About learning, there is one thing to say: it isn't easy. It is always difficult for fingers to learn to do something new. On the other hand, when they do,they learn it. They never forget it, unlike the mind which learns easily and forgets quickly.... What is needed is patience, perseverance, and kindness. Talk to your fingers as you would to a dog you were trying to train..... They'll catch on and you'll be delighted. Anna Zilboorg, Magnificent Mittens
I've been talking to my fingers on this swatch:
Please note that I did manage to complete a twisted purl (aka Latvian) braid at the bottom edge, with the colors of the second row twisting in the opposite direction to the first. It was slow going, and the tension is a bit loose. I am definitely still at the talking to, or muttering at, my fingers stage. I should probably do a swatch that is just braid after braid after braid.
The bit of corrugated ribbing above that is just playing with color. My fingers can manage corrugated ribbing without coaching.
The color pattern section was for trying out how best to work with 3 colors in one row (4 out of the 10 rounds have 3 colors). First I tried holding 2 in my left hand and 1 in my right. Then I tried carrying 1 with my left and alternating 2 with my right, picking up and dropping the least used color as needed. Both felt awkward as all get out, but I think I am favoring the latter. Again, more practice and talking to fingers needed.
The color pattern comes from this photo
It's from a pdf file I found while Googling for images of Latvian mittens. The file contains lots and lots of photos, and appears to be a booklet or book related to the thousands of mittens that were knit for the 2006 NATO summit held in Latvia. I wish I could read the text.
There are no charts for the mittens shown, but the photo is clear enough that I could create one, so here it is.
The basic repeat unit-outlined in black, is 8 sts and 10 row or rnds. Obviously, the mittens in the inspiration photo are worked at a much finer gauge than my swatch.