Sandra Urvak

Jämaja and Ruhnu Knitting Techniques in the Form of Wrist Warmers **

​Teacher: Riina Tomberg

Riina tomberg

Riina Tomberg was born in Tallinn, Estonia, living in Saaremaa, Kuressaare. She graduated from Estonian State Art Institute (Estonian Academy of Arts) as a textile designer in 1981, Master degree in Estonian Academy of Arts folk art department in 2004. Riina participated in expeditions to Finno-Ugric people by the Estonian State Art Institute and Estonian National Museum in 1978-1986. Riina has participated in many national and international exhibitions of textile art since 1980.
Since 1992, she has had a textile studio and knitting workshop Ruut & Triip OÜ in Kuressaare. Since 2000, Riina has been a lecturer in the UT Viljandi Culture Academy Estonian Native Crafts programme. Riina is the author of a book 'Vatt, Troi, Vamsa - Knitted Jackets from West Estonian Islands', published in 2006. She has conducted various workshops on Estonian traditional knitwear.

Girls from Ruhnu are knitting

Riina describes her work as follows: "The inspiration for me lies in the traditional way of life, doing things with your own hands for yourself and the closest people around you. You would like to protect them not only from bad weather, but from anything bad that could come across. I would like to use that kind of thinking in my work, even in modern design."

Sweater from Saaremaa

This workshop will focus on 2 traditional knitted jacket types - “vamsa” and “rosavamsa” from Ruhnu island and Jämaja knitted women’s jackets from Saaremaa island. In the 19th century, knitting was the most common handicraft that was frequently used in clothing. Everyday clothes were made of plain, undyed yarn.

Rosavamsa sweater from Ruhnu

In this workshop, the participants will study different techniques for knitting the borders, cuffs and collars of sweaters and jackets from Saaremaa and Ruhnu, and the knitted details from the jackets and sweaters will be combined and knitted into a wristwarmer.

We’ll begin with the knitted hem of a short women's jacket from Jämaja parish, Saaremaa, and continue with Ruhnu braids and a rose pattern from a Ruhnu women’s holiday sweater called “rosavamsa”.

Various wrist warmers with Ruhnu patters

The yarn we’ll be using is 8/2 wool and the needles, 1,5mm. The yarn and needles are included in the participation fee. Participants can bring their favourite knitting needles along with them. This workshop is suitable for advanced knitters.