Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ode to Selbuvotter, Part 1

This entry is Part 1 because I can only assume that there will be many future Odes to Selbuvotter. I got this great book for Christmas because I asked for it. (Knitter's rule! If you don't tell them they'll never know what to get you!)

It's chock full of beautifully rendered classic Norwegian mittens in the Selbu tradition. One or two are modified from this tradition, like one where the note explains that Icelandic tricks are used in the thumb. But even before the patterns, Terri Shea takes the time to lovingly share the narrative of how one woman started this national piece of heritage on a dare. Love it!

Here is another case where Ravelry shows off so brilliantly everyone's different variations on a theme. The charts in Selbuvotter have been modified to flip-top mittens, fingerless gloves, and even some matching hats! I was able to look to my fellow Ravelers for color inspiration, as well!

These mittens are labeled Annemor #5, since they come from Annemor Sundbo's collection. I propose a different name, inspired by the visionary Ron Burgundy and his litany of uncommon exclamations. "By Odin's Raven!" were originally children's mittens made in jumperweight yarn. I used yet MORE leftover worsted from my Christmas patterns (that black is the last vestiges of Kent's Beret). And I modified the cuff because I didn't much care for the plain old checkerboard on the original mittens. Now they're a little more feminie but with a childlike charm. I think the hearts make these grownup mittens a bit more whimsical.

Once I was convinced I could understand the charts used in this book, I moved on to gloves in a finer gauge. I think modifying little girls' mittens was a pretty creative test-run, don't you? The second pair is Annemor #7, also known (to me) as "I Saw a Moose!" I'm allowed to name it after a family inside joke, right? Right.

My color choices on these gloves might be up for a little debate. I knew that I wanted this turmeric and eggplant combination to appear in some form, but I think in retrospect, I would have preferred to go with a more traditional color combination. They're fine and very interesting this way, but I'll go back to MC=white, CC=gray or black for a while.

One more note on this pattern is that the charts were off on count between the palm and the hands. The basic instructions say just to follow the chart, but you have to be creative in where you cast on or pick up stitches in order for the stitch counts to make sense as each finger is starting. I would add another two plain rounds to the rest of the hand once the pinky is done. I saw that technique in my first pair of gloves, and it just now makes sense to use it in order to make the finger joints line up correctly.

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