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92-year-old woman spreading comfort one mitten at a time

Lydia Kessler
Lydia Kessler(WVIR)
Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 3:51 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Lydia Kessler, a 92-year-old Charlottesville woman, has been making fingerless gloves for years.

“It’s very much like someone holding your hand, like a mother holding a child’s hand. There’s a comfort to not having cold hands,” Kessler said.

In 2014, Kessler began making fingerless gloves for fun out of cashmere and wool from thrift stores.

“It came to me that I could name the stitches. The over stitch is the ‘I care’ stitch. The button hole, thumb hole, is the ‘love circle,’” Kessler said.

Kessler’s mitts are called “Luv Mitts,” named after her son who passed away.

“The biggest lesson that I have learned is to become thankful for all of the blessings,” Kessler said.

So far, Kessler says she has made more than 5,000 pairs of Luv Mitts. She gives them out for free.

“As soon as I started to give them away, they gave back to me so much because it was such a thrill to surprise someone,” Kessler said. “I like to give them to the Ronald McDonald House, the Yellow Door, and some other charities.”

Kessler also gives mitts out to people who are homeless.

“One day, there were two men sitting on the ground near the Paramount Theater and they were singing a hymn and they looked as if they were homeless and I only had one pair to give. I put one on each of their hands and that was a rewarding moment,” Kessler said.

Kessler says people in more than 25 countries have a pair of her handcrafted Luv Mitts. She says she’ll keep doing this for as long as she can.

“My hands are still good, and I have the ability to do what I can,” Kessler said. “If someone has an urgency in their family, or if they have somebody ill, sometimes I’ll send mitts instead of flowers.”

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