Little Lithuania by Donna Druchunas
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Little Lithuania

Knitting
April 2015
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
36 stitches and 40 rows = 4 inches
in stranded colorwork
US 0 - 2.0 mm
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
400 yards (366 m)
8" (20.5 cm) palm circumference 10" (25.5 cm) hand length from bottom of cuff to tip

The region on the western seacoast of Lithuania is called Mažoji Lietuva. Often translated as Lithuania Minor, I feel that it is more accurately described as Little Lithuania, in the same way that the Italian region in New York City is known as Little Italy. Historically part of East Prussia with a strong German influence in its history and background, portions of the region are now within the political bound- aries of Poland and Russia’s Kaliningrad district.

Little Lithuana was very important in the development of the twentieth century Lithuanian national movement. During the period when printing books in the Latin alphabet was prohibited by Russia, many books were printed in East Prus- sia and smuggled into Lithuania. The most recognizable part of this region is the Baltic Sea Coast and the Curonian spit, a thin peninsula of sand dunes and pine forests that extends into the sea. For beach tourists, Palanga is the place to go for a Coney-Island experience and party atmosphere, and Nida, to the south, is the quiet destination of choice for nature lovers. The knitting in this region was espe- cially rich and detailed, with large and small patterns and colorful striped cuffs on gloves and mittens. Some gloves were also made using Bosnian slip-stitch crochet.

The style of motif on these gloves was quite common in the region, and I’ve seen examples in several books as well as in museum collections. The motif is almost always worked in natural or white on a dark background.