Mittens on strings: good gear for cold weather, then and now

I don't know about you, but I could use a pair of these, to keep from losing them. This particular very cute pair of mittens (for children) are hand-knitted and available at Etsy.com, here.

I don’t know about you, but I could use a pair of these, to keep from losing them. This  very cute pair of mittens (in children’s size) is hand-knitted and available here at Etsy.com.

Well, here we are in the middle of the January deep freeze, here in Eastern Canada, anyway. The high in Montreal today was -16C (3F), tomorrow it’s supposed to be -22 (-7F), and the week carries on like that. Yikes.

I think back to bitterly cold days when I was growing up at the Manse in Queensborough, and one morning in particular when my mum announced that the thermometer was registering 40 below! (Which, as you know, is the same temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit; it translates to “appallingly cold” on either scale.) Boy did she ever bundle us up to go meet the school bus that day!

And I recall lots of bright winter mornings when you’d breathe in the icy air and it would have the effect of kind of freezing the inside of your nostrils. Remember that? It’s been a long time since I felt that sensation. Global warming, I suppose. Or ceasing to pay attention to small wonders like that as a distracted adult, perhaps.

Anyway, what we’re experiencing right now is the kind of weather where mittens (or gloves) are not optional. But the problem I have with mittens is the same one I had as a kid: losing them. Which is why I think mittens on strings are an absolutely brilliant idea. Not only do the two mittens stay together, but thanks to the string being threaded through the arms of your coat, they also stay with it!

Didi (my grandmother Reta Keay) and five-year-old me at the Manse, December 1965. (Photo by my grandfather, J.A.S. Keay)

Didi (my grandmother Reta Keay) and five-year-old me at the Manse, December 1965. (Photo by my grandfather, J.A.S. Keay)

I remember as a kid getting annoyed with the mittens on strings that my Didi, my grandmother Reta Keay, would knit for us. I can’t remember why, however. Did the mittens climb up and get lost in the arms of the coat, maybe? Anyway, if it bothered me then, it certainly wouldn’t bother me now. I wish my Didi were still here to knit me a nice pair of bright red adult-sized mittens on strings. It’s just what I need to brighten up days like these. Not to mention keep my hands warm!

2 thoughts on “Mittens on strings: good gear for cold weather, then and now

  1. Just before Christmas I bought a pair of bright yellow hand-knit mittens from friends who were selling them as a church fund-raiser. (mittens and Christmas cakes…Denis made short work of the latter). The mittens were knit by a man at their church…his wife had done it for years, and when she died, he took up the torch. Because of that sweet/sad story, these mittens are almost as special as your Didi’s are to you…and even without strings, the colour makes them hard to lose! Stay warm you two!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s