This is one of my more irrational purchases. I don't do fair-isle, I am no good in it, I don't really do mittens and I am pretty much neutral when it comes to Estonian crafts heritage. Still, I had to have this book despite its fairly high price.
Kaikki kirjan tekstit johdantoa myöten ovat sekä viroksi että englanniksi.
Eesti labakindad ilma laande laiali - Estonian mittens all around the world is a combined volume of all the previous fair-isle mitten books by Aino Praakli. The book is smallish is size but has loads of pages. It is a hard-cover, which adds to the impression of high quality. Introduced are 175 traditional Estonian fair-isle mittens, all from the collections of the Estonian national museum.
All the texts in the book are in Estonian and in English.
Many of the patterns have been reconstructed out of small mitten fragments. Most of the originals are not pictured, but the origins of the pattern are always explained: The possible meaning behind the far-isle pattern, the information of the preserved fragment, and necessary information on why the mitten has been reconstructed the way it has.
Above is a picture of one of the patterns. Upmost is a picture of the reconstructed mitten, below it are the original fragment and a chart. As you can (barely) see, the reconstruction is really faithful to the original. The colours, ribbing, placement, amount of stitches and decreases are always identical to the original - if the original mitten has enough to work from, that is.
Just look how important this mitten has been to someone and how much it has been worn!Monet malleista tuntuivat näin suomalaisittain melko eksoottisilta ja vierailta, kuva-aiheet tuntuivat taustoiltaan erilaisilta joiltain osin ja vaikka mytologioissamme on paljon samaa, myös eroja on paljon. Yllätyksekseni (ja toisaalta itsestäänselvästi) myös identtisyyksiä oli paljon. Eräskin kuvioaihe oli tismalleen samanlainen kuin mitä karjalainen mummoni on iät ajat tehnyt. Simppeli malli tosin, tiedä sitten onko samanlaisuus puhdasta sattumaa vai yhteistä kulttuuriperintöä.
Most of the patterns felt pretty exotic to a Finn like me. Many of the beliefs behind the motives were alien to me and even though the Finnish and the Estonian mythologies are similar in many ways, there are a lot of differencies too. One of the patterns was identical to the one my granny has made since I can remember. She was born in Karelia, the part of Finland that is thought to have the most in common with the slavic and baltic cultural heritage. It could be a coincidense or mutual cultural heritage - not knowing is quite intrigueing.
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