Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Second Book

about Estonian mittens that I ordered is Estonian Mittens Around the World, by Aino Praakli.

This one is in both Estonian and English, and contains over 150 mittens knit from historic examples. For each mitten there is a photo and graph of the pattern used on the hand, along with notes about the provenance of the original. Some include working notes (how many stitches to cast on, how many increases between cuff and hand.) There are a few charts for some of the cuffs (lacy chevron, diagonal rib) as well as directions for "woven" (entrelac) cuff.

Again, this is a wonderfully rich design resource. I started marking pages of patterns I wanted to try, and finally gave up because I was marking almost every page. So I just cast on.

The mitten in progress uses one of the more simple hand patterns (not the page shown open in the book), with a "fishbone" cuff pattern taken from a different mitten altogether.

You may wonder why I worked the thumb before finishing the hand. Well, as I got toward the top of the hand, I realized that I was knitting more tightly than I had on my gauge swatch. I was afraid that the thumb opening would be too tight, so I knit the thumb to be able to try it on before proceeding. I also knit it in only one yarn, so that it would have a bit more stretch and wouldn't require quite as much ease as it would have if it had been done in stranded knitting. (Fortunately, it fits.)

I also used the thumb to practice the top decreases. I found the directions in this book hard to understand, so I used Nancy Bush's instructions for a "one wick decrease." I think this is the same as Praakli's "one stitch decrease", or at least very, very similar.

1 comment:

YarnThrower said...

Your mitten looks great so far! I'm finding my Heilo mittens to be a bit fiddly, though am thankful that mittens are relatively "small" and I know exactly how many rows I have to knit because the chart has everything laid out for me. On the other hand, the fit (especially with the placement of the peasant thumb) is anything but "custom," and probably more like "awkward." Do you have thoughts about that with the mitten you are making?