Saturday, 1 October 2022

Nordic and World Braids and Bands 2022

 Busy Hands  (and feet)

The conference was a wonderful experience.  Do think about the next conference in 2025 in the USA.  The skills taught in the week ranged from beginners classes to extending the more experienced.  The participants learned from their tutors but also from each other. I always find that I learn from my classes as well as teaching them. 

Busy Hands

Here are a selection of images showing working hands (and feet). This is only a selection of the classes. I am sure that you will identify the skills being displayed.  

The conference was amazing.  There were two lectures in the morning before classes commenced and generally one lecture afterwards, before the evening meal.
The conference proceedings are now on sale. 

The Proceedings are now for sale at £38 plus postage and packing on the website, under books.   This book which is 234 pages with 45 contributing authors is a fabulous book and worth every penny.   If you don't purchase it now, why don't you put it on your Christmas list.

Alternatively, you can  email  stating:
Which book(s) you require
Where in the world the package should be sent
Whether you will pay by Paypal (preferred) or alternatively by cheque or direct bank transfer.

Overview of contents


Bente Skogass – A glimpse into tablet weaving from early Viking times

Ulla Mannering & Charlotte Rimstad – The Danish Prehistoric Cord and Band Tradition

Randi Stoltz – Band weaving in Norway over 2000 years

Ragnheidur Thorsdottir – Table weaving in Iceland

Sonja Berlin – Why choose Tablet weaving?

Anna Sjursen – Sami weaving, traditions and techniques

Noomi I Dali – Faroese cords bands, braids and garters

Katia Johansen – After the Vikings: The decline of hands in Denmark


Kumihimo – articles by Shirley Berlin (Canada), Makiko Tada & Masumi Tada (Japan), Diane Watanabe (Japan), Bob Galivan (USA), Yuko Yoshida (Japan)

Kuteuchi, Loop Braiding – articles by Masumi Tada (Japan), Jacqui Carey (UK),  Jean Leader (UK), Joy Boutrup (Denmark)

Cords, Whipcording, Lucet – articles by Annette Herbst, Ziggy Rytka (UK), Georgia Olsen (USA)

Ply Split Braiding – articles by Julie Hedges (UK), Katoko Kitade (Japan), Erroll Pires (India)

Rigid Heddle, Inkle – articles by Shahla Amini (Iran), Susan Foulkes (UK), Ane Rasmussen (Denmark), Dee Sayce (UK), Tamaki Takagi (Japan), Laura Thode (USA), Marieke Kranenberg (Netherlands)

Sprang – articles by Carol James (Canada), Bodil Dago (Norway)

Tablet weaving – articles by Inge Dam (Canada), Bente Skogass (Norway), Rasmus Jorgensen (Denmark), Cathy Smith (UK), Randi Stoltz (Norway), Louise Strom (Sweden), Keiko Kusakabe (Japan), John Mullarkey (USA)

Other techniques – articles by Anna Sparr (Denmark), Ilta Hamari (Finland), Gil Dye (UK), Lena Bjerresgard (Denmark)

Thursday, 22 September 2022

national exhibition of Weavers Spinners and Dyers

 The National Exhibition of the Association of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers was held at Leigh Spinning Mill in September.

Here are some photographs about the exhibition.

The unprepossessing entrance

The heritage lift was over 100 years old

Entrance to the exhibition space

Leigh Mill is undergoing a transformation.  The renovation project is very ambitious and will provide a wonderful outlet for creative talent. It is very much a work in progress.

Alison from the Lancs and Lakes Guild welcomed visitors. Alison's wonderful bed spread is next to her. The whole exhibition was set up by five volunteers. 

Two general views

A wall of discs - the fascinating interpretations using a disc.

Unfortunately exhibitors had asked that images of their work are not shared on social media so I cannot add the rest of the photographs that I took.  However, one member from Durham Guild had a disc on the wall display. Anne is one of our oldest members and a founder member of the Durham Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers. 

Anne Evans

 After viewing the exhibition we walked along the canal to Leigh town centre. 

It was an interesting walk and we passed two boat yards and some canal boats. 

A great day out from Manchester.

Susan J Foulkes September 2022

Thursday, 1 September 2022

The Red Thread

 My piece for the exhibitors exhibition was entitled The Red Thread.

All the sayings are from different Nordic countries.  The border for each saying is in the colours of the national flag. The motifs at each end of the band were chosen to link to the particular country. 

  The Swedish saying is: Den röda tråden  - The red thread.

In Sweden the phrase, 'the red thread' is used as a metaphor to describe the 'thread' running through something or underpinning a lesson, conference or a dialogue that gives it unity and meaning. As one person has written 'The red thread is live, clear, powerful and connective.' The red thread seemed a suitable idea that underpinned the conference in Denmark bringing together crafts people from around the world with a common love of creating narrow wares. 

  The Icelandic saying is Að komast í álnir - To become rich. This is an old saying and refers to the trade in textiles from Iceland which was important for about 1,000 years.

 The Norwegian saying is: Øving gjør mester  -  Practice makes the master.

   The saying from the Faroe Islands is: Altíð bagir illum barni okkurt.  A bad workman blames his tools.

  The saying from Greenland is: Uppertunut ajornartoqanngilaq.  Nothing is impossible for one who believes.

     The Danish saying is: Gennem livet går der en usynlig tråd. An invisible thread goes through one's life.  This lovely saying is attributed to Hans Christian Anderson and originated with Goethe. 

The Sami saying is: Vuosttaš maid meašttir dahká, lea oahppat. The first thing a master does is to learn.

   The Finnish saying is: Mestariksi tuleminen vaatii kaikkien virheiden tekemistä. To be a master you need to have made all the mistakes. 

The red thread around the sayings is a lucetted woollen cord. 

On the display is a Sami belt woven with the Sigga heddle, a tasuki cord in red silk, a handfasting band woven in red and gold silk and a marriage band from Sweden.  

The Sami belt woven with the Sigga heddle

A Japanese tasuki cord woven in red and gold silk

A tasuki cord is used in Japan to tie up the sleeves of a kimono or wide sleeved jacket. It is used by men and women.  

A handfasting band in red and gold silk with the eternal knot symbol

The Swedish marriage band with 101 different motifs. My initials and date are woven at one end. It is over 4 metres in length.

The Japanese lotus bag with two woven filled tubular silk cords. 

Exhibitors displays

There was an exhibition of work by all the workshop providers.  Here are some

of the displays.

Exquisite work

I love these colourful bands.

The cushion cover is beautiful.

I loved the participants who wore something that they had made.
Carol's sprang trousers

Steve's inkle woven braces

Ziggy's colourful laces made with a lucet.

The next International Conference will be held in the USA in 2025.  I hope to see you there. Perhaps we should all try to make something to wear. 

Susan J Foulkes September 2022