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Mittens on Elastic

Posted by Big Boo on December 5th, 2008

Firstly, thanks to knitting website Knitspot for the image accompanying this post.

The cold weather really seems to be kicking in now here in the UK, so the other day I was forced into hunting through my sock draw for a pair of gloves. Now, I know somewhere I’ve got a lovely warm insulated pair but I couldn’t find them, so instead ended up with a pair of knitted fingerless gloves. Not ideal, but better than nothing.

Whilst finding these gloves out I did come across a single knitted glove. I’ve no idea what has happened to the other half of the pair but it did remind me of the practice of sewing elastic on your gloves to stop you losing them, something my Mum used to do for me when I was at primary school.

The idea was simple enough.  Take a piece of elastic that when unstretched is long enough to run up one arm, across your shoulders and back down the other arm.  Then sew a glove or mitten onto each end of the elastic and thread the whole affair up one arm of your coat and back down the other.  When you put the coat on the mittens will dangle out the bottom of the arms, so you can take them off without fear of losing them because they fell out of your bag or pocket.

The only trouble with this solution to the missing mitten problem was that in the school playground you then became a target for people grabbing one of your mittens and trying to stretch the elastic as far as possible before letting go.  Luckily being flicked by a mitten doesn’t usually hurt too much, but quite often the reason other kids started pulling at your mitten was because they were trying to pull it off the elastic so they could throw it over the school fence or into a puddle.

Do parents still do this for their kids today?  I’m sure some do, but I think the practice is probably beginning to die out for two main causes.  Firstly, people seem to be forgetting basic skills like how to sew, so they feel they couldn’t attach the mittens to the elastic even if they wanted to.  Secondly, todays kids seem to be rather more fashion conscious that we were as kids, so would rather not be seen having their gloves or mittens hanging out of their coat sleeves.