Lithuanian Love

Inspired by having 4 ounces of beautiful roving that needs a project, the changing season, the latest Knit Picks catalogue, and the YarnHarlot’s search for the perfect pair of mittens, I am planning on knitting mittens myself.

As of last week, I had settled on Hansa, but as much as those need to be mine (and they still really do), I want a motif that lets me focus more on the blue/gun metal colors of the roving, with the pewter gray color I plan to use being more of an accent. I feel like Hansa is too perfectly divided between the two colors.

I found the Squirrelly Swedish Mittens, which would allow me to really show off the changing colors of the blue handspun, and be a nod to “Kim, step away from the squirrel food!” but I was hoping to knit something a little more traditional looking. It does have the advantage of being in English, at least, and it comes with full instructions on how to do things like knit the thumb, which will be important to me, at least this once.

Today, though, I have fallen in love with Kiehkuralapaset, or the Swirly Mittens. They are absolutely beautiful, have more of the traditional Baltic look I am after, and I think they would show off the blue yarn very well. But…there is a chart; no pattern per say, and no assist on the thumb.

I have managed Finnish-only charts before; in fact, this one has more English that the Finnish Socks I did earlier this year, but I had done socks before and had more of a clue what I was getting into.

The last pair I am considering now are Ruba’iyat. This might be the perfect pair. They have the “look” I want, the colors will show well, they aren’t in a foreign language that I read not a word of, and have complete instructions on how to work a thumb.

I don’t know how to choose, but I am leaning more towards Ruba’iyat. I want something with a strong Scandinavian/Baltic influence. In doing some very brief research on Lithuanian knitting (because there is SO much information out there…ha!), I learned that Lithuanian patterns strongly influenced by Scandinavian, Latvian, and Turkish motifs, simply because the borders in the Baltic region have shifted around so very much in the past century or two.

Why Lithuanian? It’s my heritage. At least, the largest part of my heritage. Like any American, I am a strong European blend, but my Nana’s family came over in her generation. My great-grandmother never spoke English. I identify strongly with my Nana and her heritage, and she would have turned 95 this coming November 8th. It all tied in nicely to me; beautiful motifs, combined with beautiful and useful handknits appropriate for the season, the season in which my Nana celebrated her birthday with me celebrating my own birthday only two months later, in the coldest part of the year, and the heritage and history of where I came from all combined into, well, mittens.

All this, just to avoid knitting those stupid beer socks that are overdue for my poor, beleaguered (and sockless) husband.


2 responses to this post.

  1. too bad there isn’t a translation on Ravelry!! Altho those beer socks are awfully intriguing.


  2. Research? Does that mean you found more than the two pages *I* was able to come up with? Envy…


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