Friday, April 26, 2019

I Can't Get Enough of Haapsalu

Although I traveled with my friend Signe to Haapsalu on Saturday, I made another trip to Haapsalu on Monday. I had wanted to meet with Siiri Reimann, author of a number of books on Haapsalu lace. She was out of town on Saturday, so we made plans to meet on Monday instead. Siiri and I first met in 2013 and I wrote about my visit on my blog here.

The Haapsalu Lace Center is closed on Mondays, but that is where Siiri and I met. She had a friend who joined us and translated, which made it easy for us to communicate. During our visit, a new exhibit was being set up at the lace center - the work of Linda Elgas, a master knitter who has been awarded the title of Estonian Heritage Keeper. I was able to purchase Siiri's latest book, Triangular Knitted Shawls, and have her sign it. She also demonstrated and explained (with the help of our translator) some special tricks to use when knitting nupps (rhymes with soups). Nupps are Estonian bobbles used in lace knitting.

Siiri Reimann, me, and her latest book

In addition to my visit with Siiri, I had time to see two exhibits. One exhibit was at the library. It was the Travelling Exhibition "Heritage Lives!" It was presented by the Estonian Folk Culture Centre. The exhibition included a display about Kihnu homespun striped skirts, Muhu dialect, Seto village feast celebration (kirmas), and more. You can find more about this exhibit on the Folk Culture Centre's website.

The second exhibit was in the Cultural Center. I happened to see a poster about the exhibit when I was walking down Posti, the main street. In celebration of 100 years of Estonian independence, the exhibit showed "Estonia through 100 pairs of eyes." One hundred Estonians were pictured; one person born in each year from 1918 through 2017. Each photo was accompanied by the name of the person, date of birth, and a little information about the person.

One of the pictured Estonians was someone I'm definitely familiar with - Aino Praakli, a well-known knitter and author of knitting books.

My return trip to Haapsalu was well worth it!

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