They may not be the traditional clothing article to get hung by the chimney with care, but we're still hoping St. Nicholas'll be here!
As a transplant to the South from the frigid Northern Plains, its kids' mittens I most miss seeing hanging to dry in mud rooms and along the radiators. Some of my fondest childhood memories involved playing in the snow: sledding, skating, and building snowmen and snow forts! And one simply does not play in the cold snow unless wearing a warm pair of mittens!
I've tried to provide opportunities for my own boys to experience the honest joy and delight in a simple snowball fight and an afternoon of sledding, and it seems they enjoy it as much as I always did. So when Christmas comes around, its mittens we hang instead of stockings.
I made these decorative mittens from some festive flannel, a bit of cotton quilt batting, and some red yarn.
I've written out the directions if you're interested in making some of your own.
There are four simple pattern pieces you'll need to make: decorative heart, batting insert, mitten, and wristband.
Trace the area around your hand and thumb about 1/2 inch away to create your mitten pattern from lightweight cardboard or paper.
Cut a mitten shape just like the first but cut it about 1/4 inch smaller. This pattern will be for quilt batting.
From the same paper, cut a 2" strip twice the length of the mitten opening. This will become the pattern for the wristband.
Cut out a small heart.
Keep all 4 pattern pieces. Using the same pattern will ensure all of your mittens will be uniform.
Trace and cut out one heart from a small piece of red flannel.
Fold main piece of flannel in half, wrong sides together. Trace and cut through both fabric layers. This will yield one mitten. Repeat the process for the other mitten.
Trace and cut 2 batting inserts.
Once you have traced and cut 2 wristband pieces, you should have: 1 red heart, 2 batting inserts, 2 pair of mitten pieces, and 2 wristbands.
Sew the heart onto the center of one of the mitten pieces using a zig-zag stitch and sewing around its perimeter.
Place right sides of mitten pieces together. Place the batting insert onto the center of the stacked pieces.
Using a 1/2" seam, sew around the mitten leaving top and 1/2 of the non-thumb side open.
Trim excess seam allowance and turn right side out.
With right sides together attach wrist band to mitten...
using 1/2" seams. Trim excess.
Unfold wristband. Turn inside out, and stitch together side opening along mitten and wristband.
Fold wristband over about 1/2 inch, and then again 1/2 inch. Press flat. Then stitch in place by hand.
The inside of your wristband now has a nice, clean finish.
Tuck one end of a length of red yarn under the wristband fold and stitch in place.
Press neatly and hang in place above your fireplace, along your staircase, at the foot of your bed, or wherever Santa will be sure to see them!
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!
All photographs taken by Paulette Rodriguez.