Amazing mitten magician to be immortalized

Take note – story published 7 years and 1 month ago

The diaries of Jette Užāne, an inspiring thinker renowned for her artful knitted mittens, are to be published in written form. Elīna Apsīte, the manager of Jette's estate, wants to turn Jette's philosophical observations into a book after radio broadcasts of the diary in 2015 prompted huge public interest. 

Jette Užāne (1924-2007), nicknamed 'Mitten Jette', was wheelchair-bound since childhood and found her passion in knitting, with her mittens first shown at a personal exhibition in 1980.

In 1995 she received Latvia's highest civil honor - the Order of the Three Stars.

Jette's mittens are described as works of art that tell stories and show scenes about the fates of the Latvian people. In addition to traditional patterns, she also wove religious stories and classical as well as modern literary heroes into her warm mittens.

"I think that following the diary readings on Latvian Radio a wave has started rolling. I think that many good and valuable events are happening," Elīna Apsīte says in an interview to Latvian Radio.

Elīna says that following the broadcasts, people wrote to her, asking where they could read Jette's diaries. This made her realize how important Jette's thoughts actually were.

According to Elīna, the book is divided into two parallel flows, one about the times Jette is writing about and the other offering Jette's comments on these situations and how she felt about the events she was describing to Elīna.

The full text of the book is already written. "It seems to me it'll be an extraordinarily beautiful, visually beautiful and substantially beautiful book. A book that lifts one above the average limit human possibility," said Elīna.

In order to make the book a reality, donations are being collected at the website.

Elīna showed Latvian Radio a collection of the most representative of Jette's mittens, which are reproduced for your pleasure below.

While Jette's mittens often feature traditional Latvian patterns, she's special in that she also made original ones. For example, one pair of mittens takes the form of a riddle, says Elīna.

Easter-themed gloves are also among Jette's works of art.

The resurrection of Christ is a recurring motif in Jette's work. 

The diaries show the moments of understanding, when Jette realizes she must live a meaningful and beautiful life, and she has so many inner riches that she can also share them.

Her diaries could be published in late May or early June. 

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