Bitchin' Mittens and a Salute
I give to you my Bitchin' Mittens:
I call them “I Left My Heart In Lansing.”
Here’s the quick back story for peeps just now tuning in. My husband is a Ph.D student at Michigan State University. His defense date is his white whale. Every time it looks like it’s coming close, it slips away. He’s already got a post-doctoral position lined up at the University of Texas San Antonio. I quit my job in early May thinking Moby would be captured the end of June. Moby got away again.
I couldn’t remain unemployed in Lansing and couldn’t find employment there (who’s going to hire someone for a few months?) and all the temp work I checked into was non-existent. If you live in Michigan, you know how crummy the job market is there right now.
So I found a job, and me and my four year old son packed up and moved to San Antonio while husband finishes up his whaling trip. Hopefully in a few months he’ll be down here with us with a Ph.D. and a load of muktuk.
If you’ve ever lived in Michigan, you’ll know exactly what these mittens represent. For you non-Michiganders here’s the explanation. Michigan is shaped like a pair of two mittens. People use their hands as visual maps when you ask where they’re from/where a certain city is, etc.
“You see here? Saginaw is located right about here between the thumb and that crease right there.”
I thought it was completely clever the first time someone did this to me. But then I realized shortly thereafter that everyone did this.
So for this project, I sewed beads onto major cities that seem easily recognizable (at least to me). And of course, Lansing is represented by the heart. The mittens are connected by the Mackinaw Bridge. Sadly the six years we lived in Michigan, we never made it to see the bridge or the UP (Upper Peninsula). I guess being born in Alaska you don’t get too excited about remoteness and lush greenery.
The mittens are made from a recycled superwash wool sweater dyed with Koolaid.
Why orange mittens? Why not? Can I get away with saying they’re the same color of a sunset over Lake Huron?
I didn’t follow any pattern, I just forged ahead and knit them. I’m actually quite proud of how they pretty much match up. Can I get away with saying that they’re supposed to represent a map and not supposed to match completely?
They’ve got an element of absurdity to them now that we’re in Texas. I showed them to my son, Chunky, before I sewed the beads and bridge on and he informed me matter of factly that I didn’t need mittens in Texas!
So that, my peeps, is the story of my Bitchin’ Mittens entitled “I Left My Heart In Lansing.”
Shifting gears, I received the invitation for the "Back To School" dinner for the department I work at. Everyone at work has been talking about this thing. About how excited they are to meet Chunky. In small letters next to the sentence "Casual attire--outdoor dinning" it says: Adults Only, Please.
So I just want to give a shoutout to all single moms out there. You don't truly appreciate how sucky your social life can be when you're raising your kid alone. Well ok, maybe it wouldn't be so sucky if I wasn't new in town and didn't know anyone.
Oh well, it's not my fault that they don't allow children. They'll just be denied the sparkling conversation Chunky can provide. Sucks to be them.