I'm in Minnesota, teaching classes. The Duluth Art Institute hosted a sprang class, attended by several members of the local handweavers guild.
Sprang class started on Friday evening, and worked all day Saturday, and then again Sunday morning. Participants had practice with the basic stitch, as well as some variations. Everyone was able to practice setting up, working the piece, and several different finishing techniques. It was a superbe group of students. Thanks so much to Michelle, Louise, and Lynnea, for all the work they did to organize the event. It warms my heart to hear that this group plans to now form a "sprang study group", to maintain skills learned, and to help each other in further explorations of the technique. I'll be happy to skype in occasionally.
I then went down the road to Grand Marais, Minnesota, to teach at the North House Folk School during their Fiber Week. There were ten people in my fingerweaving class. We started at the beginning, and are progressed through diverse motifs. Another terrific group of students.
The third day I presented the theory of arrowheads ...
... and several lovely arrowheads were made.
Photo at the end of the 3-day class. Most students completed several straps, in a variety of designs. Congratulations to the new finger weavers.
Many thanks to Jessa, Ben, and the rest of the North House team for organizing this event.
Over two years ago the weaving guild in Grand Forks BC invited me to teach them sprang and fingerweaving. At last the date has arrived.
Flying in an airplane from Winnipeg to Grand Forks, BC, took me right over the Canadian Rockies. I love looking out the window of an airplane.
Grand Forks is surrounded by mountains. It snowed most every day I was there. It looked like Christmas.
Three days of class. Fingerweaving the first day, then two days of sprang. The students were keen and eager, completed a number of projects, exploring these braiding techniques.
Thank you to Sue for organizing this, and to all who contributed to the lovely lunches, the setup and takedown.
Very near Antwerp is the village of Sint-Job-In-‘t-Goor. That’s where I held a class in finger weaving recently.
The organiser provided these wooden stands, clamped to the table top to hold the samples. The students were eager, and explored diverse motifs.
At the end of the day some of the students had samples of both lightning and chevron patterns.
And the chevron, a sample made by a participant that day:
The skill of people who worked sprang in earlier times never ceases to amaze me. One detail that Anne Kwaspen and I discussed was the manner in which interlinking is mixed with twining. One would think that the twining threads, travelling a longer distance would require a longer thread. How can this be possible in sprang? The problem has been turning around in my head. At length, I have tried a sample for myself. It seems that if I use different materials, one elastic and one non-elastic, and found it worked for me in this sample.
White silk interlinking and elastic lavender wool twining
Convergence 2012 is well under way.
I set up my 4-harness loom for this year’s Festival. We’re commemorating the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Selkirk Settlers. They attempted to build an income spinning the hair of bison and weaving it into cloth. The local weavers guild agreed to help me weave brown cloth. I set up my loom.
Meanwhile outside they were preparing the snow sculptures.
This woman came to see me. She learned fingerweaving from my book. She’s also made herself a sprang hat.
She said she made it in strips, and sewed them together.
She wove the strips for about 4 inches, then began tying the strings off in pairs, hiding the knots inside the hat. This created the ‘decrease’. Remaining strings formed the tassel.
She was very pleased with the way you can make a perfectly invisible seam.
I find her work ingenius, and really like this hat!
Students at Bannatyne School sewed those ‘sashes’ together, using braids made by the younger students.
This tapestry commemorates the 100th anniversary of the school. It celebrates the role of the individual, as well as exemplifying the strength of the community.
Each thread is important. A single thread can make a huge difference. Single threads are fragile, can be easily broken. Many threads together can create something very strong, very beautiful.
Here’s the completed tapestry.
My husband needed to go for a bit of a road trip, get out of town. We drove west, to Batosch, Saskatchewan.
I was thrilled to hear that personnel there had learned to fingerweave from my book. They had several examples of work done by employees as well as visitors.
They are working towards leg ties for the interpreters, and eventually sashes.
The Saskatchewan prairie is beautiful
My husband said I had to include a photo of me as a passenger in the car. It was a ten hour drive. He can’t expect me to just sit there.
I attach my weaving to the visor, and tension it under my feet.
Drove to Thunder Bay last Thursday to attend the Great RendezVous at Historic Fort William.
On the way I stopped in at Quetico Park to see the sash I wove for them while artist in residence two years ago.
At the RendezVous, I gave a workshop on fingerweaving to participants and Ft William Staff.
This woman had learned fingerweaving by herself. She found the book Fingerweaving Untangled in her local library.
It’s that time of year again.
I can be found with my SashWeaving in the Souvenir tent, alongside the Habitat for Humanity run Official Souvenir desk.
The thing I love about Festival is seeing all the sashes. Every year it gets better. People are making their own, and wearing them.
This woman took a one-hour workshop from me at the public library, and look what she did!
This gentleman and his wife purchased my book Fingerweaving Untangled. This year he’s sporting a chevron belt, and she’s made little coat toggles.
And a Big Thank You to those who helped me at the booth.
And I have to show you pictures of the snow sculptures:
I’ve been developing a simple sprang tutorial. I tested it out on the Manitoba Weavers and Fiber Artists last night.
Trying to break down the technique to its most simple form, I gave them twelve strings and an illustrated how-to printout. They did succeed at creating their samples within 20 minutes time, however I also realize that my directions require clarification, simplification.
Thanks so much to the weavers.