With Nancy Bush arriving next week for three wonderful workshops and the recent article on Muhu style knitting in Knitting Traditions magazine (now at the shop), we thought it was about time to get a history lesson on the ways of Muhu knitting.
Muhu Island, just off the coast of Estonia in the Baltic sea, is home to quaint fishing villages, thatched cottages, wooden windmills, and a rich and colorful knitting tradition dating back hundreds of years.
The striking colorwork patterns of the mittens, leggings, and socks created by competitive island crafters in the “Colors of Muhu” reached their height in the 19th century once brilliant aniline dyes became readily available. A knitter displaying beautiful and intricate designs in bright pinks, oranges, and yellows would be sure to catch the eye of a prospective husband – whose gloves and vatt jacket would be worked in the same cheerful colors in traditional patterns, inspired by the flora and fauna of the island. Fine yarn and tiny needles were the order of the day – a for-best glove might have more than 150 stitches per round!
Now that you know a bit more about this technique, are you ready to try your hand at this beautiful craft? Knitting historian and designer Nancy Bush will be teaching an all-day workshop at fibre space™ on January 26th. The price includes not only your lunch but your supplies!
You’ll follow the evolution of Muhu knitting, learn how the intricate braided and patterned cuffs of Muhu mittens and gloves are made, and knit your own Muhu-inspired handwear using traditional techniques. (Don’t worry, you won’t have to use size 000 needles!)
(Want to read more about Muhu knitting? Pick up a copy of Knitting Traditions at the shop!)