Estonian Craft Camp
I’m (was) writing this from Craft Camp, in the south of Estonia. I found out about it by accident, probably on the internet, and decided that I had to come as there are workshops about Estonian gloves although there are workshops on craft other than textile ones too, such as silver smithing and making from birch bark. My choices for the week are
Muhu wristlets (knitting)
Making things from bone
Blue and white glove knitting
So far, I’ve been to two of the workshops, every one is a day, split into a morning and afternoon session.
I expected to know what I was doing in the wristlets workshop, given that I knit gloves almost all the time, but this was not the case. It’s actually harder doing a workshop that you know something about than one in which you are totally ignorant I think, as when you know something about it, you want to do things the way that you usually do. You also have an expectation that you will be able to do it. I had one of those ‘feel about 6 years old’ moments when we were shown a twisted cast on, and I could not do it. Then it was hot and my hands got sweaty, the knitting got tighter and moister etc …. It was a bit like ritual knitting humiliation in public.
But you can see how attractive the material looked laid out for each of us in the class, and I did get going eventually. I’d forgotten that I’m not very good on 5 dpns, I prefer three, as I find them more stable, but as you can see the knitting is on four and you knit with the 5th. The needles are Prym, 1.5 mm and the yarn is Estonian, and like a light Shetland, quite woolly, so hard work to knit on the fine needles.The pattern has a braided cast on and braided ridges which make the yarn twist yo really badly, another hazard! But I have progressed since this picture was taken so I’ll post a picture when they are finished. If ever.
The following day I chose the nalebinding, the technique that prefigured knitting and that can appear to be the same structure. That turned out to be difficult too, time consuming and hard to control. I produced very little in the way of anything recognisable: here is a little of it:
However, this was a good learning experience again, as it’s useful to be on the receiving end of instructions if you are more used to giving them.
More later about the other workshops.