Traditional Latvian mittens
Explore traditional Latvian colourwork
hold an important place in Latvian culture and history, and Ieva Ozolina loves to use traditional techniques and symbols to create bright, modern designs. These colourful mittens feature the sun motif, which is the most commonly used in Latvian mittens, and represents the goddess of fertility. Ieva recommends using a 4ply pure wool, and we have suggested two yarns that would suit this project.
Using 2mm needles and yarn A, cast on 68 sts. Divide sts equally over 4 double-pointed needles, pm and join to work in the round, taking care not to twist sts. Knit 5 rounds. Eyelet round: (K2tog, yo) to end of round. Knit 5 rounds. Fold work at the eyelet round, bringing the cast-on edge up at the back of the needles to meet the working edge. Joining round: *Knit 1 st from the cast-on edge together with the next stitch; rep from * to end.
Work rounds 1-20 of Front Chart over needles 1 and 2, and Palm Chart over needles 3 and 4, bringing in yarn B where necessary. Round 21: *Work in pattern as set across next 34 sts, M1; rep from * once more. Cont in pattern as set without further shaping to Round 44. Right Mitten Round 45: Work Front Chart, knit the first 2 sts of Palm Chart, knit the next 15 sts onto waste yarn, work to end of Palm Chart. Left Mitten Round 45: Work Front Chart, knit the first 18 sts of Palm Chart, knit the next 15 sts onto waste yarn, work to end of Palm Chart. Both Mittens Continue to work both Charts as set over all sts and waste sts to Row 82, ignoring the thumb shaping. The thumb sts will be picked up from the waste yarn when the mitten is complete and worked in the pattern and shaping given. Round 83: K1B, SSKB, pattern to last 3 sts of front, K2togB, K1B, K1B, SSKB, pattern to last 3 sts of back, K2togB, K1B. Cont to follow Chart as set, shaping using colours as as est in Row 83 every row until 3 sts remain for each side. Round 99: (S2kpoB) twice. Fasten off.
Use one needle to pick up the sts directly above the waste yarn, picking up the right leg of each stitch and working from right to left. Use a second needle to pick up the sts directly below the waste yarn in exactly the same way. Pick up 1 stitch at each opposite ‘corner’ of the thumbhole between the lower and upper needles. Rearrange the stitches so that they are evenly distributed on 4 needles. 32 sts. Note the Chart is worked the same on both the back and the front of the thumb. Follow the chart for the mitten corresponding to the thumb you are making, working the picked-up corner sts on each side together with the st next to them on the first round. 30 sts. Work rows 46-62 of Thumb section of Chart without shaping. Round 63: *K1B, SSKB, patt to 3 sts before mrk, K2tog, K1B, rep from * once more. Rep round 63 until 10 sts remain. Round 69: *S2kpoB, K2togB; rep from * once more. Cut yarn and pull through rem sts. Turn the thumb inside out, pull the yarn tail through to the wrong side and secure. If there are holes at the base of the thumb, use the yarn tail there to tighten it up.