Friday, December 03, 2004

I have become obsessed with the Baltics. I blame this on unresolved vacation issues. In our original plan, we were going to go to the Baltic States rather than Scandanavia. When we changed our minds we were still going to duck over to Estonia. If you read the vacation days, you know this never happened. As a result, I am left with a deep longing to connect to that portion of the world at least by knitting. Eent though I have millions of Christmas projects to knit, my minds is wandering to Estonian socks and Latvian mittens. My mom gave me the excuse I was looking for when the only suggestion she had about the aunt whose name I have for Christmas was that “she loves anything anyone makes for her” Lame cop-out, but the opening I needed to go buy Nancy Bush’s “Folk knitting in Estonia.”

This is one of the coolest books ever. Everytime I look through it I find something else I want to knit. I find the shapes of the socks especially intriguing. I can’t wait to make the socks on the cover, even in the exact same colors. For now I have started on Maimu’s Mittens for Chris. I know it seems crazy to agree to intrinsic color work on such short notice, especially considering the trouble I‘ve had with The Gloves. I’m justifying it like this: 1)these are mittens, not gloves, and so are easier, 2) the pattern is much simpler, 3) I have Yarn Harlot’s word that there are no errors in the book, which has been the biggest problem with The Gloves.

I chose these mittens because they have the most new, specifically Estonian techniques. It is so exciting how many new cast ons, decreases, etc are in this book! I have already learned the Double Start Cast On, the braid, and the nupp stitch. I love them all. The braids take absolutely forever, but are not that hard. I think it might look nice to switch to larger needles for the braid row, but for now I do as I am told (pick your jaws up off the floor, please). I’m even using the recommended yarn (though in colors Mark picked). It is a really good deal! $9 for 350 yards! It is even a bit less scratchy and sticky than Jaimison 2 Ply. I would never have found it on my own, though, because Weaving Works has hidden it way back in the weaving section. I don’t go back there for fear of catching the spinning bug. I can’t afford the time.


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