Young Knitters Discover a Decades-Old Wool Festival in Russia
Kitty Laine was a little young for knitting when she made her first purchase. But that didn’t matter. She wanted to learn more about the craft that had taken up so much of her time as a young girl, and she couldn’t find a class or a book to teach her. On her first trip to Russia, Kitty Laine discovered the Russian knitted wool festival. Then her life changed forever.
Knitted wool is a Russian tradition. The people of Russia have for centuries wove cloth in a variety of colors, fibers, and patterns. The women of Russia are well regarded for their unique weaving techniques and the exceptional quality of their wool. When the Russian Empire was established, Russian knitters discovered that it was easier to weave wool into a variety of fabrics than to produce a variety of wool yarns. Consequently, the women of Russia have been known for their skill in knitting and weaving.
Kitty Laine first encountered this tradition during a trip to Russia. Her father took her to the village of Stavropol, and an experience that she won’t soon forget. She watched a weaving demonstration. She saw the women stretch the wool and twist it into complicated patterns. Kitty Laine was instantly hooked.
“I immediately fell in love with this type of knitting,” she says. “It’s so easy to make with the simple stitch pattern, the colors that you can use, and the flexibility of the yarn you use. But it’s also very time consuming. It takes two people to start the intricate weaving, and there’s generally only one person knitting at a time. I decided to start knitting and make a small project for myself. I chose to complete a scarf for my friend, and began the project. It was so satisfying to get the ends all done.”
Kitty Laine was a little young for knitting when she made her first purchase. But that didn’t matter. She wanted to learn more about the craft that had taken up so much of her time as a young girl, and she couldn’t find a class or a book to teach her. On her first trip to Russia, Kitty L