When I was a child, I had a small part in the musical Scrooge. The beautiful stage sets and costumes were straight out of the 19th century and we performed on the biggest stage in our town. It was all so widly impressive and after almost twenty years I still know all the lyrics by heart.
All the fair ladies strolled down the stage, linking arms with gentlemen donning top hats, while (supposedly) keeping their hands warm in a sleeve of fur. At some point I asked my mom what this intriguing item was, she answered: “That’s a muff.” I only knew the Dutch word ‘mof’ as an offensive term referring to Germans. So, I was a little bit shocked she used the term so casually.
Since that time, I haven’t seen anyone wearing a muff, but the sight is still etched in my mind. 19th century ladies didn’t have much use for their hands for much other than hiding them in a warm muff; most everything was done for them. The rise of the middle class put a stop to that. Now we all have to get our hands dirty.
Still, wouldn’t it be wonderful to walk through the woods on a freezing cold Sunday afternoon, linking arms with a gentleman (top hat optional), while your hands are softly cradled in one of those warm muffs… Definitely! Made out of very unoffensive wool.
Cast on 40 provisional stitches on a circular knitting needle 5mm.
1-8: Knit 8 rows
9: Purl 1 row
10-17: Knit 8 rows
18: Knit stitches together with provisional stitches
Use circular knitting needle 8 mm. Knit alternately with two similar balls of yarn with one ball in each hand. This way your knitting will be thick and warm, but not too big.
19-45: Two rows *k1,p1* and knit one row. Repeat nine times.
46-47: Two rows * k1,p1 *
Use circular knitting needle 5 mm. and one string of yarn.
48-55: Knit 8 rows
56: Purl 1 row
57-64: Knit 8 rows
Fold the cuff and knit every stitch together with a loop on the back of your knitting, and cast off. Finish of the ends.
Your muff hangs around your neck with a cord. To knit this, I’ve used the I-cord technique.
Cast on four stitches on a circular needle of 5 mm.
Leave the first two stitches on your left needle and slide the other two stitches further on the cable. This is called a magic loop.
Knit the two stitches that are on your left needle en then slide the other two stitches on your left needle and the stitches you’ve just knitted on the cable. Repeat this sequence until your cord is about 1.20 meter (42 inches).
Pass the cord through the muff and weave the two ends neatly together.
This pattern is available on Ravelry.
Model: Dominique (and Norah)