05 April, 2009

Nordic Heritage

I spent a couple of days last month happily immersed in learning some traditional Estonian knitting techniques at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard.

Kihnu Mitt Cuff

This fledgling mitten cuff samples techniques from Kihnu, a tiny island off the coast of Estonia. The two color cast-on is called Kihnu Troi, and there are also two lines of Kihnu Vits braid. The workshop, "Estonian Mittens" was taught by Nancy Bush, author of many inspiring knitting books including two studies of Estonian knitting traditions, "Folk Knitting in Estonia" and "Knitted Lace of Estonia." She is also proprietor of The Wooly West.

The class was terrific and much more comprehensive than other classes I've had recently. Along with teaching the techniques, Nancy narrated a slideshow about the history and traditions of Kihnu Island, and played Estonian music. She brought lots of samples of mittens and other knitted items,

Estonian Mittens

as well as books, fabric, woven belts, and many other Estonian fibery goodies. I found these patchwork bags especially appealing. They are for holding a work in progress:

Knit Bags

Nancy is a wonderful teacher - so full of ideas and history and stories from her trips to Estonia, and very very patient and thorough with students. It was a grand day out knitting.

Oh yes, the yarn in the Kihnu cuff sample at top is (of course) Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, in Plum and Laguna.


Trisha said...

Lucky you to get to take a class from Nancy Bush. I love her books! Your cuff is gorgeous!

Connie said...

a little bit late, but still time to correct something:

"The two color cast-on is called Kihnu Troi, and there are also two lines of Kihnu Vits braid."

that is not correct. A Kihnu Troi is a Sweater from Kihnu Island, originally for fishermen, now a heritage pattern