Back to My Roots

Woven shibori scarf, detail.
Woven shibori scarf, detail.

Woven shibori remains my primary focus in weaving, and I don’t see that ending for a very long time.  Working to create a larger body of work is very important this year.

I have an equally strong interest in Norwegian and Scandinavian weaving, as evidenced by a studio full of Glimakra looms, and the ever growing number of books on my shelves on the subject.  It’s time to put it into action.

It was interesting last summer and fall, I had said in the art tour brochure that my interests are woven shibori and Scandinavian weaving.  Although I had woven shibori for sale, and had examples of Norwegian/Swedish style weaving I had none for sale, and a couple visitors had come to possibly purchase this style weaving.  This is the year to make it happen, for myself, my home, and for interested visitors.

My paternal grandparents immigrated from Norway.  I have many memories of my Grandma H., particularly about food – her lefse, Norwegian meatballs, krumkake, sandbakkels, doughnuts, and apple pie.  It was those memories that for years had me making the Norwegian meatballs, lefse, and cookies for our Christmas dinner.

"Norwegian Pick-Up Weaving" by Heather Torgenrud.
“Norwegian Pick-Up Weaving” by Heather Torgenrud.

A few months ago, on Amazon, I ran across a new book that was coming out, “Norwegian Pick-Up Bandweaving” by Heather Torgenrud.  It is a beautiful book, good instructions and photos, and many patterns.  The author has a website where the book can be ordered,… http://norwegianpickupbandweaving.com.

Happily, I was able to sign up for a class the author will be teaching, in September, at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, IA.  It’s something to look forward to as I weave my way through the year.

Another interest, since reading “The Warp-Weighted Loom: Studies in History and Technology of an Ancient Implement” by Marta Hoffman, is someday having a warp-weighted loom.

"Twill and Tabby Weaving on the Warp-Weighted Loom, by Antoinette Merete Olsen.
“Twill and Tabby Weaving on the Warp-Weighted Loom, by Antoinette Merete Olsen.

This book, recently published in Norway, was also published, a couple months later in English, and I sent for a copy.  It has good instructions, clear photos, and thankfully, a large font size, and now I definitely need that loom.  I must be patient.  The book may be ordered from the author’s website at,…         http://www.warpweightedloom.com/apps/webstore/.

There are also some wonderful old videos (1950’s or so) on You Tube, on warp-weighted loom weaving as well as bandweavinng.  Just search for Norsk Folkemuseum and they will be there along with many others.

Of course, with my studio already full (and three more smaller looms in the basement, the question is, where will I put it?  That was Char’s question to me when I asked about the possibility of her making one for me later this year.  It was Char who made the three panel wood screen for me for the woven shibori screen.  Her website/blog is at https://charzindel.wordpress.com.

Glimakra Regina, 60" wide,  an upright rug/tapestry loom.
Glimakra Regina, 60″ wide, an upright rug/tapestry loom.

While I’m waiting for the bandweaving class, waiting for a warp-weighted loom, and the Glimakra Standard occupied with woven shibori, I have the Glimakra Regina on which I can weave Scandinavian style ranas, rugs, and/or tapestry; also the drawloom.

Norwegian coverlets are also on my radar.  I plan to start with a small baby/christening size, and then we’ll see.  I saw three beautiful examples of Norwegian and Swedish coverlets at VavStuga while taking classes there.  I don’t know yet when, only that I need to do this.

And last but not least, I need to get back to my drawloom. There is also an opphamta attachment still waiting to be added to the Glimakra Standard.  I think I need to clone myself!

There are connections between these various areas of interest in Norwegian weaving.  Coverlets can be woven on standard or on drawlooms.  They can be edged with bands, or in other ways.  It sounds like a lot, and it is, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that I don’t need to do it all this year, but I do need to get started, Now.  I’m not getting any younger.

Woven shibori and indigo blue will continue.  To me it has a contemporary look, and I enjoy the elements of unknown and surprise at the results.  The Norwegian weaving is more traditional and will add COLOR back into my weaving.  It’s a good plan.

I’ve had people tell me I should specialize, do just one thing and do it well.  Create a body of work.  Well, I understand that, and that is what I’m working toward with the woven shibori.  However, I cannot and will not shut off my other weaving interest, learning and growing is too important to me.  Life is too short, I don’t know what the future holds, and I plan to learn, explore, and continue on this path as long as I can work at my looms.  It works for me!

2 thoughts on “Back to My Roots”

  1. So wonderful to come across your site. Perhaps next time we call on you, we will find you home. Have a great summer. Carol

  2. Hi Carol! So sorry we weren’t home before, give me a call first when you’re up this way again. As it happens, I may be moving back to Janesville later this year or next year. I’ve been looking for info on weaving/spinning guilds down there, knitting guilds, too, though I don’t do much of that recently. Already a Basics Cooperative member and got a library card. Hope to see you again before long!

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