Norwegian Yarn in the Swedish Dukagång

Karin Maahs finished her piece, and her pattern weft was sentimental. She used thin Norwegian yarn her grandmother used to embroider bunads (Norwegian costumes).

One day her pattern was sitting on the loom. “Oh nice, that’s what was just finished,” I thought as I snapped this photo.  Clearly I had not looked carefully, as that was the just completed piece, and Karin’s pattern ready to start.  Weaving from the back makes this process hard to document!

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Here’s Karin’s piece, underway.  It will be nice to photograph all the pieces once they are off the loom.  For now, it still looks great at this weird angle.

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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 – Claire Most

Theme and Variation. 27″ x 45″ Double-binding technique. Cotton warp and cotton fabric weft.

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RED – Keith Pierce

Untitled.  12″ x 36″  Band weaving (various techniques) Pearle and unmercerized cotton.

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These bands represent two traditional weaving techniques: card-weaving and backstrap weaving with hand-held rigid heddles.

The card-woven pieces were woven on a backstrap loom with the commonly-used warp-twined-cord structure.

The rest are either backstrap-woven using a pattern heddle (Spaltegrind in Norwegian), or on an inkle loom with manual pick-up.  They use supplementary warp patterns on a plain-weave, half-basket-weave background — commonly known as either “Baltic” or “European” structure.

The color red dominates traditional woven bands throughout Scandinavia and Baltic regions.  Some are thicker and stronger, and would have been used as straps and belts. Other finer pieces are examples of hairbands, shirt bands, or decorative edging on clothing.

RED – Mary Skoy

“Christmas Runner” 10″ x 44″ linen of various weights. Double weave

Mary’s goal since she started weaving in the early 70s has been to weave household textiles, to use and display functional and decorative pieces she weaves. Scandinavian textiles are her inspiration: contemporary functional weaving seen in shops, those seen in use in the homes of family in Norway; and historical pieces in museums.

Mary wove this narrow red runner for Christmas holiday use. It just fits on the top of her piano. And it’s RED, her favorite color.

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The Weavers Guild Annual Benefit

One of Keith Pierce’s bands in the Scandinavian Weavers Study Group exhibit enjoys special status as the postcard image for the upcoming Weavers Guild of Minnesota benefit.  Here’s more information on the event on April 25 event, which features a live and silent auction and a smörgåsbord.

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