One third of the way done
Progress is slow, but steady on the sprang sash.
Here is where I am. The date is now on the sash.
A reporter for the local French language newspaper stopped by to interview me. Her camera is also a video camera. She shot a short youtube video. For those who do not speak French, I explain the basic idea of sprang, two rows of cloth for every one row of work. The video then shows you a close up of the sash, and then how I move a row of work around. The sash grows from a central line outward towards the fringes.
My book, Fingerweaving Untangled, has now been translated into French.
I met Lorraine Forbes at Festival one year. She saw me fingerweaving and came over to chat. She had tried unsuccessfully to learn from various books in the library and was pleased to finally meet someone who had cracked the technique. On the way home, she tells me, that her husband encouraged her to take my class, “out of sheer like-mindedness”.
Lorraine is a professional translator, between English and French. She was of great help to me in editing Fingerweaving Untangled. When the requests for a french version started coming in, I solicited her help. Lorraine was indispensable in this venture. I am grateful to Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism, and Sport who subsidized the translation. While the typesetting had to be completely re-done, I took the opportunity to re-do some of the photos and re-arrange some of the pages. The directions on how to measure out, pgs 20 and 21, in my mind were a bit too crowded. The re-organization suggested by my husband is a nice improvement that bi-lingual folks will notice.
I’ve also corrected a few errors.
At the bottom of page 17, the caution should be to count a total of 12 threads, 6 in front and 6 in back (not 12 and 12 … assuming a total of 24).
Midway through the process, I sent out drafts to french-speaking individuals, people from France who expressed an interest in learning the technique. Their comments were most helpful.
I also was able to consult with individuals who teach fingerweaving in Quebec. I learned, for example, that they call the diagonal stripe the ‘half chevron’.
The work was finally completed at the end of June and delivered for printing. I received shipment of Le Fléche Démêlé on July 30.
It sells for the same price as the english version.
Within the first month 200 copies have left my house. I count this a success.
This fall the book will be available through the Quebec bookseller Renaud-Bray.
Old Fort William
July 8 I travelled to Atikokan, Ontario, and Quetico Provincial Park. A lovely place, breathtaking scenery, I was treated to an amazing tour by Val Fraser.
Val showed me a sash that had been found in the area, a lovely example of 19th century work.
Old Fort William in Thunder Bay was the site of a RendezVous July 9-13 and I was there. The David Thompson Brigade made a spectacular arrival on July 12. Canoe after canoe paddling up to the shore.
I was honored to meet Professor Kirk Wipper, Founder of the Canadian Canoe Museum.
I also had the pleasure of chatting with Barry Wolframe, retired carpenter at Old Fort William, and fingerweaver extraordinaire.
I’ve just competed a pair of suspenders for a client who intends to wear them at a Big Event in his life soon.
I have also been corresponding with Steve Pretty of the Braid Society in the UK. We are working on an article to appear in the Braid Society publication ‘Strands’, featuring the technique for the ‘bias weave’ or ‘oblique method’, as well as a biographical piece on Carol James
Dr. Katherine Pettipas, Curator, The Manitoba Museum writes:
This publication is welcome addition to the literature on the ancient craft of finger weaving. Carol James, an accomplished Winnipeg weaver and teacher, has dedicated over 20 years to the art. Her knowledge and sash reproductions are based on the detailed study of historical artifacts that are housed in various heritage institutions such as The Manitoba Museum and the Musée Saint-Boniface.
Beginners and experienced finger weavers alike will appreciate this well-illustrated “how to” guide that not only presents the basics, but also guides the user through the complicated art of “trouble shooting.” This type of information sharing is only possible from Carol James’ years of experience as highly skilled weaver and outstanding teacher of the craft.
President Union nationale métisse Saint-Joseph du Manitoba writes:
In an easy to understand format, Carol James has demystified the fascinating art of finger weaving, particularly that of the taditional sash. Through illustrations and clear explanations, she makes it relatively simple for the novice to create his or her own heirloom. Her many years of experience with her craft brings to the reader the required assistance and reassurance that they also can explore their creativity.
Excellent resource material!
Grade 4 teacher
Carol has a talent which transcends her delft fingers as she spins and weaves wool. Carol is a patient teacher who shares her weaving knowledge with young students and is as excited as the children when they see their first threads become a pattern. This book of wonderful information helps to unravel the technique of finger weaving in a clear and concise manner.
Carol is a master weaver who brings threads of wool to life as they dance in patterns as she weaves. This book reflects the simple and clear way that Carol teaches this art
Carol’s quiet way of teaching as she passes her knowledge on to students makes her an honoured guest in my classroom. Students delight in the process and the making of their projects.Carol’s book is reflective of the learner and their new found skills as she takes them on a journey of discovery.