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The Mystery Mitten Challenge

Well hello there! Thanks for the warm welcome back! Let's jump right in and get down to it, shall we? I have a little mystery that I need help solving. I was at my favorite thrift store a few months ago and happened upon these wee cute little kid-mittens:

We are so leetle! And only cost 50 cents!

The photos don't really do them justice...they are small and adorable and you can tell that some kid's mama made them wear these at least a couple winters since the palms are felted up a bit, there are a few holes, and little remnants of yarn where the strings used to be tied on (anyone who grew up in a cold climate knows what those strings are for).

I immediately fell in love with the colors and the large-scale graphic colorwork and, let's be honest here...they are just begging to be copied. But first, I need to figure out if the pattern already exists. I spent a little time searching for these with no luck. But I'm HORRIBLE at finding things on the internets, so it's more than possible that they're out there. This is where I'm hoping you'll help me.

These are the facts:

1) Gauge = 7 sts/1 inch.
2) Palm circumference is about 6 inches.
3) They are 6.5 inches long.
4) Tab thumb

To be completely fair, there are also a couple factors that make me think that the person who knitted them might not have used a pattern:

1) The person who knitted them avoided carrying unused colors across the palm by inserting extra rows into the mittens. In one spot on the palm there are five rows to the three on the back of the mitten. It's actually a little brilliant, and easily done on dpns.

2) There are a few spots where the knitter improvised the pattern a bit (again mostly on the palm). Nothing drastic, just a little wonkiness that indicates that charts may not have been consulted.

This sort of free-spirited knitting leads me to think that patterns might not have been all that important to our mystery knitter, but they could also just fall into the "I mostly followed the pattern" camp.

have you seen me?

Here is your challenge:

This pattern is probably out there somewhere...maybe online, maybe in an old pattern pamphlet. If you can find it for me, I will send you a lovely little surprise package (contents yet to be determined, but guaranteed fabulous).

The prize goes to the first person who leaves proof of pattern-findage in the comments. If the actual pattern eludes you, Pretty Close patterns will be considered, but I reserve the right to decide whether or not they are close enough to be useful. The contest will remain open until I have a winner and close the comments.

Good Luck!


Wow. I know nothing of these things. But cute mittens!

I love those mittens! So retro fabulous. I haven't seen the pattern, though- It does look like maybe someone whipped them up on a whim, to go with an awesome 70's style ski jacket, perhaps?

Those are pretty great mittens. Good luck on the hunt.

I was thinking the same thing. They look like a pattern you would have found in a 70s era issue of Family Circle or an old Workbasket. The right colors and bold fair isle to peg them as a 70s pattern.

They are fabulous! I do not have a good stock of old patterns, but all they remind me of is a yoke sweater I mended for my husband's cousin. It was knit for her by her mother in the early '70s, I believe.

I totally love the idea of short rows on the back of a mitten, I must say. They'd give a very practical curve to the shape that would mimic the resting position of the hand. How clever your mystery knitter was.

I doubt that the person who knit these used a pattern. I am pretty old and my mother, aunts and grandmother all knit mittens for all us cousins, born in the 30's and 40's. They had no real time for patterns, and they "knew" how to knit mittens. I agree some kiddo had a lovely jacket and gram just knit matching mittens. She made them fit in the easiest way possible. I do have some old books and patterns, and will look through, but I doubt there will be a match, close maybe, but not match.

how amazing are those mittens?! i wish i were a better researcher. i feel i will be of no help. but good luck!

I searched a little and had no luck :( They are really cute, though. Maybe we could have a "name that mitten" contest if no one finds the real pattern!

The string was used to keep the two mittens together. My grandma used a crocheted cord that was long enough to go through my jacket sleeves and keep my mittens from getting lost. Everyone wore there mittens like that when I was little.

Some little mama was just using up stuff and she'll be thrilled to have you make a pattern of her work! Go for it..

They are darling, I also suspect that they were knit to a basic pattern, like the one here: http://www.freevintageknitting.com/mittens/615-mittens-pattern.html. You could use this one and then copy the color design.