I had a few problems with the pattern but once those were resolved this turned out to be a fairly easy mitten pattern.
The pattern suggested that you use a No. 00 steel hook and worsted weight yarn in a dark color. I’d planned on using some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in a worsted weight. They helpfully provided a gauge. “With a No. 00 steel hook the gauge is 7 sc (single crochet) equal 2 inches.” Size 00 hooks seem to come in a variety of mm sizes. Boye has one that’s 3.5mm. Susan Bates has one that’s 2.7mm. The Craft Yarn Council says it’s 3.5 mm.
When I make amigurumi I usually use worsted weight and a 3.5mm hook to get a tighter stitch and keep the stuffing in. It was entirely possible that they wanted a tight stitch on the mittens to keep the wind from blowing in.
I have a steel hook labeled 00 and it seemed like it was more on the 2.7mm end so I decided to start by making a gauge test with that one.
Test number 1: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and a size 00 hook was 12 single crochet per inch.
Test number 2: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and a size 3.5mm hook (E) was 11 single crochet per inch.
Test number 3: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and a size 4mm hook (G) was 9 single crochet per inch. Getting closer but now the fabric was starting to look more loose than I thought mittens should be. Time to switch to a heavier yarn.
Test number 4: Berroco Vintage Chunky and a size 5mm hook (H) was 7 single crochet per inch! Finally!
So, they suggested a size 3.5mm hook with worsted yarn and I got the right gauge with a 5mm hook and chunky yarn. That's a pretty big difference. Maybe 00 hooks were different in 1947 or maybe they had better control over their gauge. If I'd used their suggestion I would have had toddler mittens.
Here’s a photo of the difference in yarn and hooks.
Now that that part was figured out I could start making the mittens.
For this part, the directions are pretty good. They’re made by doing the back first and then the palm and thumb all in one piece and then stitched together after you do the embroidery. There were separate directions for left and right mittens. This went quickly and the sizing was good when it was held up to the embroidery pattern.
Now for the embroidery.
Here are the directions, “To transfer the design, place a piece of semi-transparent paper, like thin typing paper, over the design shown on the chart and trace the pattern…Make pin pricks quite close together along the lines of the design. Lay mittens on a flat surface with right side up. Pin the perforated pattern in place…Gently pat the perforated pattern with a powder puff which is filled with a SMALL amount of powder. Remove the pattern carefully; the design should show clearly on the mitten back.” That seems like a lot of messy work.
I tried to find a better way to do this but with dark yarn this really seemed like the best way. I don’t have a powder puff or powder though so I bought some quilter’s chalk. I printed out the pattern on paper, poked a lot of holes in it, placed it on a mitten and rubbed the chalk into the holes. I carefully removed the pattern and got this:
I tried to embroider and even started at the bottom thinking that would keep my hands from rubbing it off but it still came off faster than I could embroider and embroidery on yarn wasn’t that easy. It didn’t look very good so I took it all out. I tried again thinking I could free hand the pattern but the chain stitch still looked terrible on these and I just gave up. I sewed them together and added the edging and called it done.
They’re still cute without the embellishment.
I'm from Minnesota and have been crocheting since 2003. I inherited a box full of Workbasket Magazines from my mother-in-law and became obsessed with the vintage patterns. I'm a member of Crochet Twin Cities, the local Crochet Guild.