I made the Black Dog Sit! (or how Story Mittens were born)
Story Mittens grew as a creative response to my experience with breast cancer. I was furious about having my life derailed by disease, and despairing about having a mastectomy of my left breast. I was weak from chemo and wanted to do something that would occupy my hands but not be physically demanding. I started needle felting a pair of recycled wool mittens. I felted a sitting black dog on the left mitten but rebelled when it came time to embroider the right mitten. I decided that since I didn’t match anymore, I would make mittens that didn’t match and mittens that told a story. On the right mitten, I felted a little word bubble that said SIT. They made me laugh when I really needed a laugh.
I went on to make more Story Mittens as I recovered. Mittens that didn’t match but reflected the world outside my window: birds in trees with snow falling, a snowman talking to a bird, the moon talking to a little girl, a bear under Northern Lights. Each pair has been an exploration of technique and a labour of love. I have evolved to lining them with silk and putting recycled fur cuffs on them. I’m not angry or despairing anymore and I have made peace with my body, but I still make Story Mittens as an expression of joy.