Vintage Hunting Mitts – A Fun Challenge

While visiting my family over the holidays, my dad passed along a special request: a new pair of liners for my grandfather’s favorite antique hunting mitts.

The mitts have a thick leather outer cover lined with a removable wool liner. My grandfather had these mitts for many years, and their origin is unknown.  The leather exteriors (not in my possession) survived well, but as you can see below, the decades and insects have not been kind to the wool liners.

vintage hunting mitt old 2

Nobody panic—I’ve isolated this sample mitt from all my other wool and kept it carefully quarantined in a zip top bag since I got it. Those moths aren’t coming near my other yarn.

My task now is to deduce a pattern for these and recreate them.  I’m just getting started, but I thought you readers might like to follow along as I work on these in the next few weeks.

So far, I’ve only taken the first steps. I started with the yarn. The gauge is about 7.5 stitches per inch, so I looked for a sturdy wool in fingering weight. The original mitts are a slightly tweedy olive green. Before settling on my final choice, I eliminated Brooklyn Tweed Loft (seemingly too fragile, expensive) , Jamison’s Shetland Tweed (texture seemed too thin, difficult to acquire where I live), and Cascade 220 Fingering (believe it or not, I couldn’t find a color that seemed right).  In the end, I ordered this fabulous cone of Harrisville Shetland.

brown tweed yarn

It seems to have all the characteristics I am looking for. Plus, I love that it was made at one of the oldest remaining mills in America. Maybe this mill even made the yarn that comprised my grandfather’s original mitts.

Next step: swatching!

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2 Responses to Vintage Hunting Mitts – A Fun Challenge
  1. fridica
    January 9, 2013 | 7:49 am

    What a great endavour! I look forward to following your progress!
    fridica recently posted..a could-be-better pair of socksMy Profile

  2. Louise
    January 9, 2013 | 5:59 pm

    What a fun knitting adventure!
    Louise recently posted..Starting OverMy Profile