In Africa and the Middel East the owl is a potent of death. If you see or hear it’s hoot, it means someone will die. In general they are omens of bad luck, ill health and death. It is still a belief today. In the Americas the owl is surrounded by taboos, that often has do to with sorcery and evils. They too considered the owl as a symbol of death and destruction. The Aztec god of death was even depicted as an owl.
In western cloture it’s associated with wisdom. But it has too been associated with bad omen as a ‘monster of the night’. Today however the owl has come into fashion and is considered a cute animal. There is something about those big eyes and surprised look! It’s simply a hoot!
Owl in Tree Mitten. Pattern by Fact Woman from Mod Knits. Knit by Anne Grove.
So the first Owl in Three mitten is done (not blocked yet) and the second is coming along nicely. Owls do belong in trees but it’s not that often you see them depicted there, not these days at least. For this project I decided to try to work not so tight as I normally do. It went fairly well but resulted in a bit wonky mitten. I am sure it will be just as it should be after I’ve blocked it though. It went better than expected and the big test is to do the second in the same gauge.
This pattern by Fact Woman of Mod Knits contained not just the wonderful pattern but also a guide to latvian braids. For me this was an important part of the pattern as I want to portray this technique. It is a traditional way of decorating, especially cuffs, on mittens in Eastern Europa as well Scandinavian. In the scandinavian mittens I have seen it mostly on young girls mittens: simple white mittens with a colored braid to underline the cuff.
Owl in Tree mitten: palm of hand.
I found this amazing teal colored yarn and I had to do this mitten in it. It might not be so tree like but it’s beautiful! These pictures doesn’t do the teal color justice but it’s as close as I can come with the camera I have at hand at the moment.
This was my first try at Latvian braids ever and I can tell you they are surprisingly easy to do! 😀 Which is very awesome. It does of course take longer than just knitting as you need to twist the yarn and knit a stitch, twist the yarn and knit a stitch. But it’s definitely worth it! The first braid lies a little better than the second, but I think this could be because I didn’t work the second braid so much into shape as the first one. This just means I have to do a little more work on it – maybe steam it a bit. If you want to steam smaller knitwear you can do it over a pot of steaming water shape it a bit and then shake it lightly.
Detail of cuff and latvian braid.
Besides the braids you can on the picture see the detail of the beginning of the cuff. It has an edged look to it and is folded in two. I sewed the fold in after the mitten was done but it looks like Fact Women did it differently. Or at least very early in the process as several pictures show it being done already when doing the latvian braids. There is no mention about how and when.
Notes & thoughts
1. The pattern is nicely made and easy to understand however it’s a bit strangely put together. The first page is very packed with pictures, size+gauge, what you need, keys and a chart. It would have helped a lot if the first page was only a front page with pictures and then the second page was the pre work information. Also I find the placement of the instructions for the Latvian Braid quite strange. It is placed in the middle of the pattern and not in the end, even though it has a distinctly different look form the rest of the pattern. It was obviously done as two different parts and then just plotted in and it shows. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad pattern or the direction aren’t helpful, but it feeds to the overall impression and experience of the project.
2. The latvian braid tutorial is very well made. In my opinion the pictures with the captions is all that is needed but my way is very visual so it’s good there is description in text as well. Again I would have liked a bit different layout, but it’s not a big problem as to understanding.
3. The charts of this pattern are well made and easy to read. They are in two colors that isn’t too big a contrast to each other so it’s nicer for the eye to look at. I appreciated this.
4. I was quite confused about the use of increase in form of ML and MR. Every time I have done that increase in patterns before I have done it the opposite way of what this pattern writes. I don’t know if this is a mistake, intensional or maybe it’s just common to this where Fact Women works. If confused me at least!
5. In particular I enjoyed the palm pattern. I have a fondness of this kind of pattern and it’s the first mitten I’m doing in this project that has such a small pattern. The Jolnir Mitten had something a little like it, but that was a little larger. It’s a traditional way to do palm. It’s makes for a thicker textile which gives more warmth, durability and protects the palm.
Owl in Tree Mitten: palm detail.