A weekend with Nancy Bush

Wow. I’m still trying to process all the knitting I’ve done and everything I’ve learned in the last few days. It’s been a whirlwind! Our local knitting guild brought Nancy Bush in for a series of workshops this weekend, and I went to them all.

Day 1 was a full day of Estonian lace looking at the construction of a triangular shawl. The best thing I got out of this day was some actual experience with sewing on the edges. I must admit that I had previously shied away from some of the patterns in Knitted Lace of Estonia because of sewn-on edges. I won’t have that problem any more! At the end of a long day of knitting, I had this cute little sample triangle:

Sampler from Nancy Bush's class on Estonian Lace & triangular shawl construction

Day 2 involved two classes. First up was Roositud (sounds kind of like rosy-tood). You may remember that last year I used this technique to make gloves from Nancy’s Folk Knitting in Estonia book. Aino’s Gloves were quite a challenge, and at the time I thought the gauge was a challenge also. That was nothing! Nancy had some gloves on hand where there were at least 12 sts to an inch.

For me, the price of admission was worth just hearing Nancy pronounce Roositud, but what made this class extra awesome was seeing a whole table full of authentic Estonian examples of the technique. If I made Aino’s Gloves again, I probably would not double up my contrast colour. Just to play with that idea, I used single contrast colour in the first and third motifs in the class sample, and doubled the contrast yarn in the second one. I definitely prefer the single yarn sections. This is now going to be a small bag for my daughter.

Roositud sample from class with Nancy Bush

Day 2 in the afternoon was Estonian Traveling Stitches. I went into this with very little understanding of what I was about to try. Basically, these stitches are like 1 stitch cables, but unlike Bavarian stitches, there aren’t any twisted stitches. It’s fast and fun to execute, but from the wonderful samples Nancy had, it also looks best when worked at an incredibly small gauge. Hmmm.

Estonian traveling stitch sample from class with Nancy Bush

Day 3 was all about gloves. Although I’ve knit gloves before, this class was great for tips on knitting gloves that fit well. The coolest thing for me was how the fingers from the class sample lay flat when not being worn. I can’t show you that, I’m afraid, because I only got this far:

beginning of glove from class with Nancy Bush

What I’d like to do is start all over again because initially in class I used needles that were too large. And because of my rather large hands I’d like to add a few stitches to the count. And because I had so much fun doing the Estonian traveling stitches, I’d like to play with adding some of them to the glove. So many plans, so little time!

I tried to take lots of notes over the weekend, even when something seemed like such a common sense idea that I thought I couldn’t possibly forget it. I’ll go over my notes again before I pack all the papers away to try to ensure that some of this information actually stays in my brain!

If you have a chance to take a class with Nancy Bush, go for it. Her class projects were well thought out and they give you valuable experience with new techniques. She is a passionate advocate for Estonian knitting traditions. The classes all involved a few interesting personal stories from Nancy’s travels, as well as lots of information from her research.

This entry was posted in inspiration, knitting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A weekend with Nancy Bush

  1. Amanda says:

    Love this!

    And, now that I get a second look, I can tell you that your green gloves are exactly the same colour as my couch! Awesome shade. :D

    What a great weekend.