Project #1 is done! I knit the mittens in two color schemes: the pink & black version was knit with Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport yarn and the blue & brown version was knit with Rowan Felted Tweed. Needles used were US #5 for the pink version and #4 for the blue version.
My first thought was to convert the pattern to knit in the round, but I was quite pleased with the original instructions, which were knit flat and seamed. It made a nicely fitting mitten with the thumb in just the right place.
This is a very stretchy mitten, so will easily fit a wide range of hand sizes. You may wish to adjust the number of rows in the mittens to suit the hand size of the wearer; our model has medium size hands. The thumb was a tad long for her, it would be perfect with perhaps 4 rows of main color rather than the 8 rows specified in the pattern.
Free "updated" instructions for knitting this circa 1888 pattern can be found here