If You Want to Knit Some Mittens
by Laura Purdie Salas; illus. by Angela Matteson
32 pages; ages 4-8
Boyds Mills Press, 2021
theme: friendship, patience, humor
1. Get a sheep. Seriously.
According to Laura Purdie Salas, there are eighteen steps to knitting mittens. The first one is obvious: get a sheep. Once you get that sheep, you’ve got to feed her, and keep her warm and dry. And then you’ve got to give her a buzz cut, wash the wool …. So Many Things To Do until you can finally knit your mittens. And throughout it all there is this sheep – who sometimes helps – and maybe your dad, who also might help, and quite possibly some chickens.
What I love about this book: I love tongue-in-cheek guide books, especially when they provide real instructions while the illustrations show what is “really going on”. In this book, the instructions for how to get from sheep-to-knitting needles are on point … and, except for the sheep (and the actual knitting) I have done them all. Wash wool. Dry it. Card it. Dye it.
These things take time. Especially when you decide, at the last minute, that you want to dye your wool the color of sunshine and the Natural Dye Book says you need marigolds and you haven’t planted any marigolds – yet. So… there is a lot of waiting that also goes into making mittens. But all that waiting is worth it because that’s how you discover the meaning of true friendship.
Beyond the Books:
Finger knit a flower. You don’t need knitting needles to learn some knitting basics. All you need is some pretty yarn, this tutorial, and some patience. If you get addicted to finger knitting, find a hoop and weave a coaster (embroidery hoop), or a rug (hula-hoop).
Try making natural dye using beets. You can use juice from cooked beets to paint your own gift wrap, or use beet tops to stamp designs on a napkin, or use beets and other things (onion skins, rose hips and berries outside) to do bundle-dying.
Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.