Knitted Mittens – Latvian Mittens


The kits have been started, but I am currently distracted by colour-work mittens. The cold weather is making mittens less of a fashion statement and more of a necessity and I am loving the wonderful thickness that colour-work gives.


Ok, so folk may have made this discovery a few thousand years ago, but I never really thought about it before and I am very impressed by the happy mix of pretty with functional. The ones I made earlier this year I made from a technical challenge angle (and the wave mittens were definitely a challenge to my attention span), but now I am all about the warmth.


At Ally Pally I treated myself to a Latvian mitten kit (to be given to Santa until Christmas). Ok, so the instructions are Google translate at its very “best”, but the yarn and chart make it still a good buy. Having never worked on 1.5mm needles before I have discovered a whole new world of pain, not in the fact that 1cm of knitting is almost 10 rows (although that is quite painful), but the kind of pain that needs a thimble. I am not a big fan of thimbles, as my child-size hands find them clumsy and a bit sweaty, but apparently I use my left index finger to push the needle back. I have never realised this before (I don’t really think about how I knit, I just knit) but I reflexively do this to the point that I fall over my fingers if I try to stop and do it differently. Pain first drew my attention to this (1.5mm is roughly the size of a darning needle) and even wearing a thimble I cannot knit them for too long before the jabbing of the needle and the tightness of the yarn make hurty hands.


I think you will agree that the pain is worth it, as already they look amazing but they will take an age to complete. Perhaps they will be ready for winter 2047? Here’s hoping!


While knitting on tiny needles create a jewel like charm, knitting on thicker needles/yarn has a charm of its own. Humble DK feels like rope after the delicate-less-than-4ply yarn and gloriously (it is knitting up a heck of a lot quicker)! For Christmas I wrote to Santa (also known as the Amazon wish-list) and popped a few Scandi-knit pattern books on there. Well, Santa was kind to me and I have been carefully reading and choosing motifs for my new mittens.


I decided to pair olive with dark green and make a pair of spring flower mittens. Going all of the way, I decided to do a proper palm chart (which will make a denser, harder wearing fabric) but wimped out of a complex thumb and opted for an after-thought one instead. I did briefly dabble in the idea of using left-over purple yarn to make the flower pretty, but after only five rows of tangled hell I decided that the two-tone mittens looked much better and frogged back.


One mitten down and it is looking good. It is still a bit of a wing and a prayer if I will get it all out of the two 50g balls (which is why I haven’t done the thumbs yet). The downside to having a long-term stash is that my chances of buying another ball in the correct dye lot on both colours is zero to nothing (the plus side is that I started these late in the evening after a quick rummage). Still, all being well I should have enough yarn to do a stranded thumb. Plan B is an alternative row stripe thumb. Plan OMG (if I run out of yarn for thumbs) is to unravel some of the cuffs and see what I can do. Absolutely Plan Z (if there isn’t enough yarn for the main mitten) is to unravel both cuffs and knit them in a contrast colour and then knit the thumbs to match.


And people say knitting isn’t an adrenaline kicker….



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Twisted Yarn
    Jan 28, 2015 @ 20:30:07

    I love, love, love those olive and dark green mitts, in particular. Beautiful work. 🙂


  2. LouBug
    Jan 29, 2015 @ 20:17:53

    Thank you! Worryingly the palm pattern matches our pub’s carpet…


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