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Old 09-16-2009, 12:31 AM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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Sept 16, 2009: Mittens

Mittens... Latvian mittens... Latvian NATO mittens.

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What will 9,000 hands have in common during the NATO Summit in Riga this November? 4,500 pairs of traditional hand-made Latvians mittens!

Thatís what the NATO Summit Latvia Task Force is preparing for Summit guests. The mittens are being specially knitted by hundreds of women and men around the country ranging in age from 30 to 86. At least half of the mittens have already been produced, turning 190 kilos of Latvian wool into 2,250 pairs of traditional mittens steeped in Latvian folklore, customs and beliefs.


What a unique gift, a pair of mittens unlike the other 4,499 pair.

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Each pair features a unique design, utilizing a wide variety of traditional colors, patterns and symbols. For Latvians, mittens are much more than a way to warm your hands. Every ethnographic Latvian mitten tells a story, marks an anniversary and represents a specific region in Latvia. Some mitten designs are specially intended for weddings or other special events. There is even a rich tradition of folkloric etiquette associated with the wearing, storing and displaying of mittens.
While most Latvians will not be able to attend the NATO summit, you could say that hundreds will have a hand in making the NATO guests feel at home. Many of the knitters are producing an average of three pairs for the Summit, although many, excited by the prospect of sharing their traditional skill with the world, are eager to produce more*. For most Latvians, this project is a special source of national pride, because it combines tradition, culture and history with something of lasting practical value that will be enjoyed around the world.
*Well, give those people my address.

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Old 09-16-2009, 01:14 AM   #2
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What a purl of an idea. It'll keep them in stitches. But how will they operate their mobile phones?
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:41 AM   #3
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ZenGum View Post
What a purl of an idea. It'll keep them in stitches. But how will they operate their mobile phones?
They'll be far too busy pulling hot trays of cakes from the oven to answer calls.
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:34 AM   #5
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It would be cool to have a pattern for those, but I don't know if my meager knitting skills would be up to it. I've never done multicolor pattern work.
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:46 AM   #6
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"...traditional mittens steeped in Latvian folklore..."

I don't remember ever seeing Latvia making mittens. Maybe Simka made them while Latvia was busy working in the garage.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:12 PM   #7
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That's Latka, not Latvia, in the garage.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
That's Latka, not Latvia, in the garage.
I thought that was potato pancakes.


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Old 09-16-2009, 03:22 PM   #9
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No doubt they're a close-knit group...
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:40 PM   #10
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This thread is incomplete without some kittens.
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:29 PM   #11
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Each pair features a unique design
I can see three the same:

bottom row right-hand side, red background with yellow hexagon pattern and pairs of black dots
Three rows above this one, the same pattern again.
5 rows above that one and slightly to the right, the same pattern again.
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:05 PM   #12
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they might be different on the inside
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:06 PM   #13
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Even if the patterns appear identical, you always screw something up somewhere along the way, making each one unique.
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:12 AM   #14
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Pointy mittens

Lots of stitches. The knitters have apparently been told not to use the swastika on the mittens. Delegates will also be given honey. I wouldn't want to risk a jar of honey in my luggage, and liquids are frowned upon as carryon items. Hmmm... http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/article...4&in_page_id=2
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:38 AM   #15
xoxoxoBruce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wombat View Post
I can see three the same:

bottom row right-hand side, red background with yellow hexagon pattern and pairs of black dots
Three rows above this one, the same pattern again.
5 rows above that one and slightly to the right, the same pattern again.
But you can't see the whole mitten.

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Originally Posted by boodoggy View Post
Lots of stitches. The knitters have apparently been told not to use the swastika on the mittens. Delegates will also be given honey. I wouldn't want to risk a jar of honey in my luggage, and liquids are frowned upon as carryon items. Hmmm... http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/article...4&in_page_id=2
Carry on? This in NATO, they all come in bombers.
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