Mitten Knittin’

A lovely partly cloudy day here. I’m going skiing with a friend later, and have spent part of the morning working on the Herrevott.*

I’m thoroughly enjoying the challenge of working not only an unfamiliar technique, but a pattern in a foreign language. I have always enjoyed puzzling out words from context. I tried to run some of the text through an online Norwegian-English translator, to no avail. So I’ve figured out that “Legg opp 68 m” can only mean “Cast on 68 st.” since “34-35 m = 10 cm” of knitting. “1r, 1vr” must refer to “K1, P1” rib. Even Andy (who is considerably less interested in the process of knitting mittens, whether in Norwegian or not) agrees that, “Plukk opp 16 m pa undersiden av tommelen” can only mean, “Pick up 16 st. at the underside of thumb.” (But I was reading ahead. I’m not nearly there yet!)

The only problem I had so far was wondering how to treat the thumb gusset once it was knitted. The chart indicates a bold line across the 15 stitches that make up the gusset, and an “x” pointing to the line. The instructions say, “Ved X settes de 15 m pa en trad,” which, try as I might, did not give me a clue as to what to do. It’s obvious there should be a hold here for my thumb; should I put the stitches on a stitch holder? Do the EZ thumb trick? Cut them open later and pick up around?

Luckily, I found a wonderful resource on a blog called Knitting in Color, kept up by the talented and prodigious Nanette Blanchard. She has several posts about mitten thumbs alone! Turns out that traditionally (and I am following a traditional pattern here,) Norwegian mitten knitters placed the gusset stitches on a strand of waste yarn to complete later. You then cast on using the backward loop method, in pattern (and loosely!) over the gap, then continue knitting the palm. Not a problem.

Eva was concerned that the two yarns I’m using might not be the same weight. I think they look different because the Lana Grossa is wound more tightly into its ball, while the Rowan Soft is wound very loosely. Once they are out, they appear to be the same weight.

Lana Grossa sock yarn, center; Rowan Soft 4-ply, bottom; 2mm needle for scale, top.

*”Herrevot,” I’ve discovered means “Man’s Mitten.” I like the pattern, and it fits my not-so-manly hand. I’ll not argue with the traditional name, but wear them anyway.

All for now. Enjoy the day!


10 thoughts on “Mitten Knittin’

  1. I am Norwegian and I have to say that you have done a good job with the translation. The part you have a problem with (the thumb) says: “at the X, put the 15 stitches on scrap yarn for now” Or a stitch holder if you wish.Here´s a link to a English-Norwegian knitting translation list: Click on “Last ned ordliste” and the pdf-file opens.Your mittens are beautiful by the way 🙂

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