Carol Pearsall of Johnsburg, wife of local historian and author Glenn L. Pearsall, is writing a book on “buff mittens” and is looking for stories and examples.
Buff mittens differ from the modern mittens as they were tufted like a shag rug for extra warmth. They required three times the usual amount of yarn that one would use in knitting modern mittens. Often merino wool or a merino cross was used and the art of making these mittens rose and fell with the cycle of wool availability. Warm and durable, they are considered an Adirondack tradition that reached a heyday in the 1880s to early 1900s. However, a reference to buff mittens is found in the diary of Ruth Henshaw of Leicester, Massachusetts in 1803.
Carol asks if you have a story of these mittens or examples of them, you contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo of Buff Mittens provided.