PGC2019: Lady Melisande de Massard’s Mittens & Socks

Lady Melisande enters a cozy pair of mittens and a snugly pair of socks in the category “With silken coats, and caps, and golden rings, with ruffs, and cuffs, and farthingales and things“. 

“When camping I find it most convenient to clothe myself in Norse garb – comfortable, easy to work in and easily laundered!

Some of the members of the Heorot household were planning a household event where we would spend the weekend camping in a living history style. Originally planned for an Easter weekend I thought to myself ‘this could be a little chilly – what I need are some mittens and socks!!’. 

I purchased some pre-spun, natural wool, and with a wooden needle and the kind assistance of Lady Katherine (who showed me the Coptic stitch and how to get started), I first tried my hand at a pair of mittens. The first mitten is a little mis-shapen but I was a lot happier with the second which is much more evenly shaped. I was surprised at how quickly they made up and, encouraged by how the mittens turned, out I purchased more wool and got started on a pair of socks.

Looking at images of extant finds, and reproductions (and again with help from Lady Katherine when it came to the heel!) I gave it a go. Sir Callum had given me the gift of a beautiful new needle made of antler – such a different experience using that over the wooden one! I love it! I would like to have used a contrasting coloured wool for the last few rows around the ankle (as per some of the extant finds) but not having any suitable wool at the time I shall leave that for another pair. The socks are so comfortable and the mittens lovely and warm. 

We had to postpone the camping weekend but I’ll be ready to go when we set another date – I just hope it’s not in mid-summer!”

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