Since Tamaralda took a class with Orenburg lace knitter extraordinaire Galina Khmeleva which also co-insided with Piecework Magazine having an issue on samplers (one of which was an Orenburg Lace sampler). Orenburg and Estonian lace have been an obsession of mine. First the Orenburg because of above, then, Estonian because a close friend of my family is Estonian and has shown me some lovely shawls that her sister-in-law has made.
I did a little research on the difference between the two types of laces and from what I can tell, the women who knit Orenburg shawls were paid by the shawl so they wanted to use little material and be able to knit them a little faster. The Estonian women were paid by weight of the shawl so they used more material by incorporating lots of nupps (little bumps that are created by knitting 5 together and not my favorite thing to do!). The Estonian shawls were made out of sheep's wool (the Estonian sheep are dual coated and their fleece is quite coarse. They come in three colours: white, grey and dark brown). The Orenburg shawls are made out of goat hair (cashmere). Both Estonian and Orenburg shawls were knit through co-ops.
So, the beautiful Estonian shawls that I have been lent by my friend Mare, were made by here sister-in-law Erna. She is from Hiiumah which is an island and part of Estonia. She lives in the country and during Soviet times worked on a government run farm. She also has her own land and sheep. She knit for family and friends using the wool from her own sheep that she spun herself! The shawls that I have pictures of were made in the 1960s and are not necessarily traditional Estonian designs, she also made socks and sweaters. All out of the natural colours. I forgot to ask Mare but I bet she still knits!
Here are some pictures! The first shows off nupps very nicely! It is about 24" x 60":
This one is my favorite because it's made of "hugs and kisses" you can't see in the picture, but the border is made of tiny hearts. It's also about 24" x 60":
This is the biggest one. It is a leaf pattern and is quite a big piece about 60" x 60":
They are all quite soft and you can feel the lanolin in them still.... ahhh.....
Now for my tiny, tiny sampler. All done. I'm going to crochet a border around it. I enjoyed doing the sampler and the lace. I think I would do a bigger piece (I don't think Tamaralda will):
As an aside, during Soviet times, the local farmers were only allowed to keep so much of what their farm produced so, and I don't know if this was the case for Erna, some people would have to give up their wool (for example) then buy it back to make things from it.