It Began So Quietly

[3:43pm, EST: ETA: Leslie Wind has generously donated one of her shawl pins to the Rosie's Place raffle. If the mittens don't move you to donate, perhaps one of these will (Follow the link; they're beautiful.) Thanks Leslie!]

It began with this.

Which led to this.

Then this, and this, and this.

That led to this and this. Heck, I even reached Chicago.

And we finally ended here.


It's a wee bit of a shock to see one's face front and center on before one's through her first cup of morning coffee. Looks okay, though, and I'll have you all know that the scarf I'm wearing is the first thing I ever finished as a knitter (Notice that I didn't type "knit". I wonder what dark secrets lurk in Subway Knitter's past. That sounds worthy of a Globe Special Report.)

Seriously, it was a lot of fun chatting with Mac Daniel from The Boston Globe and Lisa Poole (by whom the above picture was taken) was very kind about composing a decent shot. Thank you both.

People seem quite taken by these mittens, and a few people have contacted me about commissioning a pair. Want a pair of your own? Here's the deal. What Mac Daniel wrote about my charity drawing was true. See the "PayPal" button on the sidebar, to the right? It's to make a donation (via a PayPal link) to Rosie's Place. You know Rosie's Place, right? It's a vital resource for Boston's poor and homeless women. It's been a favorite charity of mine for years, and I can think of no more fitting a tie-in for this mitten giveaway. If you make a donation (of any amount) to Rosie's Place via my PayPal link I'll enter your name into a drawing for a pair of custom-made mittens. You pick the color, give me your size, and I'll do the knitting. The drawing begins today and will continue for one week: until Friday January 26th at 12:00pm EST. I'll notify the winner by email (so make sure that the address connected to your PayPal account is current). If you win, you'll have new mittens to keep your hands warm. If you don't win, you can still feel warm and fuzzy knowing that you've helped keep others warm this winter. Thanks in advance!

You'll get an email from me (rosies[at]subwayknitter[dot]com) after you donate. If you donate and don't get my email then PLEASE contact me at colleen[at]subwayknitter[dot]com. Your donation will appear on your credit card as ROSIESSBWAY. That's me.

Special thanks to Claudia who kindly shared the code she uses for her annual MS fundraising ride.


Colleen, you're great! Just read about you in the Globe, and I think the Rosie's Place idea is a really wonderful use of your newfound knitting fame :) You are doing Boston proud!

That's fantastic, Colleen. You're famous now. And I'll be able to say I knew you when . . .

How fun - I wish I still rode the T. You were the first thing I saw on before I sipped my coffee this morning. "Hey, I know her"

I don't want a pair of mittens, but I'll make a donation anyway and if I win, can you give them to someone at Rosie's place?

Wohowww! Contratulations on making the front page! :)

How cool are you? It's a great idea and I smiled when I saw your face on the front page of the paper! Nice job and the hat and scarf look lovely, too!


I am cracking up! I read every single one of those links----I will most likely be late to work!

Girlfriend, write the pattern after the drawing. Oh my, this could take the knitting world by storm like the Jaywalkers! And that pattern has a Boston inspiration too. Okay, that is it.........I am moving to Boston just so I can use some Charlie Card mittens and hang out with you knitterly sorts of folks. You know, I live in TX, so little use for Charlie Card mittens here, but I might just make a pair for fun!

Write. The. Pattern. Sell. It. Make. $$$$.

Since you live in JP, do you go to Circles? JP is a nice place.


Congrats on the press! I love your charity bent too. I still think those mittens are about the coolest thing ever. When I described them to friends, we all had the same thought: Why didn't I think of that?!?

Great job on the Charlie Mittens. Now on to IPOD mittens!

That is SO cool -- congrats on your well-deserved fame. :-) I of course donated to enter the drawing!

A celebrity in our midst--wow! And great thinking on the drawing/fundraiser, too!

What a great idea! Congratulations on your significant 15 minutes of fame!

Just read your story on As a knitter living in England but in the process of moving back to Boston, I was relieved to see the craft alive and kicking in bean town! Knitters unite!

Yer so famous!!! Whoo hoo!!

That's so neat, Colleen! I off to get my Globe from the driveway and see it in print!

WOW - I have been following your blog since I knew that blogs exsisted (several years) I live in MA too and it was such a fun surprise to open up the Globe online front page today and see you there -I showed my husband so he could see how famous knit bloggers are and see that I'm not so crazy. The mittens are a great invention and so stylish too!

How cool! Now...get thee to a patent office! You definitely have a winner.

The FRONT of City and Region -- holy mitten!

I live in Rochester, NY and my daughter who lives in Boston emailed me the article. I read your blog daily and thought "she could patent that idea". But no... you're encouraging a donation to Rosie's Place and having a drawing with knitted prize of your wonderful mittens. You're the best!

dan called me this morning and yelled "that subway girl is on!"--- lol, he remembers you from when he saw you knitting on the Orange line like a year ago (boy has a thing for faces). I was blown away! congrats! I do think this is a brilliant idea! I have a friend who rides the paris metro all the time, so I am going to make and mail her a pair! (very similar card thing-y). :)

:) Kate

Saw you in the paper this morning! Love the mittens! I live on the green line but look for you every time I'm on the Orange line. Well done on the mitten design and very cool of you to use the fame to raise money for Rosie's--indeed a very worthy cause.

That's brilliant! And a fantastic idea, raising money for a charity. And people think yarn doesn't matter...knitters are taking the world by storm. A fuzzy, woolly storm, but a storm nonetheless.


this is awesome!

i had an email from a coworker this morning, from the article saying "isn't this a cool idea!? do you know her?"


Wow! Congratulations! You totally deserve it! It may have seemed like a logical next step for you, but it was total brilliance! If I rode the T more than a few times a year, I totally would have a pair already! :)

Hey, I turned on my this morning to see a fellow Agawam brownie with a cool idea. Congratulations on all the great press!

Oh my goodness! That is so cool! I can't believe you how fast the buzz has spread about those mittens.

Congratulations on the Globe article!

Now, if I could only *use* a CharlieCard. Since I sometimes ride the commuter rail from Porter Square, I'm stuck with a monthly Zone 1A CharlieTicket pass ;-(

Very cool to see your smiling face greeting me this morning on Awesome mittens and a great cause!

That's really cool! Congrats! I hope you get a ton of orders. Living in California and not riding a subway means I don't really have a good use for those mittens, good luck on all the one you are going to knit.

Wow! Very cool. I love the contest idea, it's perfect. It's neat to see what may have seemed like a small idea to you, grow so very big. good job!

What a riot! The Rosie's Place raffle is a wonderful idea, too. :)

Fabulous to see so much interest in your work! And I think it's terrific that you're using this opportunity to raise money for Rosie's Place. I made my donation just now!

Kudos, Colleen! Great idea and a wonderful way to put notoriety to good use, i.e. Rosie's Place.

Way to go! I told my mom about it yesterday and she thought it was fantastic, though sadly none of us suburban dwellers ride the T or other public transport. :(

Knitters Rule.

Very cool!
And the fundraiser idea is great. ;)

Cool! Congratulations.

Since it's the week for delurking, I'll leave my congrats as well. I am another JPer who doesn't ride the subway often. But it was great to see you in the Globe this morning. Perhaps your winner's mittens could be decorated with one of those wonderful button masterpieces from one of the artist at Rosie's place.

Congrats! I am a fairly new knitter, live in MA, and have been following your blog for months now, it was really great to see you on the cover of the Globe! Get that patent! Get the pattern out for all of the faithful bloggers ;) Keep up the great knitting!

I saw your story on this morning. These are really clever mittens. What a great way to pass time on the T too. I was happy to make a donation for such a great cause.

What a riot! When I lived in Boston, they didn't have the CharlieCard, which is a brilliant idea, and so are those mittens...I just had to sing "Charlie on the MBTA" for my husband to explain why it's called a CharlieCard. Thanks for the flashback :-)

that's so cool! :)

Congrats on making the big time. Front page of the Metro section of the Globe with the whole article on one page. I am impressed!
But then I was already impressed with the Charlie Card Mitten.
Once again, knitting is sooo cool!

Congrats. So glad to see you're using your fame for good!

yay! a coworker emailed me the story. congratulations. i'm so proud of you!

OK, that is just way too cool. Way to go, Colleen!!!! Subway knitter power!

Wish I still rode the T too! I read your blog all the time and then today just happened to check! What a cool story. I'll donate to Rosie's place but don't need a mitten, since I can make my own! :o)

this is so awesome! i love how the story totally snowballed across the country and BOOM you're in the boston globe :) how fantastic!

great idea for the mittens/charity venture. i wish you all the luck in the world getting that donation number at a good amount.

you're awesome kiddo...and to think i sat in your midst while you knit them...tee hee...brilliant!

I'm in! Your mitten is brilliant, makes me wish I rode the T more often.

Btw I too am running a contest, which you could enter with your eyes shut... just sayin'.

You're so famous! Congratulations!
My knitting group was all abuzz about your mittens on Wednesday.

Congrats! That is such a cute picture!
Also, how kind of you to use the media attention to donate to charity. You're a big-hearted knitter, that's for sure!

Wow! That's so great! Congratulations! And what a terrific idea for a drawing.

Congratulations! I'm honored to have seen your blog and become in-the-know about Charlie Card mittens before it reached Great contest and great press!

So great to see your photo in the Globe. You look great - Knitters belong to special club - smart, caring,creative-good for you!!

Congrats! I flipped open the page today and was so pleased to see that you (and your mitten) was there. Now if I can only get the Kingston Trio out of my head... ;-)

Hope you get many, many, many people clamoring and donating for the mittens!

So nice to see you get the kudos you deserve, congratulations on a fabulous design!

You'll have a load of trouble taking those furtive pictures of random knitters now.

Congratulations on your new-found fame. Your raffle rocks.

Congratulations! It's always exciting when the media notices us knitters. (This way it will be less of a surprise when we take over the world, right?)

This is dead brilliant!

Wow, that's great - I liked the mittenss when you posted boutthem, and now I think your reffle is ingenious and a great cause. Congratulations!

Totally cool. Congrats! :)

You rock. I just got back to volunteering so that I can teach my daughter the joy when she grows up (only 18 mos. now). I hope she grows up to be as thoughtful as you. Yes, as inventive too, but caring and thoughtful first.

Congratulations on your well deserved recognition.

That's fantastic! I love it!

Actual conversation at work today:

Coworker: "Hey, cool, this woman made a Charlie Card mitten!"
Me (looking at on her computer): "Holy cannoli I know her!! That's Colleen. She was working on that at knitsmiths on Sunday."
Coworker: "It's one of the most emailed articles..."

You're famous, Colleen! Now, on to marketing. :)

My boss forwarded me the link to you on and asked when I was going to be on I was all HEY - that's COLLEEN! You are so cool. Well done!

HEY! I live in Boston and I've knit for so long...and just the other day, I ended up with an extra skein of Lamb's Pride and a need for mittens...and now I know what will make them special!

Hey, Colleen, you're famous! Yes, we knew you were brilliant, way back when. :)

Congratulations on your fame! It's so cool when knitting hits the front page!

Yeay! Congrats on your awesome success!!!

Great Job! Please write up the pattern. I'll definitely buy it!!! I ride the red line and keep losing my CharlieCard.

oh, wow. you're a superstar! congrats!!

That is SO awesome! A non-knitting friend forwarded the story from the Globe today and I was all like "HEY!! That's Colleen! I know her!"

Very cool, I do believe you've got a hit on your hands. Literally! Nice work, now you've really got to capitalize on it. Ride the wave, baby.

Awwwwesome! How cool to say we knew you when. And to think I met you at Rhinebeck;-)

Wow! You are famous! My mother in law sent me an email with a link to the story this morning. So cool to see my blog 'friends' making it in the big time. Congrats and I hope you raise lots of money for Rosie's Place.

Colleen, that is SO cool. Well-deserved fame, that!

I have been reading your blog for about 6 months with great interest. I am a fellow Bostonian and so happy for you! Even though we haven't met, through your blog I feel like I know you. So I swelled with pride to see you in the paper! I love that you took your 15 minutes of fame to help Rosie's place! You are a truly wonderful woman. Thank you for sharing your knitting blog with us!

This is a great idea...hmmm, seems somewhat familiar though. Where did I see this before?

I KNOW her! I KNOW her! Zowie!

Even more than 15 minutes.

This is wonderful for you! And wonderful OF you to think of others. You deserve a hearty huzzah.


Congratulations,Colleen. Now I want to know where I can get the pattern for your lovely hat and scarf!!

Congrats and whoop! That is really cool :) :) :)

Haven't read all the other posts, but why don't you submit this to Knitty? Lots of other cities use the card system and these are great!

Great mittens--even greater idea to raffle a pair for charity, especially with the buzz they've created! But... um... what happens when spring arrives? Start now designing a kneato-knit case, maybe with an I-cord leash that attaches to a purse or briefcase! Raffle one of those for Rosie's Place too.

I don't think i've ever commented but I've been reading for a while, and this is so Awesome! congrats on the recognition, and what an amazing idea for the women's shelter!!! Good luck with the drawing =) brilliant work

Hi Colleen!

I just wanted to say congrats about the buzz and that I really apreciate you raising funds for Rosie's Place. I wasn't in that one but I have had to stay in a shelter and the donations will really go a long way. The people in charge of shelters can make pennys scream for mercy. Blessing to you for your kind heart!

Congratulations! You're an entrepreneur! All the best ideas are born from some stealthily clever person saying, "I wonder what would happen if I..."

You go girl! A fellow knitter in my knitting group emailed me your artical. I love to see knitters make the news!! :D

Colleen - thanks for your neat invention. We're featuring it on a segment this morning on Nine News Now at 6am in Washington, DC. We have similar subway cards to the Charlie Card, and I think our viewers will get a kick out of it. -Dan Guzman, Producer, W*USA-TV, Washington DC

I LOVE the stir you've created with these mittens and all this press is really cracking me up. You TOO can change the world! Congratulations!

And how cute is that picture of you on


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