I began teaching myself how to knit a few years ago. I never made it to a knitting class, instead I watched some online tutorials and invested in knitting books. I bought a few basics books to help me understand how stitches worked and how to solve problems and a few books with pattersn. When we move my knitting books take up a box!
I have come to love knitting. It's a craft that allows me to pick colors and patterns, but that ultimately involves counting and math and straight lines (not that I'm particularly good at math, but I can count). I have had to be a little creative with the patterns because typically I'm not knitting with the yarn that is recommended by the pattern. Although there is a knitting shop here in Red Lake Falls, it's only open twice a week and has limited hours. And, I am not familiar enough with yarns to be able to confidently buy online. So, once I have some yarn I try to make it work with whatever project fits my whim!
One of the books I've knitted from is Selbuvotter, Biography of a Knitting Tradition. I love this book, it has a lot of history and beautiful patterns. The author, Terri Shea, studied samples of Selbu mittens from private collections and museums and provides patterns, instructions, and stories.
Unfortunately for me, the pattens are crafted with specific yarns - which I don't have. I knit my very first pair of selbu mittens for Calhoun last winter, but they did not fit very well. They are the size of pancakes.
So, I tried again this winter. I did some actual measuring with the yarn I had on hand and successfully knit some mittens that fit! I took my inspiration from her pattern that was created from a sample in the Nordic Heritage Museum, Pattern #9. I cut the pattern down to fifty stitches around instead of 72, I made it shorter in the hand and messed with the thumbs.
I finally finished and wore them and they are AWESOME! I feel like I have finally gotten a hang of this whole 'knitting Selbu mittens' thing!
Then I stopped by The Yarnery while we were in the cities for Thanksgiving and they didn't have the yarn I knew I needed. I bought something different. Looks like the next Selbu mitten project will be another test of my creativity, I can't wait to get started!