Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Case of the Missing Mittens...

About a year and a half ago, I spent Labor Day weekend with Darrin in Copper Harbor, MI. The place is unbelievably gorgeous. The town is very quaint and has a few locally owned shops. We happened into one of the shops, I think it was a bookstore actually and I fell in love with a pair of wool mittens there. We left the store without the mittens, thinking we could get them the next day. Well Darrin's race came and went and we learned that all the stores were closed for Labor Day. (Should have known that before hand!) Bummed, we left Copper Harbor knowing we would return again in one year.
And the end of August came very fast in 2008. I had one goal for our trip up north, get those mittens. Darrin went out on a pre-ride and my Mom, Dad, and myself went shopping through the town. I told my mom I was going to get those mittens because I didn't get them last time I was there. The last store we stopped at was the bookstore and I finally got my Homemade Wool Mittens! Well, everyone loved my new mittens including Jamie. I think every time we saw her she tried to steal them. So over Christmas break she decided she needed a pair of these mittens and thought we could simply make her a pair. And so the weekend project began. The first step in our project was to find out just how they were made. Jamie found a few patterns on the Internet. It was a tough time for her trying to find a pattern that was most similar to mine. You wouldn't believe how many different mitten patterns are out there. The Thumbs on my gloves are not angled out but rather folded down. I thought Jamie had forgotten about those darn mittens until she called me from good-will. The mittens are made of 100% wool sweaters and lined with fleece. And she was looking for sweaters at her local good-will. I joined in the search for sweaters and spent about 6-8 hours weeding through the clothes looking for 100% wool. I happened upon 3-4 really nice sweaters, well what I thought were nice. (I wasn't sure if Jamie was going to like any of them!) We spent some time with Jamie for about a week and didn't have time to make the mittens but she did pick out a sweater that she liked. When we got back to Milwaukee I spent a few days looking up a few patterns because we couldn't find the one Jamie had found at Christmas. I also had to look up fleece mittens for the lining of the gloves. I also had to learn about the felting process of wool sweaters. For some reason the sweaters have to be washed in HOT water and then dried. Wow! The sweaters shrunk to almost half their size. You have to wash and dry the sweaters in a pillowcase that is some how closed. I used safety pins and when I finally got all the safety pins off of the pillowcase, out rolled a lot of lint created by the felting process. It took me about a day to figure out the size I would need to cut the pieces. We had a pattern formula but had to make our own pattern for cutting. I used regular paper and my mittens to put all the pieces together. After about an hour of cutting out the fabric, I was finally underway of making my first pair of wool mittens. Darrin helped me sew the thumbs. He was better at getting the fabric to turn around the needle in the sewing machine. I believe I had the mittens in the mail to Jamie on Saturday the 17th. We were hoping she would get them before she had to leave for their Michigan game. She checked her mail Tuesday and Wednesday before she left. She also went to the post office to see if they were holding the package there. No mittens on her hands, she was off to Michigan. When she returned she checked again at the post office and even talked to the mail man. He reassured her that they were going to be sent back to the person who sent them to her. It's been another week and a half and still no mittens. I worked very hard on them and thought they turned out nice. Jamie was so excited to receive them that she is also saddened by the case of the missing mittens. Below you will find a picture of the missing mittens. If you have seen these mittens, or know where they could be please leave contact information in the comments section below. Thank you for your cooperation in our search for the missing mittens. Forever saddened, Jamie and Lynn.

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