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The History of Mittens

Not only are mittens actually warmer than gloves (it’s true!), they also have an important place in folk art and feminist history. Women across the world have knitted mittens for generations, and many of their designs carried cultural or political significance. In 19th century Norway, Marit Emstad revolutionized mitten patterns when she dared to knit herself a pair of two-toned mittens with a star or rose; her design later grew into Selbuvotten, one of Norway's most common cultural knitting patterns. In America, Abby Condon, one of America's first female entrepreneurs, started an all-female business knitting mittens for soldiers fighting in the Civil War. She employed women all over New England and together they handmade over 15,000 dozen mittens in a single year! During World War I, Allied women across the world also knitted mittens for soldiers. Amelia Earhart, the famous pilot, even wore a tailored pair of mittens when she set out to break aviation records in 1930.

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