There's all kinds of rich history in knitting, including traditions from locations all over the world.
Knitter and designer (and video star!) Donna Druchunas is of Lithuanian descent, and she made it her mission to explore knitting in Lithuania.
Donna's family motto is "nothing in moderation," and she did her best to live up to that motto when it came to her knitting. When she picked up knitting in her thirties, she embraced it wholeheartedly (I can relate!) and that included collecting and reading all of the books she could get her hands on.
In one of these books, she stumbled upon a pattern for Lithuanian mittens, and her curiosity was piqued. Donna had read Nancy Bush's book on Estonian knitting, and since Estonia and Lithuania are neighbors, she thought there must be some history of knitting in Lithuania.
Donna researched Lithuanian knitting on the Internet but she didn't get very far, so she sort of back-burnered it until she had the chance to actually go to Lithuania. While "on location," Donna discovered all sorts of information about knitting in Lithuania, including the fact that it was a relatively new craft in the country.
Lithuanian history is full of symbols and colors used in clothing and adornments, many of which have been used since antiquity. Many of the symbols currently used in Lithuanian knitting are derived from ancient stone carvings and bronze jewelry. These symbols are found on woven cloth garments from the late Middle Ages, too. They've been continually used since the Middle Ages and adapted as time passed.
One of the most interesting things about Lithuanian knitting is that it's fairly limited to socks, mittens, and gloves. That's why Donna focuses on socks in her new workshop, Knitting Lithuanian Socks. Here's a preview:
Donna also talks about different heel and toe constructions that are used in Lithuanian knitting, and she teaches these techniques in her workshops.
I found all of this information fascinating, and I think you will, too. I downloaded Knitting Lithuanian Socks, but it'll be available on DVD in a couple of weeks, so reserve your copy today. And the three free sock-knitting patterns that come with the workshop are real show-stoppers, too!