Orenburg Lace

Last Saturday I attended a spinning workshop that my guild was putting on. 

The instructor for the workshop was Galina Khmeleva, author of Gossamer Webs: The History and Techniques of Orenburg Lace Shawls.  Her focus for our workshop was showing us the techniques for spinning exotic fibers into fine lace yarns.

Galina brought alone many jaw dropping, major drooling, absolutely fabulous lace shawls and scarves.   I was literally giddy, and stupid… I couldn’t find my camera until most of the shawls were put away.  But I did get these pics.


The shawl above Galina is showing, is made with yarn spun from qiviut and plied with a silk single.

The scarf  below is made from spun pygora.


The spinning  and plying are all done on support spindles which is a plus when you are dealing with short fine fibers. 


We were given six scrumptious samples of fibers to play with; cormo, bison, cormo/alpaca, qiviut, qiviut/silk, pygora and cashgora. Yum, yum, yum!

I was a bit skeptial at first, but after a couple false starts, I was getting the hang of it and not too long after that I was feeling comfortable using the support spindle.  I do have some experience of spinning lace on a drop spindle and that helped.  But drafting with the supported spindle is done with one hand, which was new to me.  It really pays to have good fiber prep.  I checked out a few of the YouTube videos demonstrating the use of a support spindle, but they don’t show what I think are good techniques like Galina taught us.

Galina is a very good instructor and share a wealth of information about all aspects of the construction of the beautiful Orenburg Lace.

I went home with some goodies.


This is the finest I have consistently spun qiviut and I am enjoying it more.


I just love the colour of the cashmere and silk I purchased along with a small shawl/scarf  penanular.


And now for the lastest volcano report, live from my house (100 miles away, I can just see it between some trees)…

Reboubt is venting a steam plume to 20,000 ft. redoubt

Pic from AVO.


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3 Responses to “Orenburg Lace”

  1. Marie T Says:

    Hi! Please share….what were some of her tips for spinning?

  2. Renat Says:

    Dear Carin:
    I am writing for the blog (in Russian) on knitting Orenburg lace shawls all over the world. I would like to translate part of your post (with pictures) to Russian and publish it in my blog. Could you please give me your permission to do it? Definetely I will make a link to your webpage in my post.

  3. Anna Reussien Says:

    Dear Carin,

    I am organizing Galina’s Australian Tour in March 2011 and in the process of getting a website up with information. I would kindly request your permission for the use of the 2 pictures showing Galina during her workshop, and perhaps a comment from you about taking part. It would be of great help. With kind regards, Anna

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