Židinys: Hearth Mittens by Donna Druchunas
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Židinys: Hearth Mittens

May 2015
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
32 stitches and 33 rows = 4 inches
in stranded colorwork
US 2 - 2.75 mm
US 3 - 3.25 mm
400 yards (366 m)
83⁄4" (22.5 cm) palm circumference

Handwoven fabrics, knitted socks and gloves, natural dyes, handspun yarns, dec- orative carpets, colorful wall-hangings, lithographs, and paintings: these comprise the legacy of Anatstazija and Antanas Tamošaitis. Sometimes called the matriarch and patriarch of Lithuanian textiles or champions of the cause of Lithuanian folk art, the couple spent their lives studying and reproducing traditional clothing as well as creating contemporary tapestries and paintings.

Although rarely mentioned, both partners wrote books about knitting in the 1930s. Reserved for making socks, gloves, mittens, and other small items in Lithuania, knitting is usually overlooked in a discussion of National Costume, with the focus being placed on larger items of clothing. The Tamošaitis family collected and doc- umented colorwork and lace motifs from regions around Lithuania, and Anastazija wrote instructions for knitting a variety of accessories using traditional motifs and colors. These mittens are made with a geometrical pattern from Antanas’s book of charted knitting patterns. The techniques of most of the projects in this book were included in Anastazija’s book of knitting techniques.

Anastazija passed away in 1991 in Canada, and in 2000 Antanas returned to Vilnius where he founded the Anastazija and Antanas Tamošaitis Gallery Židinys (Hearth), and donated the couple’s collection of folk art, original creations, and books to the gallery. Today, the gallery is run by the Vilnius Academy of Arts.