Thursday, June 28, 2018

New Project--The Völva's Mittens

Because I'm still more likely to complete a shorter project rather than a long one, I have been thinking about another short project to start working on since completing my Hedeby bag a few days ago.  

It occurred to me that a good project might be to make a pair of mittens for my völva outfit, using the pattern for the Icelandic mitten from Akranes that is found in the "Caps and Mittens" booklet (I have the previous edition, which was called "Smaller Garments") booklet sold by Susanna Broomé on her Facebook page and website, Viking Age Clothing.  I have found several blog posts by bloggers who have made their own copies of these mittens, here (scroll down for the English translation) and here. For more about the facts relating to the Akranes find, see my friend Rebecca's page, here.

The Akranes mitten was found on the Akranes penisula near Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1881 and, as the pictures on the various sites I have referenced show, has a flaring cuff and is long enough to cover the ends of the wearer's sleeves. It is a good design for someone who travels extensively in the wintertime, as the völva in Eric the Red's Saga is said to have done.

The völva's mittens are described as "catskin gloves, and they were white inside and shaggy," but what handcoverings survive from the Viking age are mittens, so far as I am aware. The Akranes mitten was sewn of heavy wool fabric, without a lining, but it uses a simple enough pattern that I think I can adapt it for the mittens of the völva's outfit.

Because I will not kill a cat for this project, or deal with vendors who have, I will be making a lined mitten, with white faux fur on the inside and leather on the outside.  I have a scrap of soft brown sueded leather that might serve for the outside of these mittens, and I have ordered some white faux fur from an EBay vendor.  I will need to hunt down a leather needle in my stash of sewing equipment, as well as an appropriate thimble, to do the handsewing for this project.

EDIT:  (7/5/2018)  The faux fur I'd ordered from EBay had such a minuscule pile that it did not look like fur, so I've sent it back for a refund.  I've ordered a different piece of faux fur from a different vendor that I hope will serve my purposes better.


  1. Zola thanks you for your consideration! ;-}

    1. He is the wrong color in any case; the saga specified white fur. :-)