Cold Hands, Warm Heart

I always heard that expression when I was growing up and it made me happy because my hands – and feet – easily get cold. In my last post, you saw my cape. And if you own a cape, you know how impractical it is. Especially for someone like me who struggles to keep my hands warm. At first I was going to make arm warmers to wear with my regular gloves, but they take too long to knit. Then I thought, why don’t I just make my own gloves?

I already have a pretty large collection of vintage gloves because I used to wear them regularly. I love the way gloves look with an outfit – so elegant. And I have them in all lengths, colors and fabrics, except the length and color I needed for my cape.

(By the way, if you’re at all interested in vintage glove lengths and etiquette, do yourself a favor and head over to this post at Chronically Vintage.)

So I dug out Vogue Pattern 8608. I swear I have no memory of buying this pattern, but I’ve always had an interest in glovemaking so it kinda makes sense. Even though I purge my bookcase periodically, I have two books I kept over the years:  “You Can Make Your Own Gloves” by Edith Hummel and “Make Your Own Gloves” by Gwen Emlyn-Jones. Maybe I’m psychic and I knew that I would need them in 2016.

More likely, I just didn’t want to give up the dream of hand-making supple lambskin gloves at a villa in Italy. Or something like that.

Since this is an area completely new to me, I decided to make the first few versions from old t-shirts. The first one was much too tight and the fingers were too short. But in the process, I learned how gloves are constructed, so I consider it a win.

For the second pair, I made a couple of modifications: 1. I didn’t put in the elastic on the back of the hands; and 2. I extended them to opera length.

Please forgive the weird angle. I was holding the camera with one hand while trying to take a picture with the other and it was a lot more difficult than it sounds.

IMG_1902 IMG_1903   IMG_1918

My feed dogs decided to eat one of the fingers and the tips are wonky, but the fit is much better. I’ll make one or two more scrap gloves before I use my fabric. And yes, I actually have lambskin and I’m going to use it to make a pair, but I’ll probably sew them by hand so I’ll have more control over those tiny bits.

Anyway, I want to be more transparent about my process, so you’ll be seeing a lot more of my projects in their early state, even when they’re not pretty. Isabel Toledo, one of my favorite designers, wrote “Learn to love your ugly ducklings. Your creative mistakes contain the seeds of your future successes, so do not discard them.” I probably won’t keep the first one, but as crazy as it looks, this glove definitely has a place in my heart.

Anyway, I’m going to keep working at my glovemaking so I can start working on that kidskin pair sooner rather than later. So, are you planning to take on any new challenges this year?


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