The annual Winnipeg winter celebration, Festival du Voyageur is in full swing. Again this year Manitoba weavers are present, contributing to the history component of the festival. We’re weaving tea towels this year. Several weavers have taken their place at the loom.
The fingerweavers were also there.
Taking inspiration from the local weavers group, I wove a cotton blanket for my niece. I used the kind of commercial stuff you use to knit dishcloths. I figure it will be cool and soft for the baby, as well as quite absorbent.
I gave the blanket a wash, and was not pleased with the way the fringes melted into fuzz. I then cut off the fringes, and applied a satin binding edge.
Next up is a beaded sash. For this one I’ve taken inspiration from articles in the collection at the Rochester Museum. Beads are threaded onto the weft. The work at the loom is slow, nudging the beads into place one by one. For loomweaving it’s snail’s pace, but much quicker than fingerweaving.
I gave the blanket a wash, and was not pleased with the way the fringes melted into fuzz. I then cut off the fringes, and applied a satin binding edge. Next up is a beaded sash. For this one I’ve taken inspiration from articles in the collection at the Rochester Museum. Beads are threaded onto the weft. The work at the loom is slow, nudging the beads into place one by one. For loomweaving it’s snail’s pace, but much quicker than fingerweaving.
I’ve been quite busy, demonstrating fingerweaving at Folklorama, the Métis Pavillion during week 1, and the Pavillon Canadien-Français during week 2.
Thanks to all the former-students who helped out.
In other news, I’ve finally finished that seamless garment dress
As well, I finally finished that wool carpet that’s been on my loom for way too long. Time to get to other weaving projects.
My most recent excitement comes from SUCCESS in a ‘sprang’ experiment. I have been intrigued by images in Peter Collingwood’s book The Techniques of Sprang. Diamond and zigzag patterns in sashes pictured there are pretty straight forward. I’ve developed a method for mapping out the patterns on graph paper, then translating the graphs to written patterns, such as 6 singles, 1 double, 4 singles, etc.
The challenge to myself was to work out the pattern for the two-headed eagle from the 1700 Dutch piece at the back of the book.
I am Thrilled to report that my experiment was a success!
The material is a medium silk cord from Treenway’s. I dyed it with a ‘plum’ Landscapes dye. I will bring this piece along with me to Mississinewa 1812 in Marion, Indiana, this October. Stop by and have a look.
Now I didn’t start out with this piece. I’ve been working on this mapping and pattern-writing technique for sprang, creating ‘neck scarfs’.
Folks might want to know, the sprang always wants to curl at first (the red and yellow one at the top of the picture). I find that if I wash it, and pat it flat, and leave it to dry, then it ‘forgets’ the need to curl.
Guess it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and there are a few other things to report.
I attended the Manitoba Living History Society’s Fall Gathering, September 5 to 7.
I had prepared some indigo dye and took advantage of the space and time to dye some two dozen skeins, mostly white, but some were yellow. As predicted, they came out a variety of blues and greens.
A magic transformation as they emerge from the pot, changing from yellow to green to bright blue, it was lovely to see.
and then it immediately starts turning blue
By the end of the weekend I had a lovely set of blues
On Sept 12, a new park was dedicated to the honor of a locally prominent Métis, Elzéar Goulet. What an honor to see my sashes all around. Of the 6 sashes visible in this photo, I had a hand in the creation of 4 of them.
As well, I’ve been busy on my loom. A desperate call from a friend, the need for a sash for another inductee into an esteemed position, requiring another sash:
Working on a woven silk ‘officer’s sash’.
I’ll be in Marion, Indiana, Oct 10 to 12 for Mississinewa 1812.
November 7 to 9, I’ll be in Thunder Bay, Ontario, for the NAVC Fall Gathering.
Meanwhile, there will be another ‘Beginning Fingerweaving’ class at the Musée de St Boniface Museum, starting Sunday afternoons. Contact the Musée for further information.