One of my colleagues recently returned from her own stint as an alumni tour host. Around the same time I found out I was going to the Aegean, she got orders for a cruise through Russia. I suggested she keep an eye out for knitted lace, and wouldn't you know, she listened to me.
Katie acquired a palatine (aka knitted lace stole) during a stop at an artisan's colony somewhere near Moscow and was kind enough to bring it to the office so I could fondle it, examine it, and take a few photographs to share with y'all.
The lace is not from Orenberg, but it was definitely worked using the Orenberg construction method as outlined by Galina Khmeleva. I found the cast-on on the bottom edge, and the final border graft near the upper left corner.
Here's part of the bottom edge - with tassels attached. Hadn't seen that before. The yarn is a loose ply of a variegated silk singles and a very fine rust-red mohair singles.
The entire center was worked with this stitch pattern, which looks like droopy vine leaves. Not complicated, but very pretty.
Interestingly, although the top and bottom borders both had the "five-hole teeth" that Galina says are characteristic of all Orenberg borders, the sides of the stole had only four holes per tooth. [Note to non-knitting readers: Yes, that is interesting. Shut up.]
Russian lace becomes her, does it not? And she got a good price, too: a bargain by American standards, but high enough to be fair to the knitter. It sounds like the knitters (and the other artists) sold directly to the public, with no middleman to grab the profits.
Word from Dolores
It was the work of mere minutes to alert American Express that my card information was on the loose, but by that time there were already unauthorized charges to a luxury car rental company, several roadside restaurants and bars, and finally a "sheep only" nudist resort somewhere on the outskirts of Las Vegas.
The phone rang at about 2 a.m.
"Wazza?" I said.
"Cupcake, there seems to be an issue with this credit card of yours," said Dolores. In the background, I could hear somebody bleating angrily in French.
"Hey, you fluffy old thing," I said. "How's Victorine enjoying Las Vegas?"
"Well not too much, sweetheart, since we are trying to get hot stone massages and your naughty little credit card has suddenly stopped working. Marco and Rufus are not amused. You see our difficulty?"
"Say, did you take my Aeneid with you? I need to look up a reference."
"It's in my bedside stack under a packet of letters from Ann Coulter. Are you listening to me? Your card is no good. I need you to call AmEx and sort it all out before these boys go off the boil."
"That reminds me. Since you're away, do you mind if Jon sleeps on your cushion while he's here next week?"
"Franklin! Pay attention!"
"Gee, the connection's breaking up, Dolores. Are you driving through a canyon?"
"No! I am standing here with two short-tempered masseurs who are waiting for a deposit! Now hang up the damn phone and–"
I can hardly wait for the postcards.