Gloves and Slavs
As promised in my previous post I did some furter research on the question of knitting gloves (with 5 fingers) in Balkans region. I have come up with a theory about this which is based on the nature of Slavic (Balkanist?) soul (a similar argument that Cloopco suggested as well).
Imagine that you are a poet. Can a poet write a letter to his mother? This, surely, should pose no problem to a master of words. In fact, it’s such a simple act that it is not worth mentioning.
Imagine a great architect. Can he build a dog house? You’ve got to be joking! After working on a church with a great dome supported only by 4 columns mentioning a dog house is surely not an item.
And imagine a wonderful cook. Can she peel potateos? After having made 17 different types of “burek” in one month, you come and ask about peeling the potatoes?
I think I should make a short interruption to further illustrate my point. Here is what my grandmother answered after I asked her if she ever knit gloves with 5 fingers.
“It’s very simple. You start at the wrist and than divide off the stitches for the tumb, knit some more and than make the fingers.”
Really, what is this? It must run in the family!
After assuring her that I KNOW how to knit gloves with 5 fingers (at least in theory) and that I just want to know wheter people in her village knit such gloves in general, she answered:
“Of course we were. I made such gloves to your grandfather just before he went to the army.” (That must have been just after WWII).
So, here’s what I think.
Great knitters of Balkans of course knew how to knit gloves. Of course they did knit them. But people who would dream about patterns, imagine new combination of stitches, jelously hide their work from ‘competitors’ and make endless colours combinations just for fun would never, ever brag about a simple thing like gloves. “Gloves – pheeewwww! That’s way to simple to even mention!”
That’s why, today there’s no gloves in ethnological museums, no patterns to be found and no documents about these little treasures.
I have, however decided that:
- I will not ask my family members about such knitting questions anymore. It’s not good for my knitting reputation – probably both of them (my mother and grandmother) think I just wanted a quick recipe on how to knit gloves.
- I will look for gloves from this region some more – this time I will try to dig out some written sources. My idea is to try to contact Ethnological Museum in Ljubljana. I hope this will not ruin me as a knitter ;))
And here’s a picture to celebrate great ethnological imagination of this part of the world: