A Pair of 1838 Knitted Muffatees

A Pair of 1838 Knitted Muffatees

In the middle of 2020 we made the decision to move our small family back to Illinois to be closer to family during the pandemic. We were thrilled to find this old farmhouse in the countryside built about 1903. The summer and fall were splendid as we got to know our knew home. I baked an apple pie using the apples from our apple tree to celebrate the autumn equinox and made a jar of blackberry jam using the berries I harvested from our blackberry bushes. And now winter has settled in and we are experiencing our first bout of cold weather in our new home.

We have learned quickly that our windows are a bit drafty and certain rooms are a bit colder than the others, depending upon which side of the house the wind is blowing on. In our small family, it appears that I am the only one who gets cold rather easily; our daughter is as warm blooded as her papa! Having a cooler house during the winter doesn’t bother me too much because I can put all of my knitted goodies to good use during this time of the year. However, my hands and my fingers tend to freeze, even when the rest of me is bundled up! To help keep my hands warm while I go about my daily tasks, I’ve decided to knit up a pair of muffatees.

Muffatees is a tube of fabric sewn up the side with a hole left open for your thumb. This can be made of warm cloth or it can be easily knit up. After browsing the interwebs, I was eventually led to The Workwoman’s Guide by A Lady for a pattern to make a pair of muffatees. This manual, first published in 1838, contains “Instructions to the inexperienced in cutting out and completing those articles of wearing apparel, &c., which are usually made at home; also, explanations on upholstery, straw-platting, bonnet-making, knitting, &c.” In it I was able to find several different patterns for knitting a pair of muffatees.

Below I will include an image of the original instructions and my interpretation of the pattern to suit my needs. This pattern is great for any beginner knitters and I will provide optional pattern designs too.

Frontpiece of A Workwoman’s Guide by A Lady

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