Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wrist warmers - a brief history

Wrist warmers

During the first half of the 19th century, known as the Empire, knitting with pearls mounted on yarn was a European fashion. The wrist warmers were meant to keep you warm during cold days. They could also be beautifully decorated and worn as part of a dress on formal occasions.
In Scandinavia, wrist warmers became a part of the Folk costume and were worn by women as well as men in different patterns. 
  You may use your wrist warmers on chilly days, such as
when driving your car or just around the house. You can also wear them under or on top of your gloves, or even when just being indoors.
Wrist Warmers may create a new look to your sweater or coat.
Friends with aching joints have found them soothing and comfortable.   They are now coming back as a fashion accessory since they allow layering and a bit of frill if you so desire.

At one time most Maine mittens were knit without ribbed cuffs, or without any attached cuff at all.  The cuff was separate (called a wrister) an stayed on even when a man had to take off his mittens to do adjustments on a bit of harness or tool.   

Wristers have also been called "pulse warmers," half mitts," half handers," and "fingerless gloves, " which pretty much sums up their function and shape.

Wristers are still used by Maine coastal fishermen.  Even fishermen who have gone over to insulated rubber gloves often still use wristers underneath to protect their wrists from chafing by the edges of their frozen oilskin jackets.

Wristers are useful under loose, cuff-less mittens for any outdoor occupation requiring occasional fine work; such as delivering mail or newspapers, working on cars, horseback riding, or as mentioned above, in an indoor environment that might be cooler than what is comfortable for your fingers.

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