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Happy birthday, Estonia!

 

Last year Estonia started yearlong celebration of 100th birthday. For our small country it was very important milestone.

Although by blood I’m more Russian than Estonian, I was born here and raised as Estonian. And I am very grateful for that. I grew up speaking two languages and later thanks to American cartoons, I had three.
I’m happy that I had privilege to grow up in a peaceful and beautiful country. Since my birth, Estonia has evolved tremendously and keeps on getting better. We are probably best known for Skype, model Carmen Kass and e-Government (and of course much, much more), but for knitters it’s Estonian lace. Patterns contain nupps, which are unique to our region and what made patterns extra special. They are also proof that fine lace is knitted by hand, no machine can still do it.

So it won’t come as a surprise that a lace knitter would make a very special shawl as a gift to Estonia. It took long months of planning and knitting, pattern had some special stitches and 6556 9-ply nupps! Even box for shawl had special design and of course was also hand made. Shawl is in Estonian National Museum.

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How it’s made


I thought it would be interesting to show how shawl is created from scratch, what happens behind closed doors.
I must say, there are reasons why not every pattern is done this way. Since this work was done by me personally, I didn’t quite finish pattern before starting. I will add comment where I did things differently.

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Is shawl only for special occasion?

I’d say, it is not. My first shawls were Swallowtails by Evelyn A. Clark and I used heavier lace weight mohair blend. I made one for myself and few for colleagues. I wore mine every winter for years, first on wool coat and later on with leather jacket.

Year is 2012, just turned 21, still wearing Swallowtail. This was my 2nd or 3rd shawl I knitted. Still remember my mother helping me with blocking on living room floor. Continue reading Is shawl only for special occasion?