Thursday, July 19, 2012

Latvian Fun

My friend and colleague, Mike, went to Latvia on vacation, to visit his former exchange student. I knew there was a strong fiber arts tradition there, so I was very excited to find out what kinds of things he'd discover (also he discovered beautiful scenery, castles, museums, churches and monuments...but the fiber stuff was what I was mostly interested in).

I got a taste when he posted this picture to Facebook:

Learning to weave in Latvia
Someone's learning to use an inkle loom! Later, when he came back, he showed me some amazing photos of exquisite weaving, many pieces with gorgeous crocheted borders. There were also some really cool crocheted lace outfits, and wonderful traditional knitting. I sure appreciated those photos! And to prove how much they value knitting, check out the plane ticket he's holding here:

Air Baltic, they love knitting
Yes, that's a two-color knitting schematic on the border! You have to love a country that values its crafts so much!

My surprise when he got back to work was this:
A box!
What an intriguing box! That shape is familiar! What's on the back?
Seeing that made me happy
Hooray! It's a genuine Latvian mitten kit! How cool is that?
Inside with translations of motifs
Inside the box was a lovely card that translates all the traditional motifs and what they mean (the swastika was a GOOD thing in the olden days). On the right is the instruction booklet, which tells you exactly where the original mitten came from that the pattern's modeled on.

And of course, there is lovely, rustic two-ply wool to knit the mittens from! Won't that be fun? I am looking forward to stylish new mittens in the fall. Mike also got a kit for our boss, who is also quite the knitter. What great gifts.

And on Another Continent!

Mike is not the only friend to go on a cool vacation. Sylvia went to Ecuador and spotted this:

Loom action!
This guy is weaving so quickly that his hand is a blue. I have a similar piece of fabric from Mexico. If you look carefully you will see he is also wearing a hand woven belt.

It's so nice to have friends who remember your interests and share what they see with you!

Now to write another post about my knitting and weaving. I've been so busy DOING stuff that I haven't had time to write about it!


  1. I'm glad you liked the kit! I'll get the other fiber arts pictures to you, if you want them.


  2. Yeah, the photos would be great to have. I'd like to look long and hard at those crocheted borders, since I'd like to weave linen kitchen or bathroom curtains and put crochet borders on them.

    And some of the woven textiles are so lovely that I know many of my fiber friends would enjoy looking at them.

  3. WOW!!!!!! I can't wait to see the mittens!


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