Friday, August 22, 2014

Books, Bikes, Beasts

From Estonian Craft Camp, I travelled to Viljandi.  I could have taken a bus from Olustvere to Viljandi (about 14 miles) but I was able to snag a ride with Ave from the University of Tartu - Viljandi Culture Academy.  After lunch with the other craft campers, we got in Ave's car and she took the scenic route back to Viljandi, giving me a little tour through the countryside and some small, nearby towns before dropping me at my hotel.  Thank you, Ave!

During my afternoon promenade around Viljandi, I stopped in some book stores.  As I was looking in one of the book shops, a clerk appeared and asked if she could help.  I indicated my interest in handicraft books, especially knitting, and she pointed to the exact book that I was looking for.  It was a book of knitwear that had recently been completed by students of the Viljandi Culture Academy, using traditional Estonian techniques in a contemporary way.  The clerk then told me that she had a garment in the book.  I purchased the book and had Enelin sign her page.  The book is Loo Koo Rõõmusta.  I've been told the title is a spin on Eat, Pray, Love and means Create, Knit, Rejoice.  Although the book is in Estonian, it provides a lot of contemporary, yet traditional, inspiration.

I was also happy to find Pattern Puppets, the English version of Kiri Kari by Anu Raud and Anu Kotli.  I already owned Kiri Kari and had made an adorable knitted cat with traditional Estonian designs, but it is nice to be able to read the text and not just guess at the diagrams.

I then stopped to visit Ave at the Viljandi Culture Academy and to see the facility where their classes are taught.  Ave gave me a tour and I saw students working on large displays to be used on the stages at the upcoming Viljandi Folk Music Festival (July 24-27, 2014).  The size of these displays was huge - room-sized in order to make an impact from a distance.  At the end of my visit, I was excited to receive a hard-to-find, out-of-print book, The Letters of Kihnu Roosi.  Rosaali Karjam, aka Kihnu Roosi, is a famous knitter that I met 9 years ago on the Island of Kihnu.  What a bonus!

Kihnu Roosi shown with some of her gloves
(from my 2005 visit to Estonia)

As I continued to wander Viljandi, I was delighted to see Wil, a student from craft camp, biking down the street towards me.  She had brought her bike with her from the Netherlands and had started a bike tour that afternoon.  I do a lot of bicycling myself, so I felt a special kinship with her.  She's biking, but note the hand-knit scarf she's sporting.  Bon voyage, Wil!

The next day I saw Kristi Jõeste, a teacher at Estonian Craft Camp and at Viljandi Culture Academy, and author of Ornamented Journey, (link to my blog on meeting Kristi last year).  Kristi had just begun her vacation and had time to meet with me and we sat and chatted about knitting at one of her favorite local coffee shops, Rohelise maja pood ja kohvik.  We enjoyed our drinks in the oasis of the outdoor courtyard.


  1. It was my pleasure to help you with the book :)

  2. Thanks, Enelin! I'm glad you found my blog. I found your blog, too. :)

  3. I am trying to get the book pattern puppets.
    I am having trouble. Where can I get it?

  4. I think you can still find the book Pattern Puppets at Wooly West: Good luck!