3 Types of Old-World Lace Knitting

When I think of lace knitting, I usually think of a beautiful shawl or heirloom baby blanket à la Princess Charlotte. But the tradition of this type of knitting goes much deeper than that, with its origins in old-world Europe. From the Shetland Islands to the country of Estonia, there are distinctly different types of historic lace knitting.

One of those is Orenberg knitting, and we have our own treasure to delve into this and other types of lace knitting, expert Galina Khmeleva. Here she is, talking about her fascination with Orenberg knitting:

Galina is a wealth of knowledge, and a wonderful teacher! Instructional designer Lindsay Smith worked with Galina on a new video, Knitting Old World Lace. Here’s what Lindsay had to say about her experience:

“In January of this year, I had the pleasure of working with lace knitting expert Galina Khmeleva on her newest video, Knitting Old-World Lace: From Shetland to Orenburg. Galina not only is endlessly knowledgeable about Orenburg lace techniques but she also has a wealth of knowledge on other regional lace knitting traditions and cultures, such as Shetland and Estonian. I felt so lucky to be able to sit down with Galina and look at the similarities and differences between traditions, discussing which came first, why this knitted border is worked from this direction, or what the significance of a goat pattern in lace might be. I also loved working with the folks from textile museums in each of these areas to source historical images that help Galina’s stories come alive in the video.

I knew that if I was this excited to geek out over lace knitting and view Galina’s collection, others might be too. I’m thrilled to be able to share with you Galina’s stories, kind and patient teaching methods, and knowledge about lace knitting.

One of Galina’s biggest passions is sharing her knowledge and love of lace knitting with others. She and her husband tirelessly travel the country teaching workshops and selling lace yarn, books, magazines, and patterns at knitting conventions and fiber shows. While she loves teaching live workshops and attending events, she admitted to me that she regrets not being able to attend every event or teach every knitter who would like to learn about lace knitting!”

New item on bucket list: Take a class from Galina!

Just take a look at these three swatches, each from a different region of the world; you can clearly see the traditional knitting style of each area.

Three old-world lace knitting swatches

From left: Orenburg Lace Swatch, Estonian Lace Swatch, Shetland Lace Swatch

It’s fascinating to me that lace knitting can be so varied according to the area where it originated.

You’ll love exploring the rich history of lace knitting from West to East. Whether you’re a seasoned lace knitter or just starting your journey, Knitting Old World Lace will enrich and inspire you to knit and learn more.



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