Knitting enthusiasts from all over the world will come together in Viljandi
University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy Native Crafts Department will host this year’s Nordic Knitting Symposium (NKS) in Viljandi from June 25 to July 1, 2018. The event will bring together more than a hundred participants from the Nordic countries, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, England and the United States of America.
NKS is a flagship event of Gavstrik – A Danish organization for knitters. Every year a different Nordic country can host the annual symposium and Estonia has the honour of hosting the event – second time in the organization’s eighteen year history. This year’s symposium’s central theme is the traditional knitting of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Western-Russia. Throughout the event several workshops, seminars and lectures will be held on topics such as historical knitting traditions, techniques and crafts. All of this will be accompanied by a rich cultural program that will introduce the participants to Estonia in its many facets.
The main organizer for the event, Ms. Kristi Jõeste who is the program manager and senior lecturer for UT Viljandi Culture Academy’s Native Crafts Department’s textile specialization, enlightened us on how Estonia became the host: “Estonia was asked to host mainly because our knitting techniques have become more visible in the world arena as well as being widely acknowledged by the rest of the world. The interest towards our knitting traditions as well as the traditions of our neighbouring countries such as Latvia and Lithuania is very high. For that very reason, this year’s symposium is titled Baltic Special”
Among the 20 lecturers and specialist invited, two renowned knitting teachers from Arkhangelsk will also give practical workshops. Two of the lecturers will be given by ethnologists from St. Petersburg and a promotor for traditional knitting from Pskov oblast of Russia. Jõeste was also happy that the Russians are taking part of the event because this is the first time a professional contact and such cooperation has been established with our Russian partners. Jõeste was happy to say that: “Our exceptional colleagues from Latvia and Lithuania will also give lectures that are bound to be exciting and inspiring.”
She further added: “Hopefully the one hundred participants will also enrich the city scene in Viljandi. We have organized three exhibitions specifically for the symposium and they are free to visit them. During the evenings Layk Studio Café will be buzzing with the excitement of the knitters as the café will be the official evening knitting scene.”
The students and alumni of the textile specialisation of the Native Crafts Department will be involved in the event as volunteers. The evening lectures on different aspects of knitting will be open to everyone interested. Lectures will be held in English.
Kristi Jõeste, 520 0340, Kristi.joeste [ät] ut.ee