Thursday, October 09, 2008
I'm honoured to count among my knitting a friends a lovely woman called Aija. She's attended a few of my classes. One day last winter, in the midst of our long, horrible, cold, nasty winter, she wore a pair of beautiful Latvian mittens. They are stunning, in black with allover fair-isle patterns in greens and blues. Being fair isle, they're lined and warm.
She told me of the long and wonderful traditions of Latvian mitten knitting. 4,500 pairs were knitted as gifts for all the attendees of the 2006 NATO summit.
Aija is from Latvia, and she visits every summer. She emailed me recently to tell me that she'd managed to find me a pair on her most recent -- very much out of season, the selection was small, but the pair she brought me are absolutely magnificent.
Handknitted with local wool in shades of soft greys, the patterning is very traditional, and beautifully done.
The details are wonderful, right down to little tails that were tied together.
But here's the thing that I love the most -- the thing that I couldn't stop talking about... the construction. They're the most practical mittens I've ever seen.
They have a a flip-top so that your fingers can be exposed when you need them, without having to remove the mitten....
And look at the length of the fingers! These are mittens for serious warmth.
But this is the best part of all...
a flip-top thumb! How wonderful is that?
Aija -- many, many thanks!