Monday, January 24, 2011

How To Accessorize

Choppers: What the best-dressed woman (or man for that matter) in northern Minnesota wears in the winter time.

I mentioned choppers briefly in a previous post (or maybe it was just in the comment section) and some of you said you'd never heard of them.

Basically, they are large, leather (often deer hide) mittens. These of mine are relatively new, but as they age they become soft as buttah (!), formed to an individual's hands and are worn until they self-destruct . . . at which time you are forced into breaking in a new pair.

They are worn with an inner mitten or liner often made of felted wool.

They are large in size in comparison to other mittens for two reasons. You need that big, insulating wool mitten next to your hand and anything tight or restrictive would cause your hands to get cold really fast. The natural warmth from your hands creates a mini heated "room" inside that leather and wool covering.

Choppers are necessary for anyone doing any kind of work outside in the winter time up here where the temperature can hover around zero (and frequently quite a bit below) for many weeks at a time.

You do feel a bit fumble-fingered when wearing choppers because obviously you don't have the use of your fingers for any task. Sometimes even picking up pieces of firewood is a little clumsy with them on.

But the hand protection they afford is well worth any lack of dexterity. Back when we had our dairy goats with no auxiliary heat in the barn, there were times when I seriously considered trying to milk with my choppers on!

They really are a wardrobe necessity up here in the cold months, and I wouldn't want to have to go without them. Makes my hands hurt just to think about it.


Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

We have electric gloves that we use to ride motorcycles. If I could figure out how to strap a battery on my back you can bet I would wear those around.

You Can Call Me Jane said...

Do they sell body choppers? I know I'm going to sound like a wimp to many of you Northerners, but my house in VA is cold, cold, cold (53 in the kitchen) due to lack of insulation. Until we can do some weatherization, I'm thinking body choppers would be the way to go.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Hey, who cares what they look like so long as they work!??

And by the way, they are cute!!

Sue said...

I don't think they look bad at all!I've never seen any like that around these parts.....but will take a look for them.
And personally, I don't care how ugly something is--if it works, I use it! That was the best part of moving to Michigan--the women hear dress SMART, not stylish. Comfort is everything for me.

Erin said...

I keep promising hubby they will get softer but he just has to wear them! One of my friends out here laughed at my "chopper with the scraper" attached LOL! Fashion is highly overrated, gimme some fleece, ragg wool socks, beat up jeans and silk long johns any day over heels and blouses!

Erin said...

ThyHand, just saw your comment and it made me laugh, we're in VA now too and I just said to hubby that I think I am coming around to the whole "Snuggy" gimmick LOL!

Mama Pea said...

Jane - With your expertise at everything/anything, I can't believe you haven't figured out how to do that! ;o)

ThyHand - 53 degrees in your kitchen!? Now that is just TOO cold. You either need a wood cookstove or . . . or . . . or insulation like quick! I would be cooking with my choppers on in that temp! (Can't you just see me dicing onions?)

APG - I loves my choppers!

Sue - You don't have them in Michigan? What??? Whether we're attending church, a cultural event or shoveling snow here in the winter time, in regards to our dress the standard line is, "I am not trying to make a fashion statement." That kind of excuses all outfits.

Erin - Heels?? You actually own heels?

Sparkless said...

I have mittens that are very warm but those look way better. My mittens are lined with wool and are made of suede leather. You can't take the liner out which would be great cause then they would dry faster.

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Your suede ones undoubtedly look a lot classier than these choppers but the plain leather probably would hold up better for hard outside work. Being able to take the liners out is, of course, a plus, too.