New Year’s Resolution

My new year’s resolution is to get my summer 2003 vacation project done.

latvian mittens

Hey, that was easy. Here it is.

I’ve noticed that my knitting tension relaxed while working on the second mitten. Next time that I make a pair of mittens or socks, I’ll knit both at the same time to avoid this problem.

Latvian Thumbhole & Half Hitch Cast On

mitten_thumbhole.jpgI’ve been diligently working on the left mitten and arrived at the point where the thumbhole should be. The round starts on the left side of the palm so the thumbhole is created while working on the last half of the stitches on the first needle (I’m using two circulars instead of double point needles).

thumb_cast_on.jpgOn the first needle I knitted the first 25 stitches according to the chart (25% of the stitches on this needle minus plus 1). I then started the top of the hole by using a loop cast on to add 22 new stitches while still following the chart. Lizbeth Upitis calls this cast on a half hitch but I found a good illustration from Wonderful Things , which refers to it as a single cast on . After casting on the new stitches, I put the bottom 22 stitches on hold using a strand of cotton yarn. The remaining stitch is knit onto the left needle. Now I can continue knitting the mitten and save the thumb for later.

Graph 53

Lizbeth Upitis: Latvian Mittens: Traditional Designs & Techniques
Pattern: Latvian Mittens by Lizbeth Upitis (graph 53)

Yarn: Satakieli from Wooly West

Needle: 2mm (two circular needles)

The second mitten is much easier then the first now that I’ve got the tension figured out. I started out picking up each color with the same hand but that made the mitten too large. Once I got to the main design I switched to the two handed approach with one color in each hand. This seems to produce a little tighter gauge and helps the project knit up faster.



I started sewing the side and underarm seams on the Phildar cardigan but got stuck. It’s a about an inch or two bigger than I would have liked. I’m trying to think of what I can do to make it smaller. I’ll start with making the seam allowance a little bigger and see how that works.

Le Chat Méchant


My vacation project is still lingering around despite being attacked by le chat méchant. Pictures usually get taken outside so that we don’t get into a brawl. Actually he’s pretty good about the knitting. It appears to be one of his favorite hobbies since he gets the leftover yarn.

This mitten design is from a book called Latvian Mittens by Lizbeth Upitis. It is one of the charts that doesn’t have instructions so, I just refer to the other samplers that do have instructions. Hopefully I can get around to finishing the mate. When I announced in a knitting class that this would be my next project the teacher mentioned that she knows many knitters who have only one such mitten. Therefore, I’m determined to get this one done (but the Phildar cardigan will get done first). I ripped the first mitten two times before getting the right fit. Once I did get the right fit, I noticed that the design wasn’t going to be properly centered. I should have adjusted the chart but I just couldn’t bring myself to rip it out one more time.

Latvians do a long tail cast-on with two strands instead of folding one strand. What a great idea. This eliminates the need to calculate or guess how long a tail should be.

I’m almost ready to start casting on the sleeves for the Phildar cardigan.