Today’s Warm Hands design is one I’m particularly excited to introduce: the Mudra mitts, which are the work of Lana Jois. Lana is an experienced and prolific designer, whose speciality is creating really beautiful lace accessories. You may have knit her lovely Winding Roads shawl from last Autumn’s Interweave, or admired her many gorgeous and delicate self-published designs such as Rising to the Occasion. Lana hands do many amazing things: knitting and designing knitwear, sewing garments and other items both useful and beautiful, as well as performing the important work of healing and caring for others in the medical field in which she works. All of us involved in this project have spent a long time thinking about hands in various ways – about what hands do, and what hands represent. Lana has a particularly nuanced sense of this, and the name of her design – Mudra – is a word rich with handy symbolic associations. Here’s Lana to tell you more about herself and her contribution to the book.
“Most of my average day is spent at the hospital where I work. But no matter how busy the day, I always (optimistically) carry a project bag with my current WIP and work on it whenever possible. There are days when I can’t get it out at all, but knowing that my knitting is waiting for me is very reassuring.”
“I’m inspired by many things. Architecture inspires me greatly – buildings, bridges, wrought iron gates, intricately carved wooden furniture… I’m also excited by different methods of construction and I’m always experimenting with those.”
“Because Warm Hands is a collaboration of designers from all over the world, I decided to draw inspiration from my own cultural background.”
“Here in India, decorating one’s hands with intricate patterns using a plant-based paste called Mehndi or Maruthani is a traditional art form and that seemed like the perfect place to start. I knew I wanted to use lace (my favourite) and texture to “decorate” my hands.”
“I must have doodled a hundred sketches before brainstorming the construction and pattern details for the ones that looked good, then swatched for a few of them. The one that finally made the cut is my favourite and luckily, Jeanette and Kate loved it too!”
“The mitts have an all over pattern of delicate cable-like stitches, flowing into leafy motifs – not just a panel . . . ”
“I particularly enjoyed the challenge of getting the pattern repeats to work over two sizes while carrying the design on to the thumb”
“Hands that give care and comfort to others deserve love, attention, and looking after”
“When you knit for your hands, you decorate them, and you look after them.”
“I hope many knitters enjoy decorating and caring for their hands when they make the Mudra mitts!”
I love how Lana’s use of texture and lace really makes the yarn sing. Thankyou, Lana, for a design of such extraordinary elegance and thank you, Fenella for modelling. It seemed particularly fitting to have an Indian Scot represent this collaboration between an Indian designer and a Scottish publisher.
Warm Hands book
Mudra Mitts pattern on Ravelry
Mudra Mitts yarn pack (this is one of several designs in the collection that can be made with less than 2 skeins of Milarrochy Tweed, at a cost of just £9.00)