Let's begin the detailed review. I withdraw my comments on multiple mistakes I've spotted in the actual material to keep this post shorter.
"Today we will discuss about Orenburg knitting tradition, because Orenburg kintting tradition is part of my life. I've spended one third of my life to be sure 23 years to research to learn and to teach how to make them and how to take care of them because for many women in Orenurg region this is their whole life business or their activity."
"Orenburg region is far away from civilization, even if it's a big city with like 6 thousand in population and Orenburg region is a little bit smaller than size of France it's quite remote region. This is tight where Russia devide by Ural mountains on European part of Russian and Asia. Ural mountain comes from northern of Russia south of Russia and where is Orenburg region located. Orenburg region is quite low old city originated 1743 you can calculate how old is city. did people live there before? Of course they live. They found out the population of goat that were in wild it's good source of fiber what people start to use to create warm cozy and expensive item for their survival because winter is brutal. Believe me I have being there and I do not recommend you to go somewhere in February or in January because this is snow storm snow blizzard ice everywhere white white white and not so pleasant memory you will can bring from this trip. I recoment you to go in summer time. Growing season very short because people start plan plant all their vegetables after frost similar like everywhere but this will be end of May and frost can be already in Oktober snow on the ground.
Women in this Orenburg region they created their own very unique knitting style. They kick out everything what slow down their process to make money because this is was not a hobby not activity on their spare time this was strictly for survival reason not only to put shawl on their body to keep body warm but also to earn money."
This is not my English text. This is the actual text from the part 1 of the video as one would hear it there. it does illustrate quite accurately the overall language style. The presenter is speaking with exaggerated Russian accent for some reason. This video text sample somewhat leads me to wiki about Orenburg from which follows that Orenburg is not quite so far from the civilization; it is a megalopolis with over 500000 people population according to census and significant trade and industrial center with well over 300 years history. This "far away from civilization" city is a home to several large oil and energy companies (TNK, Gasprom to name a few, and Orenburg lace is one of the pet projects for the ladies of those oil-gas tycoons - on the side note) and a large transportation hub, has 4 universities and many colleges. To cut to the chase we are not talking about a tiny village on remote outskirts of Russia. High speed internet there is pretty normal thing among plenty other modern things.
It would be better for Interweave just put 'read that text' monitor and write the text. The rest of the dvd has very similar level of general information accuracy.
And the climate graph one can see just as well with record high and low on the referenced above wiki page.
Having that little bit said to set the tone about the region we are talking about. Not remote, quite modern infrastructure. Every region of Russia has remote villages, just like there is rural America. People live everywhere. When it comes to Orenburg I'm not quite sure why Galina would advise to "do not go there in winter, January-February". Everyone in the region knows that's the Orenburg down buying season. There is none of that fiber of shawl making quality available in summer, all sold out by February-March and pre-spoken even earlier before the beginning of the year. Galina suggests to buy pygora instead. Well if one goes there in summer they can buy combed from the goats by hand Volgograd down that exceeds quality of pygora and significantly cheaper there. The dvd has overall quite a lot of marketing (both direct and indirect) of upper scale yarns when it comes to the price of the yarns marketed by this video.
Overall content of the video targets beginning knitters. Cats are very cute. By 30 min in I wanted see knitting demonstrations and wanted to see a lace knitter working the gossamer webs lace.
Galina has quite interesting overview of what Orenburg shawl is and what Orenburg warm shawls are and how they have lace only around edges and that shawl with not 5 holes in teeth "never sleep overnight in Orenburg". Also that a gossamer needs to have not more than 4 elements "because if you put all 10 of them no one will understand what you wanted to show".
It is all quite interesting and not exactly close to reality.
When it comes to amount of holes, 5 is a common, however there are shawls made with 3 holes teeth, 7, 9, 15 or even amount of holes. Largest shawl made has more than 5 holes in it's teeth and it did sleep well over night in Orenburg. was made there.
For example, that one is Guinness World Record of knitting at the same time from what I understood they got it.
Here is the link to GRTK Orenburg news channel video of the same event.
Please pay attention at how their hands work gossamer web yarn. This is what is never shown in Galina's video.
For some reason such things as method of construction (wide border,frame, center, all over lace, medallion, 5-circle) of this type of lace was overlooked. Olga Fedorova shawls in the background are exceptional, the video would greatly benefit if more details of that work were shown versus substitute yarns marketing. Or for example how do real lace makers work.
And that style of knitting has not changed from older documentary
to these days if one would look at the Guinness World Record knitting in Orenburg videos. They do not look when they knit. The needles are 1.25-2mm with most common size 1.5mm, not larger size wooden needles Galina is using in the video. She shows 2mm needles she has collected, used large size ones. The knitting technique is also optimized for the lace. For some reason in both part 1 and part 2 of her video nothing like that is shown. Neither tactile aspect of the lace making was even mentioned anywhere in the Interweave's video.
On disk 1 after 45+ minutes of talking and yarn marketing we finally get to some knitting demonstration.
Russian knitting is called continental possible because Russian a yarn pickers not yarn throwers.
Everything regarding the content that is in that demo from 45 min all the way to the end of the disk 1 any knitter can see on youtube for free in Russian or English if they desire. Published years before for free
these videos are also listed on ravelry Russian knitting technique forum pages. free.
So by the end of part 1 there was no actual gossamer lace knitting seeing in the video.
That counts for 1h 20 min of time.
And that's a little bit of technology, live video stream to Orenburg and we indeed were talking about it
When it comes to way Orenburg lace makers knit and how they teach, please see some of the documentary I've listed in this post. Whoever has bought Galina's video can compare them and her in the way how their hands work. Both slow speed (older documentary, lady teaching a child) and actual speed of knitting and the way it's done.
After 1h time mark follow base patterns. To 1h7min. About 7 min total overview. They are already made samples, about fingering weight yarn. No knitting demo is provided for them. No samples are shown in actual gossamer yarn. One looks like it's made in warm shawl (lace not gossamer) yarn.
And by the way, accordion is not difficult to knit and one does not need to check charts constantly.Orenburg lace making simply taught differently back home if compared to how Galina's dvd shows or presents it. I would say it is over complicated in her video quite a lot. Not sure why and why it needs to be made to look so complex like no one can do it. Children in Russia can do it.
1h7min-1h20min: Never seen by Galina anywhere outside of Orenburg method of grafting of corners has a name - Russian grafting without yarn. It is quite common thing. 1h7min of video time mark to next over 1h20 min is Russian grafting one can see free on youtube. Just search for "Russian grafting". Ravelry group Russian knitting technique also has this video listed on pages. That's how most of Russian graft. There is also grafting with yarn. And for gossamers that is what used by many Orenburg lace makers.
1h.20-1h.25 - grafting with yarn using k3tog. That method is used in Orenburg.
1:25-1:38 dry block demo followed by a bit more self marketing talking. No frame blocking is shown, no wet blocking.
1h.45 - demo of nups and star pattern. No one knows which way and where does the star pattern belong in Orenburg lace. Another very own Galina's perspective. nups exist on bazar shawl in in minimum amount on higher end shawls from some areas of Orenburg region. These are listed under "additional patterns" in the video.
What surprised me the most in this video is complete lack of actual gossamer lace making in the video, no tactile and visual references important for actual lace making and no knitting of the base patterns. She suggests to do them by the charts. This is not how Russian lace makers are taught. They are taught to track these pattern and their neighborhoods. Pattern tracking skill set was not mentioned anywhere in the dvd.
In general would I say this video teaches how to make Orenburg lace? Maybe I'm missing something, but I did not see gossamer web knitting in that dvd. I would ask Interweave to put actual real Orenburg lace maker on camera and make documentary at least if they want to show how Orenburg lace is made. In the end one would learn from the lace maker. That's the old way of things. It is not like they all are hiding and impossible to find. There are several waves of Russian immigration for goodness sake in America. Just find the lace maker and start filming. Trust me, you will be surprised how fluid and easy the actual skill set is. You need to film someone making that type of the lace and ask simple questions and act as a child who wants to learn. You will be amazed at the level of knowledge transfer and the willingness to teach if you show you want to learn not just make a quick $$ of it. That's the Russian way. No need to re-invent . After all , dear Interveawe, you put in the video title "Orenburg Knitting: Knitting Gossamer Webs". Just start filming exactly that. Meaning lace maker versus marketing, meaning thread versus aran yarn, meaning properly sized for the yarn needles. And just start filming. Things will fall in place like in any good documentary, they usually do.
I hope to see gossamer lace making in the video from Interweave some day. This video is great as general beginning knitter introduction the personal technique of the particular pattern designer. If the name would be "Knitting with Galina Khmeleva" that would match the content. It would show that this is her personal experience and her personal interpretation. It's great for beginners who are seeking some entertainment and some cultural context from some foreign and exotic far away place, they may even buy some new yarn and some new needles after that.
When a DVD has in the title "Orenburg Knitting: Knitting Gossamer Webs" it means you are using the particular famous regional lace technique to market your product. And using that name in the title would drive you plenty customers instantly. Thas is well known by many generations of the merchants - the power of Orenburg lace in marketing. For 300 years this name was driving customers to the merchants who were using it. These shawls earned name "Russian white gold", "Russian miracle". It is very particular method, yarns, techniques, tradition. This should not be forgotten among the marketing efforts. None of the video has a person knitting Orenburg gossamer webs. Which mean a person is teaching to work with 60/2 nm or finer yarns if you are trying to use a substitute yarn of some kind. Not aran an fingering at the thinnest. It means there is a person in the video teaching the particular set of base patterns, it would be very nice to have it longer than 7 min overview. The person would be treating the techniques developed in the region to work with these yarns accordingly and accurately. Famous names from that region should not be used for marketing purposes alone. Putting name Orenburg knitting in the tile is saying quite a lot. This name was hard earned by these shawl of exceptional quality of yarn and hand work, they did it centuries before Interweave company was established. It puts certain obligations on the marketing department that decided to use such a famous name. It does set certain expectations.