The Fingerless Mitts for Mary Beth…

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The fingerless mitts for Mary Beth are finished! These are the mitts that actually got me motivated for doing something once I was out of the hospital.

She is a weaver and owner of The Weft Handed Weaver site and blog where she is on the adventure of weaving and making the an authentic 18th Century cloak! I personally am finding this very interesting and exciting.

She asked me to make her the fingerless mitts because in the winter she cannot work well because her hands get cold. Since she does not knit, she asked me to knit her some fingerless mitts.

I was, first of all, hugely flattered, and second of all, I was thrilled to have something to knit in general. It was just the perfect project.

The yarn wasn’t even a problem because Mary Beth had even spun some home spun in sock weight and had said she would provide me with equal amount of the yarn she had given me to knit the mitts in, which was a nice big ball of at least 50 grams at the very least! There is enough left over of the ball to do another set of mitts, which I am sincerely thinking of doing or adding it to the beautiful white she has given me for my own set of mitts for this winter.

Since Mary Beth is a “living museum” person, I did some research and came as close to an authentic 18th-19th Century set of working fingerless mitts as possible. Several articles I read debated on whether or not the fingers were “separate” or not, so I decided to just leave them free; if she decides she would like to have the fingers separate I can do this in less than 10 minutes time.

Because of this request, however, I have come up with some questions on my own:
  • What did women use to keep their heads warm, especially their ears, in winter for the inside of the drafty houses?
  • How many knitted items were used during the 18th and 19th Centuries for warmth for the lower, middle, and upper classes?
  • How affordable was yarn and fleece during these time periods and did everyone knit? Were there thriving yarn stores or did everyone just have a sheep or two in the back yard (which I simply can’t see since even then sheep were expensive to keep I would imagine)?

Of course, I am going to have to do a little more research into these questions and see what answers I can come up with because there should be answers for these questions you know.

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