Friday, March 18, 2011

Latvian Charted Designs Giveaway

I have five sets of these design chartss to give away. The two photos above are a minisampler taken from the charts. Here are notes from the introduction:

LATVIAN CROSS-STITCH DESIGNS
lin vandenberg

The designs seen here were graphed in 2009-2010 by lin vandenberg (currently living in Cairo, Egypt) from a book entitled Latviesu Tautas Terpi: Raksti: Izsusana (Latvian National Costumes: Designs: Embroidery) by Maruta Grasmane (Apgads Rasa ABC, SIA, 2000, ISBN 9984-653-25-0). Only the preface is written in English and I have but a very limited vocabulary in Latvian to draw upon, so please forgive any of the undoubtedly many errors that appear due to my own linguistic limitations. Unfortunately, my computer is unable to write the diacritical markings common in Latvian and for this, I also apologize.

A study of this exquisitely well-written and photographed tome is an adventure in the exploration of a unique and diverse heritage. Latvian national costumes employ many different embroidery stitches and techniques on shawls, bonnets, shirts (sleeves, cuffs, collars and front openings), headbands and scarves. The beautiful weaving of patterned belts, striped or plaid skirts, and the woven and then embroidered shawls are shown in the book with their accompanying traditional jewelry. Unfortunately, the embroidery of household items and other textiles lies outside the scope of this book, thereby limiting our exposure to what is surely a broader embroidery tradition.

The most fascinating aspect of Latvian embroidery as seen in the national costumes is the uniqueness of its designs. Undoubtedly, the elements in use in both weaving and embroidery derive from ancient sources. That they are untraceable (in all but a very few cases) to outside sources makes them a truly unique feature of this nation’s traditions. As you examine or stitch the graphs included here, you will be as intrigued as I was at the complexity and beauty of these designs. Unified by their generally diamond-shaped format, the details vary significantly from one pattern to the next. There is interplay in each between foreground and background, stitched and voided areas, that captivates the attention and gives endless pleasure to both embroiderer and viewer.

Counted cross-stitch has been selected for this initial study only because of the widespread familiarity the technique currently enjoys in the U.S. and Europe. Other stitching techniques and some of the more complex designs that use many stitches in a single piece may be examined in future studies.

The exclusive usage of cross-stitch does not appear (from the information contained in the book, at least) to be widespread, but is to be found mostly in the two westernmost regions of Kuldiga and Barta. The designs shown here come from the front opening (#8), stand-up collars (#1-6) and cuffs (#7, 10 and 12) of the traditional linen blouses and shirts. Abrene is a town close to the eastern border of Latvia; the cuff decoration (#11) comes from there.

It may well be that the thread used traditionally for counted cross stitch embroidery on an approximately 42-count white linen ground (each stitch taken over 2 threads) may have also been linen and that this may possibly have been produced locally. Today, it appears that cotton floss is more commonly used. Because 6-strand DMC embroidery floss is the thread preferred by embroiderers worldwide, I have tried, as closely as possible, to denote the colors of the included embroideries using standard DMC numbers.


If you would like to be entered in this giveaway, please comment on this post. The end date will be April 4, 2011 b-- I'll be back by then to mail out the sets of charts to the winners. Please make sure your comment includes a way to get in touch with you. I will mail anywhere in the world.

53 comments:

Tara said...

Thank you for the chance at this giveaway. That book looks intriguing.

Michelle & Trevor said...

This is beautiful! It would be wonderful to use some of these patterns on a bicornu! My email address is available on my blogger profile!

bea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bea said...

LOVE IT!! This is so going to be useful and thank you for the chance to win!

Renee G said...

I would absolute love to win these charts. They are gorgeous.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

Moon_Child said...

This is a great giveaway. Thank you for this opportunity. I love the look of these samplers.

E-mail: Moonchild776@aol.com

Moon

royce said...

thank you for the giveaway
count me in too

Miriam said...

What a lovely patterns! My email adress is available on my blogger profile.

Thanks a lot, Miriam, the Netherlands

Shari said...

I have a passion for ethnic embroidery. Your introduction text is very interesting. Would love to have a set of these patterns. Thanks for the opportunity.

Vanessa said...

Wow! This is fantastic! So different from what I have seen! Love it!

butterflyjones03 At YaHoo Dot Com

Bev said...

Such beautiful designs!

Would love to be the pround winner of some. Thanks for the opportunity.

Jan said...

GORGEOUS!! I love this pattern. I am drawn to patterns like this. Thanks for the giveaway!

Kimberly R. said...

I'd love a chance to enter for the beautiful patterns!
Thanks :)
kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

Christa2712 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christa2712 said...

I love latvian designs and adapted some from knitting charts into xstich. Please count me in :-))

Christa

Lee said...

I love the Lativian beautiful designs. Thanks for entering me and thanks for a lovely giveaway.

Foodgirl30 said...

Would love to win this. My father is from Latvia and this would makea beautiful gift for him.
Foodgirl30@hotmail.com

crafter1953 said...

Thank you for offering this giveaway. I would love to win.

lewmew said...

OK - I posted once but it's not showing up - I am a first generation American - my parents both came over via the German refugee camps - run out by the Communists. I did a sampler a few years ago using mitten pattens - but would love love love this!!! contact me at lewmew@hotmail.com

Wagapapa said...

Thanks for the giveaway! That sampler looks fantastic!

Now, I follow you and your blog is in my blog list, fingers crossed!

Greetings from Bilbao

Lane said...

this would be so awesome! thanks for the chance to win :D

Joyce said...

I would love to use some of these patterns for knitting.

ChrisTea said...

These designs would look beautiful in either color or black & while. How sweet! Thank you.
botm2@yanoo.com

terryb said...

What a beautiful collection of bands. And the blues and navys are among my favorite colors. Thank you for the opportunity to add these to our collections.

sem photoshop said...

thanks very much for this giveaway! i was searching for designs like these!!

adrienne forsyth said...

These charted bands are lovely - I so enjoy motifs/bands from various cultural backgrounds - this would be wonderful addition to my little collection...Thank you - Adrienne

Mia said...

Stunning!!! I thought I ahd seen many many different ethinic styles of embroidery but never these. I am more familiar with Lativan knitting.

I would love to have a chance to enter.

fireemgirl at gmail dot com

DECOR8Rgirl said...

Gorgeous! I already have ideas for what I can make! I am commenting using my Google profile, so I hope that has my contact info!

Thanks!

Gina said...

I would love to enter your giveaway! I love the patterns :-) Thank you for this opportunity!

gshillitani yahoo com

Anonymous said...

So beautiful! Thank you for the chance to win.
Cindy
casasaki@telus.net

City by the Sea Ceramics said...

so pretty! i'm curious to try it!

Knititall said...

These are beautiful, thanks for the great giveaway!

Lorie said...

The designs are beautiful! I would love to have a chance to stitch them. Thanks for being allowed to compete.

Laura said...

These patterns look fascinating! Thanks for the opportunity to win.

Lelia said...

Please add my name into your giveaway. I enjoyed the information and interview (prev post) with Lin. What wonderful designs!

Heather K said...

My mother's father was from Riga but died before I was born. I love the Latvian needlework and would love to win the charts. Thanks for the chance.

Anonymous said...

This looks like a great giveaway. Thank you in advance.

kitty_wench said...

I love these designs. My friends mum is from Latvia, and I would love to make some for her.

theuniversalwhisper said...

Beautiful, beautiful! Thanks for the giveaway!

mesmerize138(at)gmail(dot)com

Southpaw Stitcher said...

These charts are really cool! Please enter me in the giveaway. Let's see if I can be lucky a third time.

Jane said...

Hi, glad to see you are having fun in London. I would love to win this to add to my collection of ethnic embroidery patterns. Thanks for the chance.
Jane

Geowyn said...

I would love to try out these designs on some of the Latvian weaving I have done and some of my Lithuanian great grandmother's linen she wove back in the 30's.

ruthhill74 said...

Please enter me! I'm now following you. Thanks!

ruthaw_1974@yahoo.com

mbroider said...

These are beautiful! Pls add my name to the giveaway. I am reachable at mils_here@yahoo.com

Louise said...

I would be thrilled to have this collection in my library. Thanks!

Warwick family said...

My mother is Latvian - a WWII refugee - left Riga at age 5, settled in Australia her whole life. Australia is so far (literally and figuratively) from Latvia that it has been hard for her to keep the cultural connection. I would love to receive these patterns and stitch them for her. regards, Mara

Kimberly R. said...

I'd love a chance to enter!!
Thanks :)
kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

madrid said...

although I am from Lithuania - I adore our Baltic traditions and it would be wonderful to get it :)
paldies!

Marcy said...

How beautiful -- please include me in your giveaway. Thanks!

qtlildawgs at yahoo dot com

Pam in PA said...

What beautiful charts! Please enter me in your drawing. I would love to
win one. Thank you.
Pam pamkifer@yahoo.com

Pam in PA said...

These charts are beautiful! Please enter me in your drawing for one of these charts. I would love to win one of them!
Thank you
Pam pamkifer@yahoo.com

Hillside Threads said...

Beautiful designs and how annoying I didn't find your blog earlier as I have been asked to stitch a latvian design for a 2012 embroiderers guild project. Do you know where I can obtain Latvian designs, as searching the net is proving difficult.
Thanks

Zahra said...

Hello,

As I can see, your giveaway period is finished, but I'd like to add a good word too. I am collecting traditional patterns (I have from Moravia, from Bulgaria, from Italy, from France, from Ireland and I try to gather more). I can only feel deeply touched by the latvian pattern you offer. Each pattern is just more than embroidering crosses. It tells about the landscape, and about the people virtue. It looks like traditional songs echoing in the air. It tells about traditional dance costumes of Easter, which are embroidered in winter. Latvia is a very small country, with very very kind people, from the sample of Latvian people I met. I would of course be honored and very happy to receive a sample, if possible. In any case, I'd just like to let you know I really really appreciate you put a shedlight on this so small country, by putting forward a part of its small beautiful things. Thank you and God bless you. Zahra