"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


I Can Knit Like A Latvian

I think it was 4 years ago (?) I decided I wanted to learn how to knit those fancy Latvian/Norwegian style fairisle mittens that are done with fingering weight yarn and small knitting needles that look so incredibly fabulous in pictures. I'd acquired a few books about them over the years. In November 2014 I started with the Warm Hearted mittens, but it didn't take very long for me to figure out they were a little over my head and I needed to start with something easier. So I put them in hibernation until further notice.

Then life got in the way and I put the whole idea on the back burner. Last year the idea came back, and if you will recall, I decided to do a pair of children sized mittens for my first project. I took them on the Star Trek cruise with me and worked on them pretty faithfully until done.

More time went by and then around May I joined the Knit Like a Latvian group on Ravelry and was inspired to get back to the Warm Hearted mittens.

I ripped out what I'd already done before hibernation and started over. They were a HUGE challenge for me, but I got help from folks in the group, my books, plus Google videos and articles. Eventually, I figured out the proper way to knit them. I am so excited because I've finished them!

PatternWarm-Hearted Mittens by Yvette Noel

Size: Womens Medium

Yarn: Knitivity Knitterman's Fingering Blog Reader Special
Content: 100% Superwash Wool
Color: Variegated fuschia, violet, white, and brown

Yarn: Cascade Yarns® Heritage
Content: 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Color: White

Needles: Circular size 1

Started: May 30, 2018
Finished: September 8, 2018

Comments: I learned a lot of new things making these. Some of them have improved my knitting overall. I have to say the second mitten went way faster than the first one. I would not say they are good for a first time fairisle mitten project, but good for learning the more advanced techniques needed to make them. 

Mittens in the style of the Balkan Islands (Latvia being one of them) usually have one stitch pattern for the back, one for the palm, at least one for the cuff (sometimes more), and one for the thumbs. In the case of these mittens all the stitch patterns are fairly complicated. I knit them exactly as written. The instructions are fairly well written. Better than a lot I've looked at.

This is the back of the mittens.

Here is a close up of the back stitch pattern.

This is the palm side. I love this stitch pattern.

A close up of the palm stitch pattern.

Close up of the cuff stitch pattern.

This particular cuff includes 2 Latvian braids, which I found very easy and fun to make.

This is the back side of the thumb.

This is the inside of the thumb. One of the interesting things about these style of mittens is they have stripes on the sides. This hides the jog one normally gets when knitting stranded patterns in the round. You can see that in this thumb. The round started with the center column of colored stitches.

I am quite happy with them, but not happy enough to be entering them in the fair. They will get hauled around for a bit in my knitting bag to show them off to all my friends, and then go to KnitWits.

It's time to start my Christmas knitting. I've decided on socks for the son-in-law. I think I'm going to see what's available in Latvian sock patterns.

Live long and prosper. \\//

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