Scandinavian Weavers Meeting, September 21, 2014

After a summer hiatus, the Scandinavian Weavers met on September 21; there was lots of catch-up and show and tell.

As we talked, many mentioned what they might weave for our current theme of red.  This year the group will use a color as inspiration, and we will discuss the use of red in Scandinavian textiles.  An exhibit of pieces will be held at the Weavers Guild beginning in mid-October, 2015.

Jan Mostrom noted that she will teach rya next year, a second course for the Weavers Guild.  She will also teach a course at Vesterheim.  The class at the Weavers Guild will be held during the last two weeks of February; it will feature a piece with a houndstooth pattern on the back, and hidden knots.  The Vesterheim class will feature the vertical rosepath backing similar to an older Vesterheim piece and Jan’s piece called “Protection.”  The exact dates have not been set; the class will run around the tme of the Nordic Fest at the end of July.

IMG_7937Keith Pierce showed three beautiful tablet woven bands using the “missed warp” technique.  (Mounted on a black background, these red pieces would be ready for the 2015 exhibit!)With the square cards with holes on each corner, you only use three of the four holes.  Pieces in this technique were discovered when a stave church in Norway was under restoration.  Tablet weaving reached its height of popularity during the Middle Ages, and was often used for the edges of altar cloths and vestments.  Later, when brocading became more popular for liturgical textile decoration, the ground cloth became just a base for the brocading in precious threads, like gold.  Keith has enjoyed a book about tablet weaving that describes its appeal – “The Willful Pursuit of Complexity.”  Keith recently purchased Kay Nelson’s book, The Woven Coverlets of Norway, and is considering making many of the motifs in card weaving.

Corky Knutson brought a beautiful red-filled rya that won a blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair this year, along with the Doris Tufte Sweepstakes for woven items in the Scandinavian tradition.  He told us about one fortuitous event along his road to weaving in the Norwegian tradition.  Years ago, an old aunt died and left him boxes and boxes of Rauma yarn.


Corky also brought a fabulous tapestry he purchased from a man in London.  Watch for the full story of the man, the weaving, and Corky’s acquisition of the tapestry in an upcoming issue of the Norwegian Textile Letter.

Corky is filling an important role for many of us  – he is a dealer of Rauma yarn! He can be contacted at:

IMG_7929Corwyn Knutson (Corky)
2742 lakeview ave
Roseville,  MN 55113

Edi Thorstensen traveled to the meeting from St. Peter.  On the topic of rya, she mentioned that she took Jan Mostrom’s rya weaving class at the Weavers Guild, and that it was so well taught.

She told us about a current exhibit at the Russian Museum in Minneapolis.  “At the Edge of the Forest” is billed as a wood-carving exhibit, but it is of interest to weavers, too.  The exhibit includes beautifully carved distaffs and red-embroidered textiles hung between the carved wood pieces.

Claire Most has a number of hand-spun yarns that would work beautifully for her yet-unplanned red piece.

Mary Etta brought a tapestry piece with a geometric design inspired by a pin made by silversmith Heikki Seppa.  The circle with a line through it has absorbed her for many years and she is now working on using tapestry, and partially Helena Hernmarck’s tapestry technique, to bring the design to life in a textile.

Mary Skoy brought beautiful black mittens, ones she started on the 2011 Vesterheim Textile Tour.

IMG_7941Winnie Johnson had two pieces in Helena Hernmarck tapestry technique in a show sponsored by the Elk River Arts Alliance. Marilyn Moore had a pieces in the show, too.

IMG_7940Wynne Mattila has been planning her red piece, a rug that will use some Finnish fat, felted yarn.  The yarn will be cut into small tubes and the circular ends of the short tubes will stick up as small dots between the warps.  Wynne mentioned a favorite website for color inspiration,

Melba Granlund has her red piece planned; she will weave a series of primarily-red pillows with crosses in rutevev.

I have not been weaving at all since beginning a seven-month job at the Weavers Guild, but I wove a short piece while demonstrating at the State Fair.  It became another piece in the Scream series. Read more about “State Fair Scream” here.


Attending:  Robbie LaFleur, Keith Pierce, Edi Thorstensen, Corky Knutson, Winnie Johnson, Marilyn Moore, Wynne Mattila, Jane Connett, Melba Granlund, Jan Mostrom, Mary Skoy, and Mary Etta.

We will meet again on October 19 at 2pm.

About Robbie LaFleur
Weaving in Minnesota, when I can!

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