Dukagång Group Project Underway

By Robbie LaFleur

Last year and this year our Scandinavian Weavers study Group is focusing on Swedish weaving, with a particular interest in linen.  We’ve begun a group project on one of the two Glimakra looms at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota.  We put on a 12″ wide warp of 20/2 half-bleached linen, set at 30 epi, to experiment with dukagång. Jan Mostrom deserves special thanks for ordering the yarn and winding the warp.

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Jan and Phyllis Waggoner warped; Melba Granlund helped, too.

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Their efforts resulted in a even-tensioned warp with a beautifully wide shed. Each of 12 weavers will weave 12-18″. I was the first to test the warp, and I chose an image I frequently weave — can you tell from the back? Dukagång is woven from the back.

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Jan Mostrom was the second one to weave, and the right side of my piece peeked at her as it wound through the loom. Now you’ll get it.

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Jan Mostrom was next on the loom; look at her beautiful stars–or as much as you can see, at this point. Melba Granlund was the third person to weave; you can see the back of her piece here.  A little hard to decipher…

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Here’s Melba’s pattern: birds, a fabulous griffin, and a stylized floral border.

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A problem with weaving grid-based patterns is remembering where you left off.  I solved it by highlighting each new row before I wove it.

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Melba’s system was more ingenious.  She asked her husband, “Don’t you have a magnetized clipboard?”  Shortly after, he came from the basement with a tool, a discarded metal refrigerator rack with a strong magnet. Melba moved the pattern as she finished each row.

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I’ll share more photos as this magical warp progresses, and the cut-off day will be super fun.

 

 

 

Show and Tell

At the Scandinavian Weavers meeting yesterday we enjoyed Judy Larson’s latest red rugs. Judy often weaves LARGE rugs, but these were small ones, using wildly different wefts, on the same warp.  She wove one with chunky weft of knit ties, part of an 8000-tie stash from a man who worked at the Library of Congress, and never wore the same tie twice. The second one has sharp pink with red, and is made with silky-soft velour strips—her granddaughter’s favorite.  The third uses the most conventional rag rug weft, printed cottons.  Fun!

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Threads of Devotion: Possible Medieval Origins of Nordic Christening Bands

 

cradle-wholeScandinavian Weavers Group member Lisa Bauch is a fan of traditional red-and-white woven bands.  Recently, feeling inspired by a beautiful display of bands on a cradle at the American Swedish Institute, she delved further into the topic for a paper in an art history course, “Medieval Sacred Space.” Read more about it, and link to the full paper, in the most recent issue of the Norwegian Textile Letter.

Read Lisa’s article and paper here.
See more photos and read about the inspirational baby basket with bands here.

In this issue, you will also find a reprint of a spectacular article on medieval Norwegian billedvev, and an article on the marvelous contemporary tapestry weaver Brita Been.  And monster weaving photos.  Check it out.

Swedish Art Weave – with Fleece

Our Scandinavian Weavers group met yesterday. There wasn’t so much show and tell, but lots of discussion about an upcoming exhibit of traditional and contemporary weaving in Norwegian techniques, to be held at Norway House in Minneapolis from July 20-September 17.  Expect more information in the coming month about the exhibit and accompanying classes, demonstrations, and lectures.

Jan Josifek brought a wonderful small sample of Swedish krabbasnår that she is weaving on a simple tapestry loom.  Last fall one of our members brought a skinnfell – a sheepskin coverlet with printing on it to our meeting.  Jan was so taken by the fleeciness of it that she decided to add fleece to the back of her krabbasnår. One benefit of weaving the piece on her tapestry loom is that the piece can be easily turned from one side to another to check for mistakes! We look forward to the big version of this sweet piece.

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Krokbragd, Big and Small

img_2192By Robbie LaFleur

This month Melba Granlund, a member of our Scandinavian Weavers Study Group, gave a talk at another of our Weavers Guild interest groups, the New and Occasional Weavers, about krokbragd.  She asked me to bring along a piece I made, a krokbragd backed by a skinnfell.

 

The weaving incorporates traditional pattern elements from Lom and Skjåk in Norway.  For the Norwegian Textile Letter, I had translated an article from a 1985 issue of the Norwegian magazine, Husflid, and wove five pieces, experimenting with the traditional pattern bands.

You can read the article and see photos of some of the “old pattern” pieces, here.

At the New and Occasional Weavers meeting, one person expressed interest in trying out krokbragd at a fine sett. That seemed like a fine experiment, though no one had any particular guidance to give.

A few days later, for a completely different reason, I was looking through previous issues of the Norwegian Textile Letter, and ran across a photo of a small-scale krokbragd woven by Catherine Forgit, in the same pattern as my larger one.  She wove it from the pattern I had published.

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Cathy’s version is 11″ x 16.” Shrinking down a coverlet technique traditionally used for bed coverings in the cold climate of Norway makes a piece that could even be called darling. She used a wool warp (but doesn’t remember exactly what brand of yarn), set 16 ends per inch.  The weft was Rauma billdevev yarn (tapestry yarn). She wove it on her four-shaft floor loom, and doesn’t remember having any particular difficulties. “It was fun to weave.”

Cathy lives outside of Fertile, Minnesota – way up north.  She reports, “It’s been a good winter for weaving and other fiber things – too cold to go outside!”  I hope her sheep are warm, too.

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The holiday gathering of the Scandinavian Weavers took place at Lisa Torvik’s home in St. Paul. Part of the fun of having a meeting in the home of a weaving friend is knowing you will feel at home.  Of course the loom has a prominent place in the dining room!

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And behind the loom was a beautiful Valdres kristneteppe (skilbragd) that Lisa made in Husflidsskole many years ago.

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A big snowstorm threatened that day, so attendance was lower than it would have been – more meatballs for those who came.  And more DELICIOUS princess cake, made by Karin Maahs.

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For those who braved the snow, it was a great afternoon — thanks, Lisa!

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Woven Pastors in a Row – American and British

by Robbie LaFleur

In my book, weaving connections via the Web are wonderful.  A while back, a weaving instructor from the north of England, Jane Flanagan, asked for permission for her student to weave a pattern similar to one made by Nancy Ellison.  Avril Sweeting had seen Nancy’s piece featured on this blog, posted back in 2010.

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Of course Nancy was pleased that others would like to interpret her pattern.  Jane spent time with Avril working out how the motifs had been created. Avril wanted to reproduce the pattern accurately, so much so that she did it twice!

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Another of Jane’s students, Jean Roberts, saw Avril’s piece and tried her hand at boundweave too.

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A further two students asked for help with similar boundweave pieces, so now Jane is  developing more learning materials, creating many samples, and plans to weave a larger boundweave rosepath rug early in 2017.

Thank you for sharing, Jane, Jean, and Avril. It’s fun to think about a pasture in Minnesota, with people and sheep, and some matching sheep on the English countryside.