Flirting with the HSF – Modern History, Black and White, The Great Outdoors, and possibly Gentlemen too: My new mittens

This is an entry of the Historical Sew Fortnightly that I had originally hoped to finish in time for the deadline of the Gentlemen challenge. But thinking about it, the Modern History challenge is more suitable, since I’ll be wearing these almost every day for the coming months…

Twined knitted mittens

Twined knitted mittens on a towel to dry

These are based on a pattern based on an extant pair of mittens, and the thing I love about this pattern and the original mittens is that they are assymetrical, and the pattern doesn’t really fit together. If I remember it correctly, the pattern I used was even a little bit more symmetrical than the original, to appeal to our standards of knitting patterns. But I can’t really remember, since my information is from a borrowed book about twined knitting, which is now out of print. It was some years ago, but I liked the pattern well enough to draw it in a notebook…

The pattern and the mitten in progress

The pattern and the mitten in progress

The twined knitting is slower than ordinary knitting, but in return it is sturdier and thicker, so these thin knitting needles and the thin yarn used in this project give a rather thick and warming mitten. When finished, the knitted projects can be wetted and slightly felted as well. I did that, and then I waited a looong time for the mittens to dry…

The mittens front and back. The thumb is almost invisible, but I promise it's there!

The mittens front and back. The thumb is almost invisible, but I promise it’s there!

Twined knitting is an old knitting technique, and a lot of research about it has been done in the county Dalarna. It’s also a tradition that is most common in the mid-northwest of Sweden, and in Norway, but nowadays there is interest in the technique pretty much all over the place (at least in the crafts circles). I have written a little bit more about the history of the twined knitting in this blog post.

Twined facts:

The Challenge: Modern History (I’ll be wearing these a lot!), Black and White (though honestly more in the grayscale), The Great Outdoors (I’ll be wearing them outside to protect my hands from the winter chill), perhaps Gentlemen (as the original pattern is rather large).

Fabric: Not so much fabric as thin, woollen 2-ply yarn.

Pattern: Based on extant historical mittens.

Year: I don’t remember the exact date, but I think 19th or early 20th century.

Notions: Knitting needles, size 1.75

How historically accurate is it? Woollen yarn, pattern based on extant mittens, accurate technique. But I haven’t seen the originals myself, and the yarn is machine spun, and I think I remember that the pattern I used is a bit more symmetrical than the originals. Since those considerations are a bit on the extreme side, I’d still say about 95% accurate.

Hours to complete: So many it’d be depressing to count… It’s a rather slow technique and one row is 86 stitches.

First worn: Out and about yesterday.

Total cost: Cheap in material (the yarn cost 23 SEK/100 g), expensive in time! 😉

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