Skillbragd Inspiration

Just as the students in Jan Mostrom’s Swedish Art Weaves class could view lovely pieces in that technique as part of the exhibit, “A Passionate Pursuit: Scandinavian Weavings from the Collection of Carol Johnson,” the members of our Scandinavian Weavers Study Group can view skillbragd weavings to inspire and inform us as we participate in our group project.  Here are the skillbragd/opphampta pieces on display right now.

 

For more wonderful weaving photos and information about the current exhibit of Scandinavian weavings and the tapestry collection of Carol Johnson, too, see the new issue of the Norwegian Textile Letter, which includes these articles:

A Passionate Pursuit: Scandinavian Weavings from the Collection of Carol Johnson

Dipping Into Carol Johnson’s Tapestry Collection

The Swedish Art Weave Tradition Continues in Minnesota

 

 

Starting on the group Skilbragd Project

Our Scandinavian Weavers Study Group is working on Norwegian skilbragd; we began warping a loom at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota yesterday.

Lisa Torvik, our leader in this project, was inspired by a pattern for a group project undertaken by the Gol Husflidsslag in Norway.  See the Skillbragdåkle fra Gol here.

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Inspiration coverlet from Gol, Norway

She took elements of the wider piece and narrowed the pattern to runner-width. Lisa didn’t use weaving software to make her draft; she’s a whiz with spreadsheets and used Excel to make the draft and treading variants.

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Lisa Torvik, Lisa Bauch, Phyllis Wagonner, and Robbie LaFleur met to warp the loom; Lisa Torvik had already wound the ten-yard warp of 16/2 linen.  Using a variety of print resources, including Lillemor Johansson’s book Damask and Opphämta, we figured out how to sett up the tabby heddles for the ground weave and the pattern heddles.  Beaming was a four person job! Lisa Torvik oversaw and “drove” the process from the front. As we worked, the linen had a wonderful hay-like scent.

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Robbie turned the wheel, Lisa Bauch braced her legs against the back of the loom and held the warp tight as it was rolled on, and Phyllis inserted sticks to pad the warp on the back as it was beamed on.

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Lisa had the tough job, as she had to keep hanging on to the the warp for dear life even as it was approaching the front beam, pulling her through the loom.

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Many tricky warping steps remain.

 

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 24 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.

 

 

 

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.

RED – Phyllis Waggoner

“Untitled”  8’6” x 27”  Technique: 4 shaft point twill variation, treadles tied for 2/2 twill, “woven on opposites”  Materials:  5/8 linen warp, sett 6 epi, 3 ply rugwool weft.

In the case of Phyllis’ long, beautiful rug, red was part of a color challenge — could she make the red work with the other colors? She had a great deal of yarn left after completing a commission. Rather than weave a shorter red rug, she chose to use all the colors to weave a long rug.  “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and Phyllis invented a design to make use of her red, and more.

Unfortunately, the gallery configuration made it impossible to get a great head-on shot of Phyllis’s beautiful rug.  You’ll have to visit it in person, or look at it obliquely here.

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RED – Veronna Capone

Five Studies. Each 6″ x 6.”  Linen weft, wool warp.

Five small tapestries.  The first of these five small tapestries uses traditional Norwegian ‘lynild,’ or lightning weave’; the others are in rutevev, or square weave.

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RED – Judy Larson

“Rolokan Reds.” 30″ x 29″ Cotton warp, cotton weft.  Rolokan.

Judy used a variety of red quilting cotton prints in a rolokan (Swedish tapestry) technique, spacing out the “flames” with tabby stripes.  At a distance, the sharp edges of the flame-like image is graphic and bold.  It’s worth a close look, too, where the patterns in the fabric strips look unusually dizzying.

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