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:)



used some of the samples of daldräll and gagnefkrus weavings for these little pouches


and a book cover

and a bag


A cardigan I finished sometime ago. Simple and cheap 2 ply wool yarn bought at  Tampere Art and Craft center during our job trip to Finland (We looked at finnish landrace horses and cows and it was very cold. Oh and yes, I went to Moominvalley :)

One-piece, seamless, very easy-going pattern –  Yellow Wall by Judy Brien on Ravelry.

While knitting I had a suspicion it would turn out quite oversized, and it did, but I decided to try to felt it a bit in hot soapy water. First tried on a little sample and then on a whole sweater and quite happy with the result – it all feels smoother and warmer, it somehow worked well for this particular yarn. (And it is exactly  my size!)


favourite bracelet, custom-made by a jewellery-maker-photographer friend Elena Erda.

8 shaft twill

Last month’s assignment – a table runner in 8 shaft twill. We all wove some sort of runners and used the same yarn –  8/2 linen , leftover yarn from swedish rug manufacturer Kasthalls, so we could see how different draft, setting and colors are working together with the same material.

I used this draft plus two extra shafts and two treadles to make edges in  tabby weaving.

Setting is 7 threads per cm and the finished weaving looks quite different before and after washing

before washing:

Here it is after washing and putting through the mangle (they have this huge and scary stone mangle machine in Fristad)

Now, we don’t use runners casually in our home ( our three cats think that any cloth on a table is a legitimate place to have a nap or just to sit on, it somehow feels right for their paws ), but I might use this one on some social occasions, now that I have woven a runner. I mean all those 10 shafts and 10 treadle on Glimåkra loom… I wonder if I ever use them all again :)

Russian indigo

I’ve been thinking – I will share here,  now and then,  some textile links I stumble upon in Russian-speaking  internet comminity. (Just because I can :)

Here is indigo resist work of Elena Dikova from Kargopol

More on her VK page

new as old

some mending has been going on around here

second generation of patches on my man’s woodworking jeans

My warmest socks needed some mending too

I improvised on the basis of  this tutorial for darning socks.

and quite happy with the results!

new life

I am officially a free artist now, at least I have been for a week (at the genebank where I worked they have 8-year contract system and I’ve managed to get stuck  there for almost 9). We’ll see where I go from here, but right now it feels quite wonderful :)

Here are the farewell presents I got from my nice and fluffy colleagues  – beautiful flowers, a book by Laila Duran and a gift card for Hemslöjden shop in Landskrona (which I partly used to buy some yarn):

Colored Rauma tapestry yarn for my future rölakan project and really nice dark grey alpaca for a sweater for myself. Couldn’t resist and started knitting right away this sweater.

As for the book, it is the third volume on Scandinavian folk costumes, and it is pure eye candy.

one day I will weave some yardage for a dress and enroll for the course on folk costume sewing with people on this picture – Gillis and Monika Jimheden 

Oh, and I will just continue to show off – here is my new drum carder (!) , it’s been on my wish list for two years, and it is my “late christmas/embarking on a new life”-present from my man and myself

After reading all the discussions on the net about different carders I decided on Strauch finest (bought it via this shop in Denmark) and so far quite happy with my choice.

random  decoration item, from handspun wool and indigo-dyed nettle yarn (used this pattern), don’t know, just had an impulse to knit it.

finished the blue warp with some more daldräll

and preparing to weave a 8-shaft twill for the next school task.

daldräll och gagnefkrus

Now daldräll – swedish heirloom version of overshot, the pattern is not perfectly symmetrical, which is considered to be  charming and folkish.

tried different material for the pattern weft- various linen threads,raw silk, the favorite is thin hemp held double:

the book of all sorts of Daldräll patterns by Anna Thomasson och Elisabeth Andersson

on the same warp – changing the tie-up of the treadles gives  gagnefkrus, a variant of honeycomb

just playing around

Gagnef is here.

all colors rep

One weaving technique I feel I somehow have no affinity to is rep (varprips in swedish), but last month we had to come up with some rep for the next school assignment.

And I thought – since I would now weave this rep, I could as well do  something I would never normally do – no chosing and picking colors, just throw everything in.

I did it, yes, I had the nerve.

And then I thought that all this craziness could as well be something useful

so it is kind of an organizer thing with pockets for my circular knitting needles

Well, what can I say. I am still a bit shocked :)

finished shawl

(I am several weeks behind with my blogging, but I am working on it!)

Quite a generous shawl it is.

shetland wool shawl

Last month’s task  – wearable cloth in any twill (a set of samples or whole yardage).

After all the experimenting (see previous post) I settled for a shawl, just nice large warm woollen shawl.

supersoft lambswool 11/2  bought from the Handweavers Studio , wove samples  8 and 6 threads per cm (the latter density felt right). The yarn is quite greasy and softens-fluffs-up considerably after washing.

pictures of the finished shawl are coming in the next post.

everything sample

while waiting for the wool yarn ordered from an on-line shop, warped the loom with some old cottolin yarn,

sampling for the sake of sampling, just a study of some rosepath variations.


I am having a lot of fun!  I have enrolled in a year-long distance course in weaving at Fristads folkhögskola. We meet at school once a month for theory lessons, to get assignments and show and discuss the previous ones.

As a first homework we had to weave in black wool singles as warp and the same wool alternated with linen weft in different densities, as balanced as possible.

Training in beating technique and in being present during the process. And then we had to wash the pieces in washing machine at different temperatures to study the shrinkage.

weaving with black on black is not easy for the eyes, but it makes you look at the weaving more closely and carefully.

One of my clumped pieces after washing :)

we could experiment with the rest of the warp as we wished, so i tried  checked “myggtjäll” (swedish lace) in different variations and colors.

after hand-washing:

the wool is Farö (6000m/kg, 12 wic), surprisingly strong, not a single thread went off, and quite soft after washing.

little things from homemade cloth

indigo-dyed rest of the cloth and some handspun linen and nettle yarn

free-stripe linen band

home-grown lavender

lavender pillows, very limited edition.

and some pouches from the linen cloth i wove some time ago

found some vintage silk for the lining

this week’s shopping and harvest

some stuff we managed to acquire during  two car trips :)

a grindstone and two saws are for my husband, the rest is my new flax processing tools, basically everything i  needed for  breaking, scutching and then hackling flax. (Well, and some old heddles for weaving, a niddy-noddy, and two enameled funnels).

Some details:

some old half-processed flax was included in the kit

a comb for removing the seeds

these are two very fine combs, I didn’t even know such combs for flax fiber existed:

Meanwhile. this is today’s harvest, I have pulled it all

there is very good (and dounloadable for free) article  in the Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, sums up the whole process and shows pictures of all the steps, plus some tips on spinning.

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