Mittens have a long and storied history. Every cold culture has a mitten story, has a mitten style and knows that mittens are important! We, as knitters, know how much fun a mitten can be to knit. Have you tried knitting a Thrummed mitten from Newfoundland; or some Twined knit mittens from Sweden; Or some Estonian Braids on a current mitten project for embellishment? My favorite mittens to knit are the fair-isle style of mitten – thought any mitten with colourwork can tempt me.
Mittens keep your hands warm on cold days – “Warm hands, warm heart”.
Mittens can showcase a knitters skill – right where your eyes can see it!
Mittens take little material and fair-isle mittens use up scraps.
Mittens are perfect for honing a new skill before a big project!
Over the years there have been many books written on the subject of mittens. They discuss the history and culture behind each style of mitten and there are always many pictures to illustrate the information. I love to look at the pictures of the mittens and the people wearing them, because these books mostly show how little has changed. My favorite pattern book is an older book, Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves, by Carol Rasmussen Noble.
A perfect example of the continuing importance of mittens would be the Red Canadian Mitten from the 2010 Olympic games in Vancouver – those mittens became a nations symbol of solidarity behind “their” Athletes!
Luckily we no longer need to knit 50 pairs of mittens as wedding gifts – as in Estonia in the past. But the skills and the patterns of that past still fascinate us today and we still knit the mittens and gloves with love in our hearts.
Here is my gift of warmth and love for the Christmas Season – the Making Mittens pattern – free from Dec 13th, 2015 to Jan 2, 2016. Update – It is now Jan 3rd – here is the link to the pattern on Ravelry. Makin’ Mittens is now $6.00.
Makin’ Mittens Pattern ← Click here for pattern
Makin’ Mittens came out of the Year of Making – a project by The Buffalo Wool Co, a year of colours in their Tracks sock yarn. A colour a month for the full year – the orange sample uses 11 of those colours – but you can use any of the fingering; 4-ply; or sock yarns in your stash.