Celebrating TWO Group Skillbragd Warps

A new pop-up exhibit of several skillbragd pieces woven by members of our Scandinavian Weavers Study Group is up at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota. Since May we’ve put on two warps and given many members the opportunity to try this traditional Scandinavian weave structure. Some pieces on view are hemmed and finished, and many in their “off-the-loom” state.  If you can visit sometime through the end of November, you’ll see the wide variety of materials, colors, stripes, and patterns created by treadling, chosen by the weavers. Most people used wool for their pattern weft, but there are examples of linen and perle cotton on display, too.

The signage is minimal for the exhibit; three signs read, “Hello, Norwegians! Here are some skillbragd pieces woven on the Guild’s Glimakra loom by members of the Scandinavian Weavers Study Group.” “Wait! Are you a Swede?  Here are some opphämpta pieces, or perhaps you recognize them as Smålandsvëv?” “Everyone else! Don’t worry about it; it’s a Scandinavian overshot weave.”

Lisa Torvik is writing an article with lots more information about our project–in the meantime, visit the exhibit or enjoy these photos.

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Here are closer photos, taken in sections.

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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

 

 

More Skillbragd, and Loop Discussion

Jayne Flanagan wrote in response to a previous post, “So the selvedge loops are not a technique exclusive to Telemarksteppe? What will happen to all the loops on this piece?”

Definitely loops are common on skillbragd weavings, too. It is my understanding that sometimes the loops are left uncut (my favorite look), and sometimes they are cut. Look at this piece with cut loops that is available on eBay right now.  The starting bid is $25,000–buy it now for $50,000!  (Thanks, Carol Johnson, for sending this link.  She commented, “I won’t be buying this one.”)

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Weaving continues on our group project. This weekend Brenda Gauvin-Chadwick wove a lovely piece in a soft gold.

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Skillbragd Weaving Continues…

The members of the Scandinavian Weavers Study Group are continuing their skillbragd samples, but many have been wound around before photos could be taken.  The cutting-off ceremony for this warp will be significant.

Karen Weiberg snapped a photo during her turn at the loom. Good work!

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Here is the draft and treadling, thanks to Lisa Torvik. Here it is in a nice pdf document.

Revised Skillbragd Treadling #1

 

What’s the Front? What’s the Back?

Next up?  Judy Larson chose green for her piece. More success!  This warp is working.

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Skillbragd weavings can look equally beguiling from either side.  On our Scandinavian Weavers Study Group project, the deep red and green of skillbragd floats on the two pieces are wonderful, and I would definitely use the side I saw while weaving as the “front.”

I took a new look at a small piece I own that was woven by Lila Nelson.  Interesting!  She used the side that shows the most of the ground tabby as the right side, and that is very clear by looking at how she hemmed it. The other interesting thing is that she made fringe on either edge as wove the piece, hemmed it, and then added fringe to the other two sides. That looks nice.

Good ideas for future pieces!

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Skillbragd #2

I finished the last post on our group skillbragd project on the Glimakra loom at the Weavers Guild with “many tricky warping steps remain.” Man, was that accurate. Before all was said and done, we tested the tabby shafts on counterbalance, then countermarch.  The pattern wefts hung from elastic to start, and then were switched to countermarch, and then back to the elastics (with final, wise advice from Shawn Cassiman). Lamm and treadle adjustments were made for hours. Lisa Torvik and Phyllis Waggoner were the real loom-wrangling brains; I struggled to keep up. BUT. Finally. By suppertime yesterday we managed to get a good shed for the background linen tabby and hopefully serviceable sheds for the pattern shafts. Today was the big test, and I offered to weave the first sample.  Slowly I wound my weft, arranged my shuttles, and pulled out the pin holding the shafts in place, and began to weave.  I’m not sure I was even breathing as I wove the first pattern shots.  It worked!

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Of course I made a pattern mistake after the first four squares, but not to worry, I did the same thing at the other end–design element. Once I got started the weaving went relatively quickly and was very fun to watch unfold.  On this 18″ wide warp I wove 11″ of pattern and hems in four hours–and that was with several talking breaks. Since this was mostly a test to see if the loom and warp were in working order, I just wove the pattern in one color.  There are so many ways to weave wonderful skillbragd pieces by elongating portions of the pattern, for example, or adding stripes. But just the plain piece was beautiful.

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It will be fun to see the variations that will be woven by our group members in the next six weeks.