Who knew mittens could be so complicated? As luck would have it, we have a Russian pattern maker in our midst who knows plenty about mitten making. Tatiana writes:
Please accept my entry into your contest. In the attached file there is a rough drawing of the pattern used in mitten production (so it is not my invention. I’m Russian so I do know a few things about mittens). Sorry, but my Excel drawing skills are rather inferior, but idea, I think, is clear. If mittens are made from fabric and the like, it is usually a two-piece pattern, if they are made from fur (or something similar, where economical layout is an issue) the top detail can be divided in two (cut along dashed line) and it will become 3-piece pattern.
Tatiana’s draft is meant as an illustration, not final copy but I think you can readily see the engineering of the mitten with her illustration and scale it to size accordingly. You can also finesse it from this starting point if you’d prefer a stand alone thumb or a gusseted thumb. The whole point of the exercise is to get you to experiment. It is rare to get a perfect sample on your first try so why not take the first step? So get cracking, I’ll be sad if I’m the only person to enter my own contest. It’s a fine line to figure out something challenging yet simple for contest projects. There are no rules here so have fun. If you happen to win the contest but already have a book, you can give it to a friend for the holidays or donate it to a library or school.