Chestertown, Warren County
Buff Mitten Knitter
(1918-2011)

If you were passing through Chestertown on a Thursday afternoon years ago, you could stop at Annis Holmes’ yarn shop to join the knitting circle that met there every week. Visiting was certainly part of the attraction, but getting Annis’s expert help with a project was even more incentive, as local knitters had done for over 50 years. In addition to mentoring countless knitters over the years, Annis was one of a very few knitters who continued to make buff mittens. These carpet-like double-knit mittens were once used exclusively in the Adirondacks to keep men’s hands protected from winter cold when they worked in the woods. Frustrated that the traditional technique often raveled, Annis developed a stitch that won’t come undone and published a book of buff knitting patterns. Another of Annis’s specialties was creating original patterns for sweaters from photographs of subjects as diverse as camper trailers and family pets. It was rare for Annis not to be knitting or thinking about it. “Just like a cat,” she said, “give me yarn and I’m happy.”

  • Award Year 2007
  • Categories Farm & Home
  • Region Adirondacks, Chestertown, Warren County