Saturday, 16 January 2010

18th Century Mitts

Last Tuesday I started knitting a pair of 18th century woollen mitts. The reason: my hands get so very cold while sitting at the computer, sewing and other such things. I needed something to cover my hands but leave the fingers free for working. 18th century mitts seemed ideal. Of course, I could have bought something similar on H&M, but where’s the fun in that? Besides, I already had the yarn at home, so it was more economical to knit them myself. Also, this way I can use them with my 18th century outfit (whenever I get that finished).

The mitts where knitted in the round on metric size 2 (US size 0, UK and Canadian size 14) knitting needles. I didn’t have a pattern, but used various sources on the internet while making them, using a little information here and a little there. What helped me most with the actual knitting was a post on this blog. I didn’t follow all of her instructions, but they were good to use as a reference. I also consulted a few books I have at home, describing crafts in (manly) 18th and 19th century Sweden. They might not be 100% accurate, but they look rather good to me. The purl stitch décor at the top is inspired by mittens from the late 18th- early 19th century in one of my books.

These are not fine mitts for representative purposes, but for managing with the cold in an everyday situation for a higher working class/lower middleclass woman, so them being in a greyish-green colour, and rather coarse don’t bother me. They won’t show dirt that easy, and they’re quick to make, and easy enough to mend.

A couple of hours ago, when it was still Friday, I finished them. It only took four days. I am very proud of myself; before this I never knitted mittens in my life. It was much easier than I’d expected, not hard at all. I must try this again sometime, with something more complicated….
And they do keep my hands warm :)


  1. WOW!! You're good! :)
    I just got done knitting my first project (modern). Mittens with a cable twist down the middle. I found it quite fun. :)

  2. Good post, love the mitts.
    Regards, Le Loup.

  3. Wonderful! I have been thinking about making some linen mitts, but have some lovely wool yarn to knit up sp I am probably going to make mine early-to-mid-19th century style. I love the elegant simplicity of yours. And WOW - 4 days?! Amazing!

  4. Thanks all! I am just a little bit proud of myself, I admit :)

    Since I didn't have work that week I had plenty of time to knit, just like I had a lot of time to sew the London hood the week before.

  5. Lovely indeed and quite functional as well. having recently tried our hand at sewing a pair of simple linen mitts, we've quite a high regard for your talents. our own poor talent is quite slim and resulted in a lovely pair of left hand mitts. a second set of right handers corrected the problem sufficiently to allow a pair to share with a dear friend.


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