Knitted mittens – A surprisingly interesting exhibition at Ájtte museum

At Ájtte, the official mountain and Sami museum of Sweden, one would normally need a full day to see and experience everything that the museum offers. And during the winter market when the museum has a lot of visitors, it is basically impossible to experience everything in a single day. When I worked in the tourist information during the summer of 2015, I asked visitors how much time they had spent at the museum – and the two most common answers were “half a day” and “a full day”. So, I didn’t even try to make a full walkthrough of the museum.

Instead, I focused on the temporary exhibitions. The one exhibition that people appeared to be most interested in was all about knitted mittens, made according to old patterns that follow local traditions with a long history. For me, growing up with a pair of “Porjus mittens” and a pair of “Lovikka mittens” (which have both been made from the patterns that date back to the early 20th century), it was interesting to learn more about the history of the pattern. I also got a chance to speak with Erika Nordvall Falck, the collector and enthusiast behind the exhibition, about details regarding the Porjus glove. I didn’t expect a set of knitted mittens to be a fascinating experience, but it sure was.

The mitten exhibition will be open at the Ájtte museum until early March, 2016.