Explore Old World Lace

Lindsay Smith

Lindsay Smith

We asked Lindsay Smith, one of our instructional designers, to fill you in on her adventures with frequent PieceWork contributor and master lace knitter Galina Khmeleva. Here’s Lindsay!

Samples of lace knitting with Estonian lace knitting with nupps in the foreground made by Galina Khmeleva for her video. Photo by Jill Brooke.

Samples of lace knitting with Estonian lace knitting with nupps in the foreground made by Galina Khmeleva for her video.
Photo by Jill Brooke.

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. It would not be an overstatement to say that Galina is a treasure. She not only is endlessly knowledgeable about Orenburg lace techniques but 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. Hence, the video was born. I’m thrilled to be able to share with you Galina’s stories, kind and patient teaching methods, and knowledge about lace knitting in this new workshop, Knitting Old World Lace: From Shetland to Orenburg.

Galina Khmeleva’s handwritten lace knitting chart for a swatch that features the basic Orenburg element “diagonals” made for her video. The swatch chart is included in the downloadable materials that go along with the video. Photo by Jill Brooke.

Galina Khmeleva’s handwritten lace knitting chart for a swatch that features the basic Orenburg element “diagonals” made for her video. The swatch chart is included in the downloadable materials that go with the video.
Photo by Jill Brooke.

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!

Galina and I agree that while we love the rhythm of the needles and yarn in our hands, being able to link our projects and patterns with the women and men who came before us, especially from the traditions of Shetland, Estonia, and Orenburg, is so rewarding. Join Galina today and learn about Knitting Old World Lace: From Shetland to Orenburg.

Two Orenburg gossamer shawls and one Orenburg warm shawl from Galina Khmeleva’s collection. Note the intricate goat pattern on the shawl at right, representing the goat down that is used to make the shawls. Photo by Jill Brooke.

Two Orenburg gossamer shawls and one Orenburg warm shawl from Galina Khmeleva’s collection. Note the intricate goat pattern on the shawl at right, representing the goat down that is used to make the shawls. Photo by Jill Brooke.