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. 🙂