Folkweave, handspun yarn and a rooster

Finally I am doing something that was on my “one day I will start this”-list – weaving a sample of rölakan – swedish folk flatweave (kilim-like weaving). This one is Skanian rölakan (skånsk rölakan) (wefts of different colors  are interlocked with each other and form a ridge on reverse side) and it is woven upside down, to make it all more exciting :)

And I just love it. It is very different from “normal” weaving with a shuttle, here you just sit with one square, one thread at a time,  totally focused, it is pure meditation, zazen of weaving.

This is how it looks when you crawl into the loom and try looking up:

Last summer when I first tried this technique I was  very self-conscious about the colors, this time it is primary colors, as bold as it goes .

As a warming up before I start something bigger I am making small square pattern brought up by Gunvor Johansson in Swedish  weaving guild newsletter.

And (finally again) I have finished spinning my alpacas – silky white suri and brown baby huacaya.  Two totally different fibers and yarns.

When I look at them I am thinking shawls or scarves or throws (I have around 250 g of each). The brown one is a bit too reddish-orange for my taste, I would prefer it to be more sober-muted-greyish-brown….But it’s probably too dark to try to overdye. Ah, we’ll see.

last summer when I experimented with indigo – I tried to dip a little bit of that alpaca yarn in my vat –
and it came out black (with very light green hint). I might try an acid dye…

talking about indigo –  sowed some dye plants seeds yesterday

When I am working  in the greenhouse I am followed by our new rooster, he is of tiny local breed called Åsbo,  and he is very friendly and curious, almost like a pet.

I wish you warm and happy spring! (or autumn, depends where you live:)

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14 responses to “Folkweave, handspun yarn and a rooster

  1. Pia April 2, 2014 at 8:54 am

    I didn’t even know there was a Scandinavian tradition for tapestry. I like how some of the patterns incorporate skipped warps to make a relief, I’ve been wondering how one might do that, without being conscious that it’s already been done. ;-) Of course I’ve probably seen it at some point in my life, before being interested in weaving, funny how your perspective sometimes changes!

    • Alfia April 2, 2014 at 9:46 am

      As far as I know tapestry like weavings were very popular in Skåne, they made this “åkdyna” pillows – for the back support when you sit in your horse carriage on the way to church
      http://www.digitaltmuseum.se/search?query=%C3%A5kdyna&js=1
      and the bed covers too.
      Also in Norway they used it a lot, in Sweden there is even special term “norsk rölakan” – without interlockage, two-sided weaving.
      And yes, one starts noticing totally different things depending on one’s current focus of interest, it’s funny how deep nerdy we can go, there is no limit :)

  2. shadowlilies April 2, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Gorgeous tapestry… I can see why you love this…and what a handsome rooster. When I looked at him I noticed the same colors of the brown alpaca that you spun. You know that white and brown mixed in with a little red and black, taking the colors from the rooster might make an interesting project. Anyway, that is where my mind goes when I see the colors of nature… :) Your work is beautiful!

  3. opusanglicanum April 2, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    it looks lovely, and I like bright colours

  4. onesmallstitch April 3, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    the rolakan is beautiful, the strong colours seem perfect for the “folk craft” look. I need to get back to some zazen weaving. Looks like one very fine rooster, does he have a name?

    • Alfia April 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      thank you Jean, yes, strong colors in such weavings do make sense, I am starting to understand that. I get so happy when I am weaving this, I try to do some zazen (on cushion) daily and I feel these two activities are very similar. I am sure you will not regret your time at your zazen weaving too.
      We tried to come up with a name for the rooster (our six hens have names), but he is such an archetypal rooster – very outgoing, extraverted, a bit macho type, so we ended up calling him The Rooster, that is in Swedish – Tuppen (tooppen).

  5. Heather Cameron April 3, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Your rolaken is sensational!

    • Alfia April 4, 2014 at 7:32 am

      Thank you, Heather; i have seen some huge and elaborate works that I would call sensational, this rölakan is a little, but important step in my weaving, so let’s call it sensational, yeah :)

  6. saulenelee April 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Мне очень нравятся твои яркие цвета – празднично смотрятся и в то же время гармонично! И потрясающе красиво, очень ровно, очень аккуратно у тебя получается (впрочем, как всегда, но я каждый раз заново восхищаюсь! :)

    Петух – красавец! :)

    Я сегодня видела, как бабушка шла куда-то с белой козочкой и тоже разговаривала с ней, как с собакой или кошкой, а та ее понимала и вела себя очень смешно! Я фотографировала у реки, они шли по дамбе, коза остановилась и меня разглядывала – тоже любознательная и дружелюбная, наверное )))

    • Alfia April 4, 2014 at 10:14 pm

      Спасибо, Лен!
      я как раз сегодня закончила этот кусочек, отрезала- он в жизни даже ярче и он мне самой вдруг очень нравится, прям бодрит – ухх! :)
      у меня есть одна задумка для проекта побольше в этой технике, посмотрим во что все это выльется.
      Петух – ну очень деловой весь из себя, наш предыдущий был спокойнее, более нордического темперамента, а этот позадиристей будет.
      Козу хочу! или ослика, или ламу альпаковую :)
      Но козу больше всех хочу. Но это уже серьезное животноводство, у нас тут все ж не ферма, и потом козы они все же стадные товарищи, если уж заводить – то несколько штук, чтоб им веселее было.

  7. Elisabet April 5, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Röllakan har jag inte provat ännu! Fint med de klara färgerna. Men på tal om ikat: I senaste numret av Vävmagasinet ser jag att nästa nummer kommer att innehålla “ikat på flera sätt”. Det finns också en liten bild från en resa till Indien på en man som väver vad som ser ut att vara en sari i dubbelikat från Orissa. Har provat lite flamfärgning för länge sedan, ska se om jag hittar något att visa. Har anmält mig till en kurs i indigofärgning på Sätergläntan i sommar och där ingår det både lite ikat och lite shibori. Hoppas kursen blir av.

    • Alfia April 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      Det är ganska pilligt att väva rölakan med väldigt roligt också.
      Då väntar vi på nästa numret av Vävmagasinet, tack för upplysningen, jag har totalt missat informationen. Den kursen på Sätergläntan skulle jag också gärna gå på, (men det blir inte i år), men glad för din skull och jag hoppas med att den blir av. Gräver du upp når flamfärgning och lägger upp på bloggen – tittar jag gärna.

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