söndag 27 november 2011

Knitting traditions in Dalecarlia

I am back after five very intense days studying local traditions in twined knitting in Dalecarlia. Karin Kahnlund was, as always, a very inspiring teacher and Sätergläntan always offers nice companions, good food and quiet surroundings.

We studied traditions from Rättvik, Floda, Gagnef, Mora and Leksand. As always I get so impressed when I get a chance to study knitted items from the 19th century. The skill of the spinners and knitters is simply amazing. The yarn the used is so thin, most of the mittens that we saw had a stitch count of 50-60 stitches per 10 cm (12½-15 stitches/inch). The patterns are beautiful and there seems to have been no restrictions to the time spent knitting a pair of mittens or socks. It is also amazing how different the traditions are even if they were developed next to each other. In Leksand there are beautiful white mittens with very few patterns and not many colours. In Rättvik there are bold patterns that sometimes has four to five colours in a row.

The different kind of patterns also represents different kind of technical solutions in twined knitting. This was most interesting since we saw different solutions on how to knit twined knitting with two or three colours depending on where the items were knitted and how the patterns were constructed. I know that there sometimes are quite intense discussions on what "the proper" way of knitting twined knitting with two or three colours is. After this week I have learnt that the answer most like likely will depend on where the pattern you knit originated from, that is if you are knitting "traditional" pieces. If you are knitting "modern" designs it will be a matter of what you judge as the best solution regarding the result you aim for.
Sampler: 2 patterns from Rättvik
The pattern at the top of the sampler is a pattern knitted with one strand of red and one strand of white yarn (both wool).
The bottom pattern is knitted with one strand of red yarn (wool) and a thin white thread (flax, a yarn most often used for fine lace-making).
Sampler: 3 patterns from Floda and Gagnef
This sampler was knitted in white and black, one strand of each. When finished is was dyed red. The three motives also represent different techniques in knitting twined knitting with two colours.
Sampler: 3 patterns from Floda and Gagnef, dyed red

söndag 20 november 2011

Mittens for Mia

These are twined knitted mittens for Mia. She likes brown and grey and perhaps some blue.

They are part and end of what became a "Twined knitted mittens for Peter´s family" Christmas gifts project. I am glad that I was able to finish in time. Christmas is only one month away and time will fly .... 
In the near future I am once more going to Dalecarlia to study local traditions in twined knitting. I am really looking forward to this and know that it will give me lots of inspiration. Posts will come in December.

torsdag 3 november 2011

Birthday mittens in Twined Knitting

These mittens are for my nephew Peter. He is an amazing man and father, and it was a long time since I knitted something for him. So, for his birthday in December I have made a pair of twined knitted mittens.

The colour stitch pattern on the cuff is based on an Estonian pattern that I adjusted to fit the amount of stitches that I needed for Peter´s mittens. Originally this pattern is knitted with two colours. For these mittens  I made my own colour scheme, letting myself be inspired by the colours used for hand woven bands that I remember from my youth in Lapland in the north of Sweden.

The coloured yarns for the cuff were bought at Wålstedt´s in Dala-Floda. The dark brown yarn for the mittens is also spun at Wålstedt. The wool comes from the same herd of sheep that  supplied  the yarn in the mittens for the twins. 

I used double pins 2,50 mm (US 1½) and about 150 grams of yarn in total. Cast on, cast off, increases and decreases are traditional ones from Dalecarlia.