on 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.
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.