Tag Archives: skåne

Zen in Skåne (the making of)

I meant to make this post few months ago, but better late than never (the motto of this blog) , so here it goes.
This is my crazy project of making round meditation cushion in Skåne rölakan technique.
In the end it somehow became a cushion, or something cushion-like, almost round.

And it was accepted for the local “Utvalt i Skåne” craft show and now traveling around from Malmö to Simrishamn to Helsinborg and then to Germany.



a little doodle from two years ago:


Pictures from the process:

rölakan weaving


weaving side stripe – with halvkrabba inlays (here was the part when I had serious doubts about it all working out)






I filled the cushion with kapok fibers

(Don’t take seriously the last picture)


Latest weaving – two cushions in rölakan (interlocked tapestry)  technique




This one is variation on antique carriage cushion from Bara district, Skåne.




And this one is a little sampling of local birds from folk textiles



I have used wool yarn from Wålstedts spinning mill -Wålstedts gobelänggarn Nm 5/2.


singlad boll

Few months ago we had really fun day at work  – we sat together all day  in the library and made yarn balls – in traditional for Skåne “singlad boll” technique.

singlade bollar

singlade bollar

scraps of cloth and yarn are wrapped around a piece of champagne cork, all construction is then secured by wrapping a sturdy thread along the segments.
Then the whole ball is covered by buttonhole stitches with wool yarn.

singlade bollar

Our colleague Camilla has been researching on this tradition and had many workshops on making these balls, so we had our own in-house teacher.

singlade bollar

singlade bollar

a couple of weeks ago I  found my unfinished little ball in the yarn basket and felt  a bit sorry for it, so I had to finish it

singlad boll
singlad boll

It is the size of a tennis ball. A bit time-consuming in making, but fun, safe and eco-friendly  toy!

Here are more balls from Nordiska museet

UPD: have found this little video showing the technique (by Cammila)

Hemslöjdens samlingar

Long time no see (again). I want to post here more regularly in this new year. Let’s start with some catching up then.

For the last few month I have been working for the handicraft association of Skåne – Skånes hemslöjdsförbund, on a digitalisation of  the collection of the handicraft association. The collection (catalog information and the pictures) is displayed on a web-resource called Digitalt Museum, used by many swedish museums for making their collections available for the general public in a digital format. The largest collection is from Nordiska Museum (Swedish Museum of cultural history).

In Hemslöjdens collection there are many antique folk art items, modern reproductions and works of local designers – home textiles, folk costumes, clothes and other items (not only textiles, but f.ex. baskets and candle holders). I have been working with the picture part –  fixing up existing pictures, taking new photos and putting them into the database. Being in those archives and seeing all those beautiful things is quite overwhelming experience. I think I had a bit of visual overload, probably that’s why the blogging become neglected, but I am all fresh and rested now after the long christmas holidays, haha)

LKLH-21_B MSSHDG-557_ALKLH-280_A MSSHDG-13_B MSSHDG-623_B litenVäska ApelMSSHDG-47_B MSSHDG-157_C  MSSHDG-621_G liten MSSHDG-895-2_CMSSHDG-1141

Here are all the folders of Hemslöjdens collection (not just from Skåne but from other regions of Sweden too) and new  folders are being added and completed on a regular basis.

Here are my favourite folders from our (Skånes Hemslöjd) collection (some pictures are new, some old)

Skånsk rölakan (double interlocked tapestry)

Spedetröjor (knitted womens jumpers, part of local folk costume)

60-tals broderi (Swedish emroidery from 1960s)

Tröjor från Sydöstra Skåne (very peculiar little jackets from southeast of Skåne)

(in DigitaltMuseum, once you have clicked on a picture to enlarge it you may want to use > and < pointers to flickr through the detail pictures ).

birds, rölakan and a couple of old ladies

My summer is colorful. The kit for an embroidered cushion which I bought two years ago, and finished the embroidery a year ago – finally has become a cushion.

It’s been quite a tedious work to assemble it all together – thick felted woolen back piece and sewing in the tassels, had to buy new proper quality needles, old ones kept breaking  (no wonder it was lying in the basket unfinished for so long!)  But I’ve made it and now we have a fun cushion)

finished cushion

the cushion is composed by Hemslöjden Skåne, they have gathered all the birds from local folk embroideries.



And weaving. In my mind I made the list of things to weave – all those cool linen scarves and thin cloth in somber greys and white, different pattern samples I want to try… But my heart is directing me to something totally different:

rölakan weaving

it’s rölakan again, slow and colorful,

rölakan weaving

I love making these interlocks on the back side, one after another without thinking what is next.

finished rölakan piece

made a sketch for another side
Rölakan sketch

Speaking about heart – few days ago I bought an old book (from 1916), rough translation of the title is
“Old folk handicraft from Malmöhus county, published by the county’s handicraft association”
(former Malmöhus county is where we live, but now it’s part of larger Skåne county).
The book is sort of a bible of local textile handicraft.


inside there  are lots of pictures of different weaving and embroidery from 16-18 century with detailed descriptions – warp and weft density, material, and who has made it and whom it belonged then, in 1916.


On the fly-leaf it says “This book is dedicated to the handicrafting women of Malmöhus county”. And a couple of names in old handwriting.  I am really curious about them, specially about Kristin Holm from Knestorp (Knästorp in modern writing, little village 4 km from ours). Did she just own the book or was she a weaver and used it as an inspiration?


I couldn’t resist to write my name down too. Now we are a little local gang – Kristin, Birgit and me :)

birthday present for a good man

While I am digging in the garden and not weaving much I will post some pictures from a month ago –
our joint (my husband’s and mine) birthday present for my father in law – a stool with a cushion
My husband made the stool after Peter Follansbee’s 17 century model, and I tried to come up with a cushion – free variation on 18 century Skåne weaving :)


I forgot to take a picture of the backside, here you can see a little.

Himmelskt vackert i Ystad

“Heavenly beautiful” – called the exhibition of folk weavings  from Skåne (Skania) in Ystad. I went there three times already, two of them to demo-weave at the “weaving cafe”, and it is still overwhelming , to think that this just a tip of an iceberg of all the textiles that where produced in ordinary homes in this area of Sweden  in 17-19 centuries.

The museum building is an old Franciscan monastery from XII century.

The weaving cafe – the most luxurious weaving shed I have been to. I will be there again this weekend.

Some pictures from the exhibition, sorry for the quality, all the textiles lighted with special museum light,
wich is good for the cloth, but pictures need severe color correction, which they barely survive.



Blådrätter – dukagång, blue wool on white linen base:


reindeer is a  popular motif in rölakan:


a photograph showing Skanian textile mounter at Baltic exhibition in 1914:

I have more pictures here.

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:)

Skånsk konstvävnad

Finally, some pictures from the course I attended in the end of June – on folk weaving of Skåne, southern county of Sweden (which I happened to live in). With Gunvor Johansson as a teacher, the main authority on the subject, she has been reconstructing old weaving patterns and making them available, as with rölakan (local variant of kelim) patterns here.

the warp is 12/3 or 16/3 linen, weft is wool.

a little sample with four different techniques from halvkrabba, dukagång, krabbasnår and rölakan (as the stripes follow from top to bottom):

and a little sample of trensaflossa

the first four are woven with wrong side up:

and one have to use a mirror to check if the pattern is coming out right:

Gunvor had piles of old and new (woven by herself) weavings

and piles of illustrated albums to get inspired by

our collective achievements

Charlotte Weibull’s collection

I discovered this place a couple of weeks ago, it is just around the corner from where we live and I pass it on my bike on my way to work and back home – a local folklore  center Möllegården Kultur, which (permanently!) displays Charlotte Weibull’s entire collection of swedish folk costumes and dolls .  I am mostly fascinated by the row of aprons hanging along the wall in a large room – all possible combinations of colors in different stripe patterns, such a  huge  inspiration resource, I will definitely go back there (again and again).

here is just a tiny bit of details:

Some more (and slightly bigger) pictures in my flickr.

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