Mitten Traditions by Donna Druchunas
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Mitten Traditions

Knitting
September 2016
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
30 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches
in Stranded Colorwork
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
400 yards (366 m)
8" (20cm) circumference

The Symbols: Folklore and spirituality, or religion, have been tied tightly to the symbols found in folk art in Lithuania and the Baltics since the Neolithic period, and these same symbols appear frequently in weaving, embroidery, and knitting. In the 1930s book Sodžiaus menas. kn. 5: Mezgimo-nėrimo raštai (Country Arts #5: Knitting Patterns), Antanas Tamošaitis wrote that the most powerful spiritual and cultural symbols of a culture are the mother tongue, folklore, and folk art. These elements, he claimed, embody the Lithuanian people’s essence, because it is with these symbols that each group of people expresses its uniqueness. Over time, folk-art creations come to life and tell us about the spirit of the people who created them. Although people pass away and cultures change, folk art and folklore are national treasures that live on through the ages.

The Stitches: To adjust size, CO the desired number of sts based on your gauge and desired circumference. This pattern is written for 60 sts. If you are working an all-over pattern around the entire hand, you can CO a few more or a few less and adjust the size for your pattern repeat by changing the needle size. Or, you can center one pattern on the back of the hand and another pattern on the palm. In many books from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, the author advises that it is more important to get a proper fit than to have a full repeat of the pattern at the end of the round. It is perfectly acceptable to have a visible “seam” at the outside edge of the hand where the round ends if the pattern doesn’t match up. If you adjust the number of stitches in the hand, the thumb opening should be made using one fifth of the total number.