A Piece of History to Knit

There was a famous knitter in Latvia known as Cimdu Jettina (“little Jette of the mittens”). Her name was Jette Uzane (1924-2007). Barbara Plakans wrote a lovely article about Jette’s life and work in PieceWork’s January/February 2010 issue. Barbara then adapted the “Birch Mittens to Knit” from a design by Jette. We chose Barbara’s Birch Mittens for our newest PieceWork kit! The kit features a digital edition of the January/February 2010 issue with Barbara’s step-by-step instructions, along with the three colors of 100% Norwegian 2-ply wool yarn needed to make the mittens.


Barbara Plakans’s knitted Birch Mittens. Photo by Joe Coca.

While you knit these beautiful mittens, imagine a little girl who struggled with spinal tuberculosis, which sent her to sanitariums, kept her out of school, and confined her to a wheelchair for her entire life. Envision her making socks for all of the other children in her family. Then visualize her branching out into mittens and creating hundreds of them in various bright colors, styles, and patterns. Imagine this little girl turning her disability into beautiful works of art that you can now make yourself.

Think of sweet Jette as you knit these lovely mittens.