bleeps & bloops

I’ve become obsessed with knitting mittens
April 24, 2011, 5:20 pm
Filed under: Art | Tags: , ,

I have decided to revive this blog. Obviously a lot has happened since my last post. I stopped making mixes after my external sound card was stolen off of a train going from Copenhagen to Stockholm, along with lots of other gear. I saw that as a sign from above, or something. To move on, to explore other avenues of expression.

I’ve been making a lot of cool crafty stuff this past winter and spring and I’ve been feeling the need for an outlet to show it off to the world. I go through that sometimes. Hibernating, making, exploring, then expelling whatever I made out into the universe.

Among other things, including miniature glass vessels and silversmithing (blog posts on these will soon follow!), I’ve been getting into knitting stranded colorwork mittens. This is my first pair. I haven’t really knitted before. I made a hat once with some coarse homespun wool. Before that I crocheted without patterns and made simple hats. I’m pretty stoked with how these turned out, and how simple they were to make really. Their complex appearance–defying their simple construction techniques–perhaps defines the magic of folk art?

I’m not sure what came over me, but I’ve gotten obsessed with these super intricate patterned mittens. It started with a ceramic lidded jar I found in the trash in my building, covered in what I later learned to be a Norwegian Selbu (rose) pattern. I loved the pattern and wanted to research what it was. Thus began a Google journey which took me to semi-traditional Selbu mittens on this blog. They looked so complicated and difficult yet miniature, perfectly controlled, vibrant and fun. Just the thing for winter couch times.

The more I looked around at other patterns (I gave in and joined… it’s like crack, beware), the more excited I became. I have fallen in love with the patterns of Latvia, Estonia, indigenous Russia and the Middle East. These first mittens of mine were based on a pattern created by a Finnish knitter, Tuulia Salmela, who adapted it from Egyptian stockings documented in Richard Ruttin’s History of Hand-Knitting. Supposedly aspects of this pattern date from 1200 and 1500A.D.

I loved the idea of carrying on a tradition of handmade clothing that goes back a thousand years.

I believe my next pair will be patterned from traditional Latvian figures.