Lithuanian Knitting: Continuing Traditions
by Donna Druchunas & June Hall
Learn about the traditions and techniques of knitting in Lithuania past, present, and future. Plus find more than 25 mitten, glove, and sock projects to knit!
- History, How-To, Nonfiction, Travel
- Page Length:
- 100 – 250 Pages
- Book Status:
- Completed Manuscript
I am Donna Druchunas, a writer, knitwear designer, and travel junkie. My passions for knitting, history, culture, and story-telling are at the center of my work.
I’m here to raise the money I need to print a high-quality hard-cover book that celebrates the knitting traditions of Lithuania, the country of my family origins. I want to print my book in Lithuania to support the local economy.
Lithuania is a hub of European textile production and a haven for fiber artists. Visitors to the capital city of Vilnius find the narrow cobblestone streets flanked by hidden yarn and folk-art shops. Tourist markets overflow with hand-knitted mittens, socks, wrist warmers and caps. Museums house rich textile exhibits and collections, and traditional handcrafts are demonstrated at street festivals and open-air museums during summer. As soon as autumn’s cool breezes kick up, the streets become a veritable knitwear fashion show. Although Lithuania doesn’t have a reputation as a major tourist destination, the country is a knitter’s paradise.
Knitting spotted everywhere in Lithuania!
In Lithuanian Knitting: Continuing Traditions, you can journey with me and my co-author June Hall around the country and learn about all of the fun and fascinating traditions and techniques that I’ve discovered during my travels.
June Hall spinning
Along with all of the stories, the book also includes over 25 patterns for traditional and modern socks, gloves, mittens, and beaded wrist warmers, all worked with Lithuanian techniques, pattern stitches, and motifs. The techniques used include colorwork, texture stitches, lace, entrelac, and more! And, I’ve also included a chapter on how to perform some special Lithuanian techniques that I’ve been teaching in sold-out workshops for the past several years.
Thumbnails of Projects
Over the years, Vilnius has become a second home to me, and Lithuania has become more and more of a homeland to me. Although being Lithuanian-American is vastly different than being a native Lithuanian, I’ve come to feel even more of a kinship with my family here in America as I’ve fallen in love with the far-off country.
In Lithuanian Knitting: Continuing Traditions, I’ll introduce you to the Lithuanian cities and countryside; take you to visit knitters, weavers, and spinners; spend time learning about sheep, and wool; drop into a few yarn stores; and explore Lithuanian knitting techniques. When we are done, you’ll be drooling to cast on and knit some wonderful Lithuania-inspired projects!
Donna buying beaded wristers from a knitter in Vilnius
Interview with Donna Druchunas & June Hall
I am half Lithuanian and I grew up hearing about Lithuania from my grandmother. As I began learning about knitting in my 30s, I discovered knitting from Lithuania’s neighbors–Estonia and Latvia–but I could not find any information about the land where my family originated. June Hall is also part Lithuanian and first visited Lithuania to explore her roots. She also discovered connections to her family history in the knitting of Lithuania. They say to write the book you want to read, and that is what we’ve done.
What’s in Lithuanian Knitting: Continuing Traditions?
Lithuanian Knitting: Continuing Traditions is the story of Lithuania told through the history of knitting. In its pages, you will find both a non-fiction book that blends memoir, travel, and history as well as a knitting book that includes over 25 patterns inspired by Lithuanian textile traditions.
Table of contents
Chapter 1: Visiting Lithuania–Our Personal Stories
Chapter 2: The Land and the People
Chapter 3: History
Chapter 4: Sheep
Chapter 5: Wool
Chapter 6: Knitters and Folk Art
Chapter 7: Techniques
Chapter 8: Patterns for Socks, Mittens, Gloves, and Wrist Warmers
What is the funding for?
We want to support the local economy of Lithuania by having our book printed there. This is one of the ways we will give back to the Lithuanian community in gratitude for all of the inspiration and support we have found there over the years.
If we get fully funded, we will print a hard-cover book in Lithuania to support the local economy there. If we don’t get fully funded, we will still produce a beautiful book, but it will be a paper-back printed in China.
What are your risks and challenges?
Well, first, let me say that Lithuanian Knitting: Continuing Traditions will be a book regardless of what happens! The book is written, the projects are made, the photography is done, and we are now making the index, doing a final proof, and getting ready to send the book to the printer. Our biggest challenge at this point is getting to print the book in Lithuania so we can give back into the local economy there.
Who is your co-author, June Hall?
I could not have created this book without the help of June Hall, my co-author from Cumbria, England. Her experience raising sheep, being a member the Wool Clip fiber-artist co-operative in Cumbria, organizing WoolFest—one of the largest sheep and wool events in Great Britain—and serving on the board of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust in the UK make her uniquely qualified to offer us a glimpse into the world of Lithuanian sheep breeds and their wool. June is also a fiber-artist in her own right, and has had her articles and designs published in magazines in the UK and the USA.