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