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Spinning Gossamer Threads The Yarns of Orenburg

Experience the traditions and techniques used to spin the gossamer thread yarn used to create Orenburg shawls.

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PieceWork magazine is proud to present a workshop that brings the traditions of Orenburg into your home.

The hand knitted shawls of Orenburg, located in the steppes of the southern Ural Mountains, set a world standard for exquisite handspun yarns and delicate lace patterning. The beauty and durability of these heirloom creations begin with the yarn: cashmere from the densely-coated goats of the region, an unusual way of preparing the fleece on a Central Asian-style comb, and skillful spindle spinning.

Galina Khmeleva has made a life work of learning the traditional skills of Orenburg spinners and knitters, and promoting their artistry throughout the world. In this DVD, you will learn first-hand:

  • The properties of Orenburg cashmere and how they influence the knitting
  • How to comb on a tool unique to the region
  • How to separate the finest fibers from those more suitable for heavier knitting
  • How to spin on the slender, shapely, whorl-free Orenburg spindle
  • How to ply and finish your yarn

You’ll also hear wonderful stories from a woman who has spent her adult life absorbing the traditions that bring this time-honored folk craft to life.

About the Author

Galina Khmeleva teaches the skills of Orenburg spinning and knitting throughout the world. Her business, Skaska Designs,  provides tools and materials, and also sells shawls created by the knitters of Orenburg. She is author of Gossamer Webs: History and Techniques of Orenburg Lace Shawls (Interweave, 1998). Galina is also a long time contributor to PieceWork magazine and it's special issues. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her husband, George Girard.

SKU: 12SP06

Author/Speaker/Editor: Galina Khmeleva

Format: DVD

ISBN 13: 9781596686748

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Customer Reviews

Well worth the investment of time Review by Sterling0925

This video always seemed to be a bit pricey, so I abstained from putting it into my shopping cart, even though I was interested in the subject matter. When I finally did purchase it, I understand why it costs more than the others: Not only is Galina a joy to hear as she spins (pun intended) out the the story behind the Orenburg stye of making yarns/threads/shawls, she does it with a delightful Russian accent and a good sense of humor. No direction or set of directions goes without a well thought out, foundational reason; much the voice of experience. I appreciated her acknowledgement of Margaret Stove's book and DVD on spinning fine merino wool into lace, which I have also seen and enjoyed. I think she did an excellent job of teaching the craft, and preserving it for future generations in this way. As a hand spinner down to four wheels and a charka, I probably won't invest in the tools needed to spin this way, but knowing how it was done was my goal and I'll enjoy this video over and over.

(Posted on 11/3/13)

Spinning Gossamer Threads video Review by Jaci Siehl

The video is very interesting and Galina has so much fun information to share. She pointed out some tips that will definitely help me with my Russian spindle. Also the time involved that she references makes the process seem not so overwhelming. I would have liked to see some close shots of finished yarn in a shawl, but I guess I'll have to wait and see it in the shawl I make later this year.

(Posted on 4/5/12)