Acquiring Yarn the Traditional Way

Six pieces in krokbragd, a favorite weave structure for viewers and weavers, are in the “Traditional Norwegian Weaving: American Reboot” exhibit at Norway House, July 20-September 10.

Most weavers featured in the American Reboot show use Norwegian yarns in their pieces, which they acquire by purchasing in Norway, or pulling from their extensive personal stashes, or maybe ordering online; you know, the slacker way of getting your materials.  For much of her work, Nancy reaches back to more traditional roots, by raising her own sheep, shearing them, spinning the yarn, and then weaving. Ellison Sheep Farm, outside of Zumbrota, Minnesota, is a magical place, filled with sheep, chickens, goats, ducks, and Nancy’s collections of antique spinning wheels and looms.

nancy-sheep

Most of the yarn in Nancy’s American Reboot piece is purchased, but I’m sure the fuzzy tombstones are from home-grown yarn. While krokbragd designs are usually abstract, small figures can also be designed. Nancy Ellison’s “Sheep Pasture by the Cemetery” is a summery homage to pastors, wives, sheep, tombstones, and fences–all lined up in a green pasture.

pastors
When Nancy first wove this piece, it was featured on this blog, and noticed by a weaving student in England. The student’s instructor asked for permission to reproduce the pattern.  As a result, Nancy’s Norwegian-inspired weaving has traveled back across the ocean, and two British weavers made similar pieces.  (Read “Woven Pastors in a Row – American and British.)

Nancy-Ellison-2

Nancy is a dealer for a number of brands of spinning wheels and looms.  She teaches spinning and weaving, including weaving on the Norwegian cradle loom, in her studio on her farm and elsewhere.

Don’t miss Nancy’s krokbragd in the “Traditional Norwegian Weaving: American Reboot” exhibit, sponsored by the Weavers Guild of Minnesota and Norway House.  At Norway House from July 20-September 10.  Details here.

 

 

About Robbie LaFleur
Weaving in Minnesota, when I can!

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