Amber on my Mind by Donna Druchunas
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Amber on my Mind

Knitting
April 2015
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
29.6 stitches and 60 rows = 4 inches
in Honeycomb Stitch
US 2 - 2.75 mm
US 3 - 3.25 mm
400 yards (366 m)
9" (23 cm) palm circumference

I can’t think of the Baltic countries without thinking about amber. When my great grandmother came to the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century, she brought with her two strands of golden pearls strung on silk with fourteen karat gold clasps. The pearls were made out of amber, most likely taken from the coast of the Baltic Sea. Their rich, butterscotch color is not found in today’s jewelry, because amber is clarified by heating it in oil to fill any air pockets in the sap and create a transparent jewel; older amber beads were not treated this way and have a denser, opaque glow that I find beautiful and evocative.

These gloves are knit in a honeycomb stitch. Worked in shades of gold and orange, the finished result reminds me of the amber shops strung along Pilies gatvė (Castle Street) and scattered throughout Vilnius Old Town. Scrappy strings of leftover chips of amber are sold by street vendors, affordable mass-produced jewelry fill the shelves of souvenir shops, and hand-crafted jewelry can be found in a few high-end shops tucked into corners of the windy medieval streets.