Recently took a great class from yarn artist and author, Donna Druchunas. She might have the best-named knitting blog ever – Sheep to Shawl.
The class was on Lithuanian beaded wrist warmers, also called Riesines.
Donna is a very enthusiastic teacher, and she’s done her homework and research in Lithuanian yarn shops and art galleries. She brought along her collection of riesines she’s collected through the years, along with a great slide show of the wrist warmers in action in everyday life in Lithuania.
Students in the class ranged in age from 16 to, oh, 65 and we bonded over yarn, beads, tiny needles, and a love of all things Joss Whedon. Donna’s one of those remarkable people who speaks and translates multiple languages and acts like that is nothing at all. Perhaps she is secretly European?
Having spent the past week knitting one wrist warmer, not even a pair, I’m beginning to see why they sell for upwards of $40-80 a pair on ETSY. I’m also thinking that, like socks, it will be best to start on the second one right after finishing the first. Wait too long and the desire for a pair of these will fade.
I ended up dumping my original alpaca lace-weight yarn and switched to 100% bamboo crochet yarn from JoAnns. If you look closely at the picture, you can see that these are being knit on size 0 needles. Size 0. And Donna makes some on 00 and 000. Yikes.
You can use sock yarn for these, but that isn’t as fine a weight as the original Lithuanian ones. I remember seeing some smaller-than-sock wool yarn at Colorful Yarns, so I might have to plan a trip down there soon. You can see more of these by doing an image search on google. (Click at your own risk).
The idea behind taking this class was:
1) see my friend NekoMade
2) learn something new-to-me in knitting
3) incorporate objects into knitting
My original plan was to incorporate the LED sequins from AnioMagic.
Now I’m thinking it is a better idea to sew those on separately, just in case something goes wrong with the electronics. You can remove a sewn-on LED fairly easily, but if you’ve incorporated it into/onto the yarn itself, you’d have to destroy the knitted object to remove a faulty sequin. Or destroy the expensive LED in the removal process.
Plan. Plan. Plan. Design. Design. Design. And Think. Things I’ll have to do as I work my way into eTextiles.
“Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” – Winston Churchill