Sunrise Banjo Mitts

I’ve maybe never mentioned on the blog that Beth’s parents are both ministers—well, her father’s a retired minister, and her mother is retiring this month. They are both ordained, and met in seminary. For the past couple of years we and they have all played guitar and banjo for the Easter sunrise service at her mom’s church in Connecticut. The sunrise service takes place out at the end of an inevitably mist covered peninsula on the coast.  In theory, the sun would rise behind us during the service. In practice the mist persisted all the way through. I think the same thing happened last year actually…

Let me tell you, when you wake up at 5 in the morning in April, trod out to the end of an Ocean-misty peninsula, and then clamp your fingers down on five or six steel strings, your hands will get numb. On top of that, my glasses always fog up. It’s kind of amazing that we can play at all. Last Wednesday evening I remembered hand-numbing discomfort from last year. I didn’t have any stashed yarn and I wanted to knit up some fingerless mitts for Sunday morning. So I sat down at the wheel, and carded, spun, and plied about three ounces of wool. I think it’s Romney, but I don’t know. It’s a big random looking sack o’ wool. Then on Saturday I knit these hand-warming accoutrements:

Saturday evening Beth was all, “I can’t believe your’re putting cables on those. You need them tomorrow morning, and we have to get up at FIVE!”

“You gotta go cabled, or go home,” I replied. (Note: I’m making Beth sound more naggy than in reality, just for comic effect; she kindly knit the last three rows and did the bind-off for me while I was taking a shower).

My fingers still got stiff and numb while playing, but I was much more comfortable than I’d have been without these. I knit them two-at-a-time on a 36″ circular US5. The yarn is slightly thinner than worsted, but heavier than what I’d call sportweight. Fleece to bound-off in under 72 hours; they still have a slight sheep-in-the-field aroma. Manly. Total mass for the pair: 1.5 oz.

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6 Comments on “Sunrise Banjo Mitts”

  1. Susan Says:

    What a great story!
    I endured a few sunrise services on Easter as a teenager. Even in Kentucky, where I grew up, they were chilly affairs.

  2. amycostello Says:

    Amazing! Very cool story! I can hear the music on the peninsula on Easter morning and it gives me goosebumps!

    • bpatricksullivan Says:

      Thanks, Amy, and thank you for visiting my blog! I’ve spent many a fun evening frailing on my couch or under a tree thanks to Patrick. I hope you and he are doing well, and that he’s feeling better soon.


      • Pascal Grandeau Says:

        Good morning,
        I have seen your animation of a double pendulum (large angle) on youtube and this interest me. Is it possible to get the python code ?
        Thank you.
        Pascal Grandeau

  3. Tracy M Says:


    I’m a parent of an MSSM student (you’ll have him next year) and was pointed to your blog by another parent. Welcome to the family!

    I love that you’re a knitter and a spinner! I am too. A few weeks ago my team won the sheep to shawl competition at the Fiber Frolic (I was a spinner).

    I hope you and your family love Limestone as much as my family does. If all goes well the year after my senior graduates, I’ll be sending my second son up as a sophomore.

    Have a great move and, again, welcome!

    • bpatricksullivan Says:

      Thanks for checking out the blog, and congratulations to your sheep-to-shawl team. I’d like to try one of those competitions sometime (or at least witness one, to start). I’m very happy to be living in Limestone so far; I’m starting my second week of teaching camps this week. The move went very well, and after about a week we have internet access again! (hence the delayed reply :-))

      I look forward to meeting your family in the fall,


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