My journey to get a copy of the out-of-publication and sought-after Estonian lace knitting book “Pitsilised Koekirjad” ended this past January. I now own a first edition copy (although I’m slightly disappointed it’s not a second or third edition copy). Elizabeth Lovick (Northern Lace) has an excellent blog post on her 2nd edition copy, which gives you more links.
I can’t remember when I first read about it, but it was when I knit Laminaria that I really started getting interested in seeing what was in this book! And then the beautiful Haapsalu Sall book came out & people proclaimed it to be the new “Pitsilised Koekirjad”. I bought a copy (before it was translated from Estonian into English) and it’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen. You can see some of the other blogs that led me to make that purchase here, here, and here.
But I still didn’t have the old original book. I wanted a copy. I heard that there were occasionally copies available on Ebay. I looked. No luck. I finally set up a Google Alert that mailed me each day telling me about places on the web that mentioned “Pitsilised Koekirjad”. The majority of results were for file-sharing sites. Sometimes there was a blog post raving about the book. Then one day there was a link to a university library in Estonia. This was legit! And the price was great! There were 2 copies available. I carefully read all the instructions about how the money had to be transferred to the university’s account. It all seemed good. I clicked to buy, but nothing happened.
This was before Christmas. After Christmas, I went back to the site again. This time there was only one copy available. Something must have changed. Crossing my fingers, I tried to buy it again. This time I got an automatic email back with all the info about getting money to their back account & what info to include. I now had a week to accomplish this goal.
First I went to a physical branch of the Bank of Montreal, where we had an account (at the time). I started to get a bad feeling when the teller was uncertain about what to do, and had never heard of Estonia. At the point where she needed the bank’s address & didn’t seem to want to use the address that I discovered using my Blackberry’s browser, I pulled the plug & left.
I ended up completing the transaction through Manulife Bank. It was easy to do – all over the phone! And the fee turned out to be the cheapest of any of the 4 banks I checked with. Score! Plus the person on the other end of the phone seemed to know that Estonia was a country, which improved my confidence in the transaction.
A few weeks later I had this in my hands:
It’s lovely and contains patterns that are just calling out to be knit: