Estonian Lace

While most people in Salt Lake City were enjoying a fabulously beautiful weekend, a few of us spent two days in a refrigerator knitting lace.

I went to Nancy Bush’s 2-day Estonian Lace class at Westminster College, and the room was absolutely frigid. We couldn’t figure out how to do anything to the thermostat to make it anything other than cold and colder. Fortunately, Nancy had dozens of shawls with her, so there we sat – swaddled in her shawls. I suspect someone may have sabotaged the system just so that we could wear Nancy’s shawls. I wish I had a photo, but I’d forgotten my camera and my cell phone’s battery was dead.

Even the second day, armed with my Central Park Hoodie, Seaweed wrap, long-sleeved sweater and jeans, I was still cold and wishing I’d brought some fingerless gloves.

But the class made enduring the cold well worthwhile. We knitted a sample shawl:

Estonian Shawl Sample

And started a pattern sampler.

Estonian Lace Sampler

I learned that knitting a nupp (rhymes with “soup”, by the way) isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, as long as you make sure your loops are really loose. (See Nancy demonstrate the technique here.)

In fact, it makes me want to knit one of the shawls in Nancy’s book “Knitted Lace of Estonia” that I loved but didn’t think I’d want to tackle since it has over a thousand nupps – the Queen Silvia Shawl.

We enjoyed Nancy’s stories, photos from Estonia, and got to see all those beautiful shawls in person. Some she knitted, some were gifts, and some were purchased in Estonia. All were gorgeous. We even got to see a gorgeous shawl that will be in an upcoming book, and I definitely want that pattern. The fact that it was knitted in 100% cashmere didn’t hurt, either.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with an 11 x 14 inch “shawl”. I tried to put it on the cat, but she didn’t appreciate it at all.

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14 Responses to Estonian Lace

  1. Cookie says:

    I am so jealous!

    How big is it? Could you block it and put it on a table? Yes, I’ve got doilies on the brain. So?

  2. margene says:

    Silly cat! Even under extreme knitting circumstances you did beautiful work.

  3. Carrie says:

    Loose loops make nice nupps. (Even though I know how it’s pronounced I still can’t make myself read anything other than nuhp.)

  4. Anne says:

    Could ya frame it with a black background to really show off the lace? It sure is pretty!

  5. Nora says:

    Cookie and Anne both have excellent ideas… what a great weekend!

  6. Chris says:

    Oh, that sounds like an amazing class. Were your fingers purple? Or blue?

  7. elizabeth says:

    I’ve seen those shawls and am SO jealous that you got to wear one! They are works of art, and your sampler is looking pretty good too! :o)

  8. Chris says:

    Your work is wonderful! I wish I would have cleared my schedule and taken the class.

  9. Norma says:

    Whoa, so pretty. I had similar issues with my hotel room this weekend. At first it was too hot and I could not get it to cool. So they sent engineering up and he did a great job — apparently the filter needed to be cleaned or something. It was a perfect 67 degrees when I got up the next morning (perfect for sleeping, that is). Then the next day when I came TO my room from having been DRENCHED in a huge rainstorm, I could not get it to warm up, no matter what I did, and I really needed it to be warmer. Called the front desk again, and they sent the same guy. He fixes it, and I say, “Well, I hope this doesn’t mean it will keep going up and up and up and I’ll swelter again.”

    “No,” he said. “I guess I set the settings wrong last night, telling it NOT to warm up.”

    Cripes. What good is a thermostat????

  10. I learned so much, what a great class.

    Thanks again for saving me a seat!

    Nice sewing.

  11. Robby says:

    Green with envy over your knitting class! I agree, back that gorgeous bit of lace and frame it. No knitting room? Seems like a lovely excuse to declare one.

  12. Anne B. says:

    My teddy bear likes wearing her new shawl if you have one of those handy. Beautiful work, and also jealous you got to wear those lovely shawls! Of course, something is made more beautiful by also being useful.

  13. Carrie K says:

    I can’t believe your cat didn’t appreciate the shawl.

    Heh. Anything that makes one wear Nancy Bush’s shawls can’t be that bad, but don’t you hate that? When the a/c is cranked like that in offices? Drives me nuts.

    That sampler just flows.

  14. Stacey says:

    How about using it as a doily? A prayer cap – like the catholics used to wear back in the day? Ummmm… yeah. A hankie?

    I’m out of ideas.

    They all look wonderful! And just imagine how good you’d get at nupps doing that shawl. Or, you could send a bunch of yarn, some chocolate, and a giftie to Cookie… you could try to bribe her.

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