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Latvian Mittens: Traditional Designs and Techniques [Paperback]

Lisbeth Upitis
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Latvian Mittens: Traditional Designs and Techniques + Mostly Mittens: Ethnic Knitting Designs from Russia
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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Dos Tejedoras Fiber Arts Publications,U.S. (May 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0932394043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932394040
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 21.1 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,925,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book by Upitis Lizbeth

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisit pattern & colour 2 April 2009
A feast of colour, pattern and information makes a seasoned knitter want to reach for the yarn, needles and create masterpiece mittens. The colour section, like the cover, is breathtaking and there is a wide range of patterns to try out.

The history of Latvian Mittens is also fascinating to anyone who is interested in the background of knitting from other cultures.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely surprise 14 Nov 2009
By Z. Herbert VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book in error, late one night when I thought it was something else. What happy mistake! Presented in Latvian and in English, the author gives much information about the social significance of mittens in Latvian farming communities and speaks with affection of how the tradition has been carried across to America by the emigrants.

Punctuated with with charming songs and riddles, the book enchanted me. It took me some time to arrive at the knitting bit. There are graphs and patterns for many different mittens, each documented from its particular area and photographed in colour. The knitting techniques are interesting in their difference from British techniques and there is much to try out and to learn.

If you like adaptation, there are enough patterns in this book to make a hundred sweaters; indeed, I have used one of the patterns for that very purpose and it was great fun, too.

This gem of a book is worthy of a place on every textile-lover's bookshelf. First-rate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Latvian mittens 10 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I fell across this book and liked the look of the patterns on the front and took a gamble. It is fantastic. One of the best knitting books I have ever bought. I love the history. I love the patterns. Just everything.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Latvian Mittens 3 Nov 2006
By JSB - Published on Amazon.com
I just received this book in the mail. I love it. It has a great overview of the history and importance of handknit mittens in Latvian history. It also includes several Latvian poems about mitten knitting, which I thought was fantastic.

There are several full length patterns in the book that explain the different techniques used to create the mittens in the book, but then there are many, many more charts in the back of the book, as well as color photographs of finished mittens corresponding to the charts. I don't think this is a great book if you are a very beginning knitter, but I do think that if you've learned how to knit, purl, increase and decrease and done a stranded color project, you should do fine with this book. As another reviewer said, you have to piece together the techniques from other sections of the book to make any of the charts in the back, but really, it's not that hard, and the instructions are clear.

My only criticism of the book is that the charts themselves are in black and white and a little crowded together. Otherwise, I found this book to be well worth the money I spent, and I plan to make lots of the mittens found in it, as well as probably mixing and matching to make my own, unique, mittens.
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ethnic knitting and inspiration for your designs 14 Feb 2001
By Joanna Daneman - Published on Amazon.com
Elizabeth Upitis has included many models of Latvian mittens from the various regions of the Baltic state. Mittens play an important part in courtship and marriage rituals in Latvian culture. The patterns are rich and decorative, with edgings of fringe or scallops and small patterns reminiscent of Fair Isle knitting.
Even though you probably won't want to make as many mittens as a Latvian bride should need for her dowry, you will be inspired by the variety. The patterns, colorways and edgings are quite useful for adapting to other knitting designs like sweaters, hats and vests.
All my grandparents came from Latvia, and I wish they'd been able to bring some of these wonderful folk handworks with them when they came to America. I would have loved to have seen some from the old country. The author has done a great job in documenting the patterns and the lore behind them.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book! 24 Aug 2006
By L. Breyer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a fabulous treasury of traditional patterns with its colorful pictures. All techniques are covered in detail with drawn illustrations. This is, however, by no means a pattern book for a beginner. To construct a certain mitten, the techniques and patterns must be picked out from different parts of the book and put together. On the practical side, the binding of the book could be better; mine is already falling apart and loosing pages after a couple of weeks of use. Nevertheless, I'm very satisfied with the purchase, and will make many of the mittens in this book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book! 18 Jun 2009
By Christi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just recently learned how rewarding it is to make mittens, and this was the first book that I bought to fuel my obsession. The charts are clear, and there are so many wonderful photographs that it reminds me of an art book. Usually, I am not a fan of reading the history behind things (yeah, that makes me a little shallow but there you go) but the author of this book did such a wonderful job of briefly describing what I can only assume is a rich history behind the role that mittens play in the culture of Latvia.

Although I would be hesitant to say this is a wonderful beginner's book, I consider myself a beginner at not only mittens but fair isle/color work and this book has proved to be an invaluable reference since she takes the time to write out directions for some of the mittens (so you don't have to rely specifically on the graphs).

Lastly, I have learned many new techniques and feel as though this book has not only helped my "mitten making" but has increased my skill as a knitter.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Latvian Mittens for the experienced knitter 25 Nov 2008
By Simone Rauxloh - Published on Amazon.com
This is not an expensive coffee table production that will impress with it's arty photography. This paperback impresses with the excellent research of patterns and their cultural traditions. Colour photographs give a good idea of possible colour combinations. The designs are presented in form of graphs rather than written description, which makes the following of a pattern totally easy. It is a very good and comprehensive collection of the mittens of Latvia.
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