Tag Archives: weaving

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.

Rölakanskudde1a

Rölakanskudde2a

a little doodle from two years ago:

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Pictures from the process:

rölakan weaving

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

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Sewing

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I filled the cushion with kapok fibers

Rölakanskudde3a
(Don’t take seriously the last picture)

Cushions!

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

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

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

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

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Swedish dove-tale tapestry

In August I went to a seminar on dove-tale tapestry (flamskvävnad) at Lilla Rödde museum – an old unique Skanian farm known for it’s textile collection and a tragic story of two sisters who lived on that farm.

Typical local dove-tale tapestry motifs :
Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Most of the dove-tale tapestry woven by the sisters were used for furniture upholstery , there are about 2o chairs like this in the museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

and two sofas:

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Apart from all that furniture and wall hangings there are many other textiles

Lilla Rödde museum

hand-woven linen:

Lilla Rödde museum

Most of the textiles were produced by two sisters as their dowry (hemgift) – in a hope that they will get married and take all those things with them to their new homes

It never happened – after their mothers unexpected death their father basically shut the house down, not letting anybody in or out and not agreeing on marriage proposals for his daughters.  One of the sisters continued to live on the farm in total seclusion untill she was 89, the farm was never modernised and remained as a time capsule from the beginning of 1900s.  New owners sold the farm  to the local commune and it became a museum. Here is an article (in Swedish) by Annhelen Olsson telling the full story of the place.

Lilla Rödde museum

Few pictures from the  “show and tell” section of the seminar

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde Museum

Lilla Rödde Museum

Lilla Rödde museum

modern translations of the old motifs by Rebecka Winter

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde Museum

I have some more pictures in my flickr

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.

Cushion

Cushion

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.

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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.

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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?

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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 :)

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

Gröna trasor / green rags

Our very last school assignment before it all ends this week (it’s kind of hard to believe, but it’s true)  – a rug in any material, size  and form.

Since rugs are not so popular in our house (mostly because of an old cat with poor digestion) I am weaving a “flying carpet” for the garden instead – a rag-hummock.

Tabby with some rosepath stripes

(I made black and white warp stripes only because I didn’t have enough of the green).

Thank to this project we (my family and me) have assembled the second-hand loom I bought half a year ago –  an Öxabäck, in Sweden it  is considered to be ” loom of the looms” , this one is huge – 150 cm weaving width and it takes all the free space in our guest room. Come and be our guest :)

Everything in this loom is so smart and smooth! Ulla Zyrus-Zetterström, who constructed this loom- is genius.

I have another meter to go and hope for a nice summer!

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.

Krabbasnår:

Rölakan:

Blådrätter – dukagång, blue wool on white linen base:

krabbasnår:

reindeer is a  popular motif in rölakan:

dukagång:

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

I have more pictures here.

my world is flat

Little experiments for the last school assignment  – three dimensional weaving using unusual materials as a weft (anything but yarn).

number one –  spring comes to our little world :

technically it’s not quite 3D,  but it’s not 2D either

number two – Ash bird (used nice long and curly ash wood shavings from my husband’s woodworking),
again quite flat, except the tail.  100% biodegradable, very eco-friendly bird.

Well, at least I kept my family entertained :)

The rest of the time I spent doing traditional flatweave – finished the rölakan sample

and started new folk weaving with the same happy colors:

krabbasnår and munk’s belt (munkabälte) this time:

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:)

utilising

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

 
 

and a book cover

and a bag

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 :)

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.

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