Haapsalu Sall – THE Estonian lace book!!

Thanks to Lark and Laritza over on KBTH, I have my copy of Haapsalu Sall by Siiri Reimann and Aime Edasi.

cover Haapsalu SallThis is a book of patterns used in Estonian stoles and shawls.  It is almost all in Estonian, but that doesn’t matter – the key to the chart symbols is in English, and the charts and photos speak for themselves.  It  is a large hardback – about 10 ins x 14 ins – and is both a coffee table book and a workbook.

Unlike Nancy Bish’s book on Estonian lace, this is not a project book.  It is to Estonian lace what Sharon Miller is to Shetland lace – a stitch dictionary with basic instructions on how to use the stitch patterns to make traditional stoles – the word ‘sall’ evidently refers to stoles while ‘ratt’ is the word for a square shawl.

After a brief introduction from the authors (translated into English), the book starts with a bit about the history of the town and the knitting.  There are plenty of pictures, and you can work out the gist of what is being said without needing the words!  There is then a section showing the techniques needed, again with brilliant drawings, and the key to the charts.

Haapsalu Sall p20

HS stole and shawl construction

HS key

After that comes the stitch library, divided into sections based round specific types of pattern.  So the first is large motifs used in shawls for famous people.  Later ones are variations on the well-known lily of the valley motif, leaves and the one known in Shetland as horseshoe and in Estonian as Vausabakiri:


(Officionados will see that the pattern is not exactly the same as Horseshoe – you might like to see my aticle on the similarities here.)

HS centres

Not all the stitch patterns contain nupps (or bobbles as the word is translated – which I do find ironic considering how much traffic there has been about them NOT being bobbles!!).  Some have crossed stitches (cables) and some are just a pattern of holes.

At the end are three pages of the traditional lace edgings.

All stitch patterns are well photographed and have a clear chart.  You do have to watch the numbers – some charts are odd numbers only (with the even being all purl) and some have all rows charted.

I have already spent hours comparing the variations within the different families of patterns, and I have already planned out a stole and a shawl…  Must contact YF!!!

The book can be got from the following places:

http://www.eformular.com/klubi38/haapsalusall.html which is a shop or from the publishers, Apollo.  Note that only some of the Apollo site is in English, and that you have to add an ID number of 6 to 12 digits in the order process.  I (and many others) just made one up!   And note, too, that apparently the first printing is almost out, but they are reprinting.  The book works out slightly cheaper from the publisher, but you have to work harder to get it – some guess work on the order form, and the confirmation of your order, dispatch advice emails etc are all in Estonian.  You can use Paypal for both sites.

If you have ANY interest in lace, this book is a MUST.  This is the real thing, not a tourist’s interpretation, and not a collection of specific projects.  Grab one while you can….

25 thoughts on “Haapsalu Sall – THE Estonian lace book!!

  1. hi
    on this site when you scroll down there is a view of a yarnstore and on the right side is a long cardigan in multi colors. i would love to buy that pattern. can you help me??

  2. Hi!

    Thought I’d let everyone know that the shipping cost is A LOT cheaper if you order directly from Apollo.ee (e.g 190 EEK/~16USD/12EUR) to US instead of 25EUR). Homapage, client support and invoicing operate in english as well.


  3. Hello!

    Wanted to let everyone know, that the publisher of this book is not Apollo, which is a big bookshop in Estonia, but Saara publishing (Saarakiri OÜ). Otherwise it is a beautiful and thorough review :).

  4. is there any possibility to get the English translation of this book, my mother has bought it and would love the English translation.

  5. The official English translation by Saara publishing will be out during this year. I do not know the exact date yet, but the book is been translated at the moment, so I hope it will not take very long.

  6. hello people
    I am going to order this book- also, if anyone needs any help at all in translation of directions/ passages from this book, I speak Estonian , and i live in Edinburgh. My parents came from Estonia, and I am married to a Scot! If anyone would like to contact me regarding any help with the text, I am here to offer any assistance.

  7. Hello. I’m glad people outside Estonia are taking interest in the beautiful Haapsalu sall. However, you’ve got the definitions of sall & rätt a bit wrong. Sall is any scarf or item intended for wrapping around your neck and shoulders that isn’t a collar. Rätt is either a square or rectangle scarf that is usually made of cloth or very fine knit. Rätik can be either of the two.

  8. I just came home from Haapsal where I bought this beautiful book and some yarn for the schawls I am now going to knit. And best of all, the book is in English. so obviously it has now been translated.

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