These mittens are special to me. Do they look familiar? Take a look at Jan Brett's richly illustrated children's book The Mitten. (The Mitten by Jan Brett) As you can see Nicki's snow-white mitten looks a lot the same, but mine although handmade as well made out of (what used to be) snow-white wool, have some dissimilarities.
The little braided strip and the bright wool colors crisscrossed around it are typically Scandinavian. I have had these mittens since the '80's and they are always the warmest ones that I slip my hands into gratefully on rugged snowy days. I love my mittens because they are a memory of home. Warm ones.
But now, thanks to this blog I've even learned the history of them. They were created by a woman named Erika in the village of Lovvika in 1892. There is a special technique to making them, and the braid was there so you could hang them up by the fire to dry. See this entry (in Swedish) if you don't believe me: http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovikkavante .
So there you go, you learn something new every day. I like to do that, hope you do too. Now, off to play in the snow!