This was a long time coming… I started this in 2019 and i was determined to finish it in 2019…
I succeeded with more that 3 hours to spare on the 31st December 2019…
That’s right, up until eight o’clock in the evening on the New Year’s Eve i was in my cupboard studio knitting away the most challenging project up to date. I had told far too many people that it will be finished ‘this year’ (read: 2019) to then back off and prolong it even if for a day. Doubt anyone would’ve cared, also i could’ve lied, but i’d know so i had to finish it.
This came as a set and i ordered it, believe it or not, in the latter part of 2018. My plan was to wack them out over the festive period that year. It didn’t go to plan as it almost never does. I caught some nasty nasty cold that year, my festive holidays were spent in bed with high temperatures, sniffles and coughing up pieces of my lung. By the time i finally got round to casting on it was already January 5th.
I knew it would be a challenging project, but i didn’t quite fathom how time-consuming it will turn out to be. I had to learn a few things like folded over cuff with notches. Years ago, back in school, i actually already had learnt and done such detail, but, obviously all that had long left my head so a proper recap was in order. The fact that i had to work on 1.5 mm needles also had an impact on the overall working speed. Hiya Hiya Sharps – the sharpest needles i’ve ever stabbed myself with, repeatedly. The faster you try to move forwards the more stabbing is happening and they do pierce through the skin like there’s no tomorrow. Bleeding over a white mitten would not be advised.
By February one mitten was done and England happened to experience some out of the blue heatwaves. I didn’t see much point casting on the second mitten just in time for the summer so i left it be. The plan was to resume this grand project later in the year in time for the next cold season.
I was on track at first. Come November, the second mitten was already on it’s way, if not the trillion of my parallel projects, i might’ve been able to finish it then as well. With so many project on the go as well as the general festive end-of-year mayhem i left myself only a couple of days to finish the mitten. Oh, the hand cramps were unreal i tell y’all!
So, my thoughts overall – Love my Latvian mittens. The presentation of these sets are superb. Everything is thought through to the smallest detail – pattern drawing on the box, the right amount of yarn, clear chart and some written instructions. Be aware though -the yarn – it’s not merino. It’s stiff enough to begin with, quite coarse some could say, but once it had a bit of a soak, the wool changes and while still holding it’s shape well it becomes a lot softer, but i wouldn’t say it was ever harsh or itchy. To me this wool is exactly what i knew wool was since i was a child. My grandmother always knit all our socks, mittens and hats (trousers once) using this kind of wool. For a long time i didn’t know there were any other types of wool.
As for the pattern i chose – The main palm side pattern is memorable and after a while you know what you’re doing, top, however, not so much, without the chart i’d be lost. The chart itself is piece of art, it could be framed and put on a wall. Adding a thumb in the midst of colour work was a bit challenging for me but i managed somehow. Worst part was keeping the float tension same for both mittens. I regret to admit but i rushed my second mitten and because of that my floats got shorter, the gauge got tighter and my mitten got smaller. Not by a lot though… When i put them on i can feel the left mitten being more snug but with time and wear that will change i’m sure and unless you put both side to side and start comparing intensely, the diference is minor.
Happy it’s done though. I am eyeing the sock sets that are new in the shop, but maybe i will leave it for a bit before i start another intricate colour-work 🙂