Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rabbit Mittens ... Not Moose Boots

This time of year, I don't spend as much time outside.  It has not been cold, not even seasonably, which is very unsettling for me.  This time of year, for indigenous cultures, was spent crafting ... making and repairing equipment and clothing.  I have started a few projects, worked on a few projects that had been started before, and thought of several other things that I'd like to do.

Wendy and I started raising rabbits for meat years ago.  Of course, not wanting to waste anything, I also started to learn, using Back To Basics, to tan the hides.  I have saved the hides for years.  I find they are easy to work and the finished product is lovely.  I have even shown other how during our skill share last summer, which also resulted in writing a short e-book about tanning rabbit hides.  Of course, I have just stored them in the closet.  Over the years, I have talked about making different things with them.  I finally decided to act on the impulse.  Over the last week, I made a pair of rabbit hide mittens for myself.  I was really easy and very satisfying for the need to craft something useful for myself.

There a many tutorials around cyberspace on making mittens.  Most lean toward chopper mittens.  Regardless of the benefit, for my first pair, I decided to go with the seemingly simpler method of tracing my hands, adding an inch or so, cutting out the patterns, and sewing the things together.  My sewing is nothing too fancy and is limited primarily to whip-stitching, which it just what I needed.

Wendy and each of the girls has staked some kind of claim on them.  I will need to put them away somewhere until it is time to use them.  Before I start using them, though, I need to waterproof them.  It turns out that we have, from our Army days 15 years ago or so, some Sno-Seal, a beeswax based sealant.  I will probably apply this tonight to be ready for using the mittens, if the weather ever dictates the need.

Making these mittens satisfied a need to learn and create.  I am so grateful for the gift that was given so many years ago.  I also appreciate the length of time, and the cosmic coincidences and events, that have gotten me to this point on my MooseBoots path.  Each little step, or lesson, is amazingly rewarding in so many ways.

UPDATE:  Here is a picture after waterproofing.  They didn't change much.


  1. Eric, what an accomplishment!! They look SO cozy !
    So very happy for you :) The mittens are beautiful. How awesome to know that the creature you raised for food has served you so well even after it's primary role was complete, and that you have honoured it so respectfully. Very pleased to call you my friend. Truly :)

  2. I can't blame the ladies wanting these! They look wonderful. Please post a picture after the sno seal is applied too!

  3. Julie, thank you. I am pleased to call you friend, too. They feel very cozy and I look forward to trying them out. I certainly hope to honor all of the gifts I am given.

  4. Kristina, I can't say they are perfect, but it is a beginning. It's funny how it is not until we actually act that we truly begin to understand. I will post the picture after sealing.

  5. Portable Graffiti, thank you. It was so satisfying, to me, to create these mittens.

  6. Mmmmm....bunny want some too!

  7. Now, Rowan, the "bunny hands" are not to eat. I have made some modifications in my head for the next pair.

  8. I'm behind the times on comments, but these are fantastic. I have a set of rabbit fur earmuffs my great-grandfather made many decades ago. They are still in amazing condition and as we were traveling in WA during the recent snow & ice storm, I sure wished I'd thought to bring them with me. Definitely a beautiful but useful item that will surely serve more generations of my family when I am long gone, thanks to the love and time he put into them.
    I'll have to show this to my husband - he was asking what sort of things I would like him to make when we are Stateside again and he can be more hands-on with projects. "Bunny hands" (chuckle) are definitely topping the list!

  9. My crafting skill are still very new and, as such, are not the best. I already need to mend one of the seams. I am again astounded by the amount of learning that occurs by doing something as opposed to reading about it. I already have changes that I want to make on the next pair.


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