The Mitten Project (Part 1)

I have been in the SCA for six years now.  At some point during each and every outdoor event, I think the same thing.  “My hands are freezing!”  For this entire time I’ve been wanting to wear mittens or gloves, but unable to find the evidence I needed in order to do so.  And so up until this point, I’ve allowed myself to walk around, weekend after weekend, with cold hands.

Well, the time for change has come.  Perhaps it is my impending 40th birthday, but I no longer find this situation to be acceptable.  🙂

This last year I started looking around for images from the middle ages of gloves or mittens.  Most of what I found was either being worn or carried (often tucked into a belt) by men.  There are both mittens and the 3-fingered mittens, which likely evolved toward gloves.  A number of excellent examples can be found at Kongshirden 1308 – Akershus (a Norwegian site).  Here is an example from the Lutrell Psalter:

I mentioned that I wanted to make a pair of mittens and then embroider on them to my mother – and it was my lucky day.  Mom gave me a pair of mittens that she had made a few years ago.  These were originally knitted in wool and then fulled to shrink into a smaller, thicker fabric.  Sadly, when they shrank,  they became too small for my mother.  However, my hands are just a bit smaller than hers and they fit me.  Yay!

I decided to try embroidering on them and was very pleased with the results.  But then like so many of my SCA projects – one thing led to another.  I decided that these mittens would be so much better if they were red.  So, out came the embroidery and into the dye bath they went.  I’m just giddy with the results.

And here is the final product – awaiting new embroidery.  🙂

~ Cristiana

Plaid Houppelande…the fur samples





 So, having selected this plaid fabric and then worked up the courage (and documentation) to make a houppelande out of it, it was time to settle in on a style.  I decided to cut this in the style that  starts with two half circles, which are then cut down to quarter circles.  The end points of these circles are cut off and then sewn together to form the shoulders.  The nature of this style causes the plaid to fall on the bias.

With such a detailed and busy pattern, Elisabeth suggested a simple style and finishing – and I agreed.   My plan is to cut the sleeves fairly fitted and the cuffs and collar will be finished in a brown fur. 

Having made that decision, the next quest was obvious…find the fur.  I ordered 7 brown fur samples from a company that sells the most amazing faux fur. Some were just too distracting, but in the end I found what I was looking for – a classic rich brown.

~ Cristiana