What are buff mittens?

A note from Kathleen: Today PieceWork editor Jeane Hutchins is here to tell you about an absolutely darling pair of mittens, and how they came to be.

Mitten knitting patterns

Our adorable model showing her serious side while showcasing the buff mittens.

For the Fall 2011 edition of PieceWork‘s special issue Knitting Traditions, Joanna Johnson explored buff knitting in her article “Annis Holmes’s Buff Knitting: Preserving and Updating a North Country Tradition.”

Here’s a portion of Joanna’s opening paragraph from that article: “In winter during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, warm, windproof, and waterproof mittens, deemed ‘buff mittens,’ were a mainstay for loggers and others laboring in the woods of the Adirondack region of New York, New England, and neighboring Canada…. The term ‘buff’ may refer to the felted pile or to the undyed yarn that typically was used to make the mittens.”

We have been intrigued by this technique ever since. When we were planning our 10th Annual Historical Knitting issue of PieceWork (January/February 2016), we asked Joanna to design mittens for a toddler, using wool yarn and the buff stitch. Heart in Hand: Buff Mittens for a Child turned out to be even more wonderful than we anticipated.

Mitten knitting patterns

Our adorable model showing her not-so-serious side while showcasing the buff mittens.

In her introduction to Heart in Hand, Joanna recounts her visit with her paternal grandmother to Annis Holmes’s yarn shop in Chestertown, New York, when Joanna was nine years old. It clearly made an impression on Joanna!

If you know a toddler, I really think you will want to make Joanna’s special mittens for her or him. They are the perfect winter accessory. In addition to having a fabulous gift to give, you’ll have fun making the mittens, especially the finishing. (It’s not often one gets to say that finishing a project is fun!)

Joanna guides you step by step from casting on to turning your “loopy woolly mitten into a buff mitten” (it involves cutting, trimming, and steaming or fulling).

In our newest PieceWork kit, you will receive the yarn needed to make the mittens, along with this year’s Historical Knitting issue.

In addition to discovering buff knitting in Joanna’s Heart in Hand project, you’ll find other knitting projects and a variety of features in our Historical Knitting issue, each celebrating knitting’s rich history.

Order your Heart in Hand Kit today and have fun buff knitting!

Jeane

What Are Buff Mittens?

For the Fall 2011 edition of PieceWork’s special issue Knitting Traditions, Joanna Johnson explored

Our adorable model showing her serious side while showcasing the buff mittens.

Our adorable model showing her serious side while showcasing the buff mittens.

buff knitting in her article “Annis Holmes’s Buff Knitting: Preserving and Updating a North Country Tradition.” Here’s a portion of Joanna’s opening paragraph from that article: “In winter during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, warm, windproof, and waterproof mittens, deemed ‘buff mittens,’ were a mainstay for loggers and others laboring in the woods of the Adirondack region of New York, New England, and neighboring Canada….The term ‘buff’ may refer to the felted pile or to the undyed yarn that typically was used to make the mittens.”

We have been intrigued by this technique ever since. When we were planning our 10th Annual Historical Knitting issue of PieceWork (January/February 2016), we asked Joanna to design mittens for a toddler, using wool yarn and the buff stitch. Heart in Hand: Buff Mittens for a Child turned out to be even more wonderful than we anticipated.

Our adorable model showing her not-so-serious side while showcasing the buff mittens.

Our adorable model showing her not-so-serious side while showcasing the buff mittens.

In her introduction to Heart in Hand, Joanna recounts her visit with her paternal grandmother to Annis Holmes’s yarn shop in Chestertown, New York, when Joanna was nine years old. It clearly made an impression on Joanna!

If you know a toddler, I really think you will want to make Joanna’s special mittens for her or him. They are the perfect winter accessory. In addition to having a fabulous gift to give, you’ll have fun making the mittens, especially the finishing. (It’s not often one gets to say that finishing a project is fun!) Joanna guides you step by step from casting on to turning your “loopy woolly mitten into a buff mitten” (it involves cutting, trimming, and steaming or fulling).

In our newest PieceWork kit, you will receive the yarn needed to make the mittens, along with this year’s Historical Knitting issue. In addition to discovering buff knitting in Joanna’s Heart in Hand project, you’ll find other knitting projects and a variety of features, each celebrating knitting’s rich history.

Have fun buff knitting!
Jeane

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