Join Nancy Bush at Knitting Lab 2014

Nancy Bush is well known for her lovely Estonian-style shawls that are a dream to knit up in fine lace-weight handspun. She is here to tell you about her amazing classes at this spring's Knitting Lab in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Interweave Knitting Lab in Manchester, New Hampshire is just a few weeks away (May 13–18, 2014) ! I’m looking forward to teaching there again this year. I enjoy Knitting Lab because it is an intimate knitting event, which allows me to get to know my students and to focus on our craft without a lot of distractions.

Nancy Bush's Summer Shawl, from her book Knitted Lace of Estonia.

This year I am teaching five different classes, with a focus on my favorite subject, Estonian knitting, with a side-trip to Sweden. I have the good fortune to be teaching a two-day intensive class titled Two Triangular Scarves from Estonia. This class will compare and contrast two very different ways to make a triangular scarf. One is an older style, developed in the 1930s in Haapsalu, Estonia. The other is a newer style, one that has been very popular in Haapsalu for the last 20 years.

Beyond learning how to construct these two different scarves, we will also study some of the history and tradition behind these lovely, lacy, knitted items. By having two full days to focus on one tradition, students will come away with a good background in Estonian lace.

My one-day classes are Making an Estonian Lace Sampler and Tvåändsstickning: The Art of Two-End or Twined Knitting. In the Sampler class, we will learn about the patterns that are found in Estonian lace and some details about how they make their shawls and scarves. One important part of this class is perfecting the unique textured addition to Estonian lace, a nupp (knob or button in Estonian).

For the Fall 2001 issue of Spin-Off Nancy knit yarn that Jeannine Bakriges had spun from a blend of Nancy's beloved Sheltie dog Kloo and Sheland wool. Nancy used a lace pattern that she calls Dog's Paw for the center section along with the geometric border, then she picked up the outer edge and worked an Estonian edging.

The Two-End Knitting class will take us on a detour to Sweden, where we will learn the interesting technique of knitting with two ends from one ball of yarn and in the process begin a pair of lovely mittens. The yarn for this class is imported from Sweden, so students will have a chance to use the traditional materials for the technique.

My last two offerings are half-day classes; Nordic Color: Roositud Technique from Estonia and Estonian Cast Ons. Both of these classes focus on some interesting and unique Estonian knitting techniques. Roositud (rose patterning) is an inlay technique that is worked right into the knitting. It was used historically for embellishing gloves and stockings; there are many ways to incorporate this technique into modern knitting.

Estonian Cast Ons will cover several cast-ons found in Estonian knitting traditions, to make a strong edge or to decorate an edge. Students will leave this class with new choices for their cast on edges.

There are still spots open in most of my classes. To register, visit

I hope to see you in Manchester!


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