As I mentioned in my last post, the other class I attended at Knit Nation was Merike Saarniit‘s “Estonian Lace”. I absolutely loved this class, which was a great mixture of information about lace (and other) knitting in Estonia, oohing and aahing over the shawls and garments that Merike had brought, and getting a chance to try out some Estonian stitches.
This is my class swatch (in Dale Baby Ull 4 ply) based on Merike’s adaptation of the Estonian stitch pattern, Silvia. The pattern has the nupps and manipulated stitches which are common features of Estonian patterns. Merike showed us various techniques for creating nupps and manipulating stitches (which is where you knit a certain number of stitches together and then increase in that stitch to get back to the number you started with, or more). I loved Merike’s attitude to knitting the Estonian patterns, which was very much that it doesn’t really matter how you work the stitches, if you’re getting the result that you want then you’re doing it right.
This class is also responsible for the other purchase that I made at the Knit Nation marketplace, the book “The Haapsalu Shawl”. There’s a full review of this coming (ETA: review is now up) so I’m not going to say much other than this is easily the most beautiful knitting book I have ever seen. It is expensive but once you’ve seen it in person, it is difficult to resist. The added bonus is that it is also filled with useful information!
If you’re interested in Estonian patterns but don’t want to splash out on the Haapsalu book yet, take a look at New lace – old traditions. The authors of this blog regularly publish photographs of swatches of Estonian stitch patterns and provide accompanying PDFs with the relevant charts and stitch instructions. There is also the Haapsalu Sall blog, which is mostly in Estonian with some English content but you don’t need to understand the language to admire the beautiful shawls!