Yesterday at the book store I picked up "Knitted Lace of Estonia" by Nancy Bush.
It's an excellent book, well-documented, well illustrated, with lovely photos and lovely projects and easy to read patterns. Which is exactly what I expect from Nancy Bush. (I'll pretty much buy anything she's done, because she did it. I've got sock books by her, and I don't even knit socks.)
There is a history section on Estonian lace, which of course I was interested in due to my ongoing obsession with the history of knitting. Turns out that, unlike a lot of knitting traditions, Estonian lace was ALWAYS about the money. It developed in several coastal towns that were resorts for Imperial Russia, and/or ports where passenger ships (full of rich Russians and Scandinavians) stopped. So the very smart ladies of Estonia started knitting lace to sell to the tourists and make a buck. I in no way think this cheapens or commercializes the tradition; I think it's brilliant. You go, girls; that's my thought on knitting traditions founded for monetary reasons.
Anyway, what I found interesting, in the context of my Backdoor Theory of Knitting Migration, is how the shawls are worked (very short, single point needles with no in-the-rounding like Shetlanders used), in ways that have more in common with Orenburg lace than with North Sea methods. Which might validate my theory, inasmuch as it's possible to validate anything eight, nine hundred years after the fact.
But it's interesting.
As for 'should you buy this', well, I'm of two minds. I suspect most lace knitters already have more lace patterns socked away than they can knit in a single lifetime, or possibly two lifetimes. (I personally could spend one lifetime just knitting lace in German.) So to tell people they need more patterns is a little hare-brained. But this lace is different. It's more textured than any other laces I've seen, and I think I've got at least a nodding acquaintance with every major lace tradition. The only thing I've seen come near it is Azores Lace, and that's little doilies, not wearables. So this stuff really IS different. So any lace geek would be pleased with the book and find it worthwhile. You'll have to decide if it's something you'd want, I guess. Myself, I'm pleased with it. But I'm a lace geek.
I spent the weekend knitting. A long weekend - Monday was an 'off' day for government workers like the husbeast, for President's Day. (We spent our lovely holiday dealing with a backed up sewer line. I'll skip the revolting details; the city fixed it because it was city pipes that were clogged, but EW.)
I wanted to knock out the sock for the Roulette swap. Yeah. About that. While I am still firmly convinced it is possible to knit a sock in a weekend, especially a three day weekend, I failed to take a few things into consideration: It may not be possible to knit THIS PARTICULAR SOCK PATTERN in three days. And MY skill set for sock knitting is... not extensive. Doilies, yes. Socks, no.
There are four inches/ten cm of leg done. Four to go, before foot shaping. So, what, a quarter done? Oy vey.
It's a textured sock, with little twisted-stitch 'cables'. I figured this would be nothing for me, considering I just got done knitting a gigundous allover cabled sweater. But you know what? Cabling stuff on size nine needles is different than cabling it on size twos. Grand revelation of the weekend. Yeah. It's pretty pathetic I had to have this revelation after, what, twenty years of knitting. That's me. Real fast on the uptake.
When the sock frustrated me over the weekend, I worked on baby stuff. I got a pair of booties almost done (they need sewing up and buttons - so cute they give me stomach cramps), and a BSJ needing one shoulder seam and a frog. I put frogs on baby clothes instead of buttons when at all possible... I've got this hangup about buttons on baby clothes. We're all entitled to be neurotic about something.
I leave for Florida this coming weekend, probably Sunday, for two weeks with the in-laws. I'd REALLY like to have the sock done by then. We'll see.
How is it, no matter what, I manage to drive myself insane with deadline knitting? Even when the deadlines don't exist??