I have an old pair of adult mittens. They weren’t mine to begin with, I think they belonged to my mom. They’re dark blue suede with fake lambswool on the edges and the cuffs and seams. My guess they’re from the 70’s or early 80’s. Somehow I ended up with these, and while I recall wearing them a time or two in the past, I never really took to them. They’re old, the white fake lambswool is far from white (matted dirty gray is more descriptive). They weren’t new, or stylin’. Every year I went to go find my gloves and invariably failed, because obviously they’ve been eaten by the glove monster, who devours winter gloves during the summer months. In response to the annual glove monster feast, I’d just go out and buy a new pair. Even though I knew where these mittens were, I never really thought about grabbing them.
This year, I have again no idea where my gloves are. I know they were packed, just not sure where they were unpacked in the new house (or where they were stored, though they could again just have become glove monster chow). But I did have these old mittens that had been in a box with my socks. So I thought what the heck I’ll just wear them. Turns out, I like mittens. Less constrictive on my fingers, much more comfortable, and I’m much less concerned these days in what people think about what I choose to wear. The most major problem was that the lining on these mittens was old and thin, so they were much less than warm in prolonged cold, like during shoveling. They were not particularly useful during the last cold blast, and with more snow and some more single-digit-temperatures about to hit day after tomorrow, something had to be done. I had a scrap of some super-soft fuzzy blanket fleece left over from another project, so I took two hours and cut out the old lining of one of the mittens, used them as a pattern to cut out new pieces out of the blanket fleece, and sat watching TV while I whip-stitched the pieces together and sewed the new linings into the mittens.
Ta-daaaah! Two hours of simple work and I have not only functional mittens, but darned warm functional mittens. Sure, the fake lambswool is still matted dirty gray. They aren’t stylin’. But they’re warm, and they’re functional. And I’m pretty sure they’ll last another 20-30 years. Not sure why I cast these aside before, but I’m sure glad I never tossed them away.