Peng's paper “Hand-knitted Woollen Lace Fabrics in Shetland (Scotland) and Haapsalu (Estonia): A “Wheel-Powering” Mechanism Between People, Place, and Products” discusses the “wheel-powering” mechanism in lace-making traditions (where lace is considered to be a local specialty), taking Shetland (Scotland) and Haapsalu (Estonia) as examples. Through this comparative case study, I aim to explore the relations between lace and place, and how hand-knitted lace has developed from being a crucial part of making additional income to a crucial part of leisure and local-branding in contemporary contexts. I will explain what is the “wheel-powering” mechanism in producing hand-knitted lace fabrics, and the role of lace-knitting in forming a shared identity in culturally-distinctive areas. I will also discuss why the level of popularity regarding lace-knitting is higher in Haapsalu than in Shetland now, using the “wheel-powering” mechanism as a model for reasoning.
Sophie Qiaoyun Peng is a PhD candidate at Central and East European Studies, University of Glasgow. Currently, she is spending the end of her write-up year at Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki as an INREES visiting PGR fellow. Prior to her Aleksanteri stay, Sophie was a Dora+ visiting researcher at Ethnology, University of Tartu. Sophie’s current research activities focus on lace knitting and local identity. She is also interested in minority-related topics such as minority languages, migration, and protection of cultural heritage.
Discussant: Anna Rauhala, University of Helsinki, Department of Cultures
Chair: Kaarina Aitamurto, University of Helsinki, Aleksanteri Institute