“One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.”
Birch trees hold a special place in my heart. They remind me of home. And my childhood, where I'm ashamed to say, I would peel off the bark and make little canoes for my dolls that I floated down the stream in the nearby woods. Whenever I mention that I'm from Michigan, someone always will say, "Oh It's so pretty there, with all those birch trees." or something in that train of thought. My sister used to work at Fort Mackinac and she heard more questions about the birch trees than the history of the colonial fort. I guess their beauty tugs at everyone's hearstrings. So when I saw the pattern for these Birch mittens in the Piecework Jan./Feb. 2010 issue, they went onto my ever-expanding list of must-knit patterns. Since, the colourway of the yarns was so important to the overall pattern, I decided I better get on with it, while the yarn was still available. There was only one mail order source for the Norwegian yarn, so I had to wait patiently for the yarn to arrive. After receiving the yarn, I sat down to knit, only to discover that the pattern took size zero double-pointed needles, which I couldn't locate in any of the local yarn shops. So another wait for the mailman to deliver the needles. Such is life! Thank goodness for the internet! They're slow knitting as you have to juggle all those bobbins of colours, or maybe it's just me. I'm not a speedy knitter. But the end result is looks wonderfully folkloric. I finished them with the old Norwegian way of sewing seams together. I do that often on socks. Think it gives them an old-world look. By the way,I thought this pattern was a lot more complicated than it needed to be. Whatever happened to the old-fashioned knitting instructions that went line by line? And when did it become the "thing" to use five double-pointed needles instead of four? So you have to buy two packages of needles?