Friday, September 11, 2009

Glommits and Gauntlets

I wrote this article several months ago and it was originally published over at Type-A Mom.

A young U.S. soldier serving in Afghanistan wrote a letter to his mom asking for 16 pairs of handknit gloves for his unit just like the ones his grandmother used to make. The mother wasn't able to fulfill that commitment herself so she contacted Halcyon Yarn in Bath, ME.

The yarn shop responded by mentioning the project in a newsletter and providing knitters with two vintage patterns. The Glommit is a combination glove/mitten. The mitten cap can be folded back to allow use of bare fingers. This type of handknit is useful for many different types of people, not just soldiers. The Gauntlet was designed in the style of an old hunter's mitten. The pattern was written to have the thumb covered, the index finger bare, and the remaining fingers under a mitten. This allows for quick access for shooting.

The gloves are knit with wool. Wool is the best natural fiber to use for outerwear such as gloves or mittens. The fiber is naturally waterproof and keeps hands warm. Having grown up in Maine, this soldier knew how to endure the cold, but not even he could take the harsh weather in the high altitude of Afghanistan.

In less than a year, over 125 pair have been donated to the cause. If you would like to participate in this unique service project, Halcyon Yarn will accept finished Glommmits and Gauntlets and ship them to where they need to go. You can find the Glommit pattern and the Gauntlet pattern at those links.

You never know when you'll be able to use your hobby to make a difference in the lives of others. This is one instance where some wool and a few hours of your time can help keep a soldier warm.

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