack with a hand knit mitten for other special kids in my life, now that mine are a bit too big.

  9. Patty permalink
    January 21, 2015 6:27 pm

    My children are grown but you can be sure I am saving this idea for the grandkids I hope to have! Wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing!

  10. CarrieC permalink
    January 17, 2015 8:26 am

    I remember in the 1st grade doing a play base on this book. I was the snowflake.

  11. Laura Grattan permalink
    January 17, 2015 1:12 am

    Alexa – What a wonderful mommy you are! This story brings me back to those wonderful, innocent times I had with my own children when they were as young as yours are. (Of course we won’t talk about the not so great times when I was sobbing out the words to Goodnight Moon at 2:00 a.m. when neither of them would go. to. sleep. already!! No, we won’t talk about those times! Haha!).

    I am loving your patterns and your aesthetic so much. We live on the west coast of the US, and my children are now young adults (daughter 18 and son 20), and they are both wearing tincanknits socks, hats, and mitts. I am astonished that the same styles and patterns that work on your young (and adorable!) children also work on my young (and adorable!), but cool, and hip west coast adults! How do you do it? Talent. Pure talent. Thanks for all you do!

    • January 19, 2015 5:58 pm

      Hi Laura

      Thanks so much for the notes! Sometimes the blog/social media world makes parenting look like all fun and games but I’ve had those 2 (and 3 and 4) am moments too! I usually crack up at about 4:45….is hubby done work yet!?!? Lols.
      Glad you are digging the patterns and keeping warm!

  12. Eileen Lawfer permalink
    January 16, 2015 7:35 am

    If you like stories about mittens, try “The missing mitten mystery” by Steven Kellogg. I love Steven Kellogg’s illustrations (his Pinkerton books are the best). Favorite childrens’ books? Too many to list (I’m a librarian in an elementary school)! One of my newest favorite books is “Stuck” by Oliver Jeffers

    • January 19, 2015 6:02 pm

      I bet you know all the great kids books! I LOVE Stuck by Oliver Jeffers (and pretty much all Oliver Jeffers) I’ll have to check out Steven Kellogg, thanks!

  13. January 16, 2015 6:51 am

    That was a lovely post. You clever Mom. You resourceful knitter! The year begins in a wonderful way with a little knit that’s all heart.

  14. January 16, 2015 6:07 am

    So cute! I own Extra Yarn (even though I don’t have children). Other favorites are Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells and Oscar and Arabella: Hot Hot Hot by Neil Layton (about woolly mammoths who give themselves haircuts).

    • January 19, 2015 6:03 pm

      Thanks! I think I see some hair cutting Mammoths in my future, it sounds great!

  15. florapie permalink
    January 15, 2015 10:10 pm

    Such a fun idea! I love reading pretty much anything by Julia Donaldson, but my favourite of hers is The Snail and the Whale. I’m also very fond of Stuck by Oliver Jeffers.

  16. January 15, 2015 5:12 pm

    Too funny! I just wrote about this book earlier this week….I read it to my students on Monday, and then made a set of white mittens for myself…I brought them to school when I was on the cuff to show the students how I was knitting them…..have you seen that Jan Brett does a newsletter? And she tells you the background of her stories….I also read The Hat to them, but not going to knit those stockings…

    • January 15, 2015 7:03 pm

      I walked into my son’s preschool class and what was sitting by the teach? A giant copy of The Mitten! I live a few doors down so I ran home and Jones showed his whole class the mitten. They loved it!

  17. January 15, 2015 3:24 pm

    I loved that book, and reading it to my kids. What a wonderful idea to bring the story to life!

  18. Laura O'Grady permalink
    January 15, 2015 1:35 pm

    We were fans of Jan Brett’s books, too. I love that you knit the mitten! How special. Some of our other favorite books were, “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel” (actually, all Virginia Lee Burton’s books) and Frog and Toad books.

    • January 15, 2015 7:04 pm

      I haven’t read any Virginia Lee Burton but I’ll have to add it to the list! Love Frog and Toad!

      • Trina Kerr permalink
        February 8, 2015 8:35 am

        Where did you find those darling woodland animals? I just got this book for my new grandson and would LOVE to make those an additional part to the gift. So adorable!!

      • February 9, 2015 6:30 pm

        Thanks! They are Holztiger toys and I got them at Dilly Dally in Vancouver

  19. January 15, 2015 11:44 am

    Such a sweet gift! I love this. I don’t know that story, but will have to look it up. Who doesn’t love a good mitten read?

  20. Carolyn permalink
    January 15, 2015 10:28 am

    What a super cute idea for a gift! I like to give books as gifts to children, and this is a wonderful thing to put together :)

  21. January 15, 2015 9:59 am

    What a lovely gift for your children. Not only special time with you and a special book, but the toys to go with it and the gift of imagination. I’m sure your children will grow up with such fond memories and, as an added bonus, a love of reading.

  22. January 15, 2015 9:07 am

    Hello – first time commenter here! I just had to tell you what a lovely idea that is! My two-year old daughter adores books and would surely love something like this. It really brings reading to life…. genius!

  23. Anita permalink
    January 15, 2015 8:55 am

    I have made felted mittens, so I think a big ‘u felted’ mitten would be great for this”

  24. Sandra permalink
    January 15, 2015 8:33 am

    Great memories of reading with my 3…now of course I want to copy your brilliant idea!

  25. knittedblissjc permalink
    January 15, 2015 8:25 am

    what a wonderful idea! I love those toys, they are beautiful.

  26. slippedstitches permalink
    January 15, 2015 8:24 am

    That’s a great idea combining the toys with the story.

  27. heyina2013 permalink
    January 15, 2015 2:49 am

    Where did you find the animals to go with this book?

    Thanks, Ina


  28. January 15, 2015 12:07 am

    What a lovely idea! Such lucky kids to have such a creative parent. Where did you get those wonderful animals? All the best in 2015. Liz x

    • January 15, 2015 12:38 am

      Thanks! I got the toys at Dilly Dally in Vancouver and a couple of animals from Ava’s Appletree online. They are Holztiger toys

  29. peggy permalink
    January 14, 2015 10:10 pm

    Really cute. That was one of my favorite books to read to kids, too. The wooden animals and mitt make it extra wonderful!

  30. Crystal Balzer permalink
    January 14, 2015 9:13 pm

    I love love love this!!! We may have to incorporate this book. We havent read it yet. And I love the mitten and animals :)

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