Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Weave Fair, Vaxjo, Sweden 2017

Weave Fair 2017

The Weave Fair was held in Vaxjo, Sweden in September.  The Weave fair is a fantastic occasion to meet other weavers from around the world and see an astonishing range of equipment and yarns.  There is a comprehensive lecture programme including some lectures in English.
The town of Vaxjo had displays of weaving and the longest rag rug every produced.

It led past a display by the local craft guild who had looms where they demonstrated their skills.

Another long rug led to a local shop where more woven goods were displayed as well as another loom.

The rug led to a shop.
Lots of woven goods on display
The local museums also had a colourful display of both contemporary and old examples of weaving.

To get to the Weave fair, I had to board a bus in the town centre with the destination SamarkandSo I took 'The Golden Road to Samarkand.'  The Weave Fair seems like a caravanserai, although not a place to rest but to meet and buy.

The bus to Samarkand

I attended all three days as there is always something to do and see. All the major loom makers were there and the weaving equipment was very tempting. I like to arrive early so that I can take alook around  before it gets too busy.

Toika Finland

Yes the loom equipment did stretch this far!

Glimakra USA
All the yarn was very tempting.  A rainbow of colours in wool, linen and cotton.

There were plenty of weavers demonstrating their skills. Local guilds gave their time to bring their looms and show a variety of weaving techniques from tapestry to draw loom weaving.

 At the Weave Fair in Boras in 2011, I attended a inspirational lecture by Andreas Moeller.  He is an accomplished weaver/designer as you can see from his web site.  He spoke about the 8 shaft countermarche loom that he had designed for weavers in Africa.  It is an amazing loom and here he demonstrated its capabilities.   Here is his web site
I have uploaded a video onto my Facebook page. 

I have posted a video of Andreas weaving on his loom on my Facebook page.   It is astonishing how quickly he can weave.

Here is a piece from his blog about this remarkable loom.
In 2009 he constructed the Personal-Flying-8 Workshop Unit, a loom and all the equipment that is needed for weaving. It can be built easily by one person, without the use of electricity, without the need of drilling holes and without metal parts like brackets or axles.
The building instructions for the Personal-Flying-8 loom and the book Flying-8 Das Weben can be ordered from Andreas.

The Selvedge magazine stand
Selvedge magazine was also represented. I have been interviewed for an upcoming edition of Selvedge along with a tapestry weaver, Matty and spinner, Amanda.  It was a wonderful opportunity for us all to talk about our passion for craft and the role the the Association of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers has for us and other like minded craft practitioners.

I have a new article due to be published in the next edition of the Journal published by the Association with an accompanying YouTube video. (yes, it is about band weaving!). Amanda's work in Tibet is in the current Autumn edition of the Journal.

I was looking forward to seeing the stall for the Leksands Heml√∂jd.  In Leksand it was the first outlet outside of Stockholm to sell local crafts and was founded in 1904. This was a must go to destination for me every time I visit Sweden.

At the Weave fair, I bought a pattern book of bands as well as a stunning band from Insjon near Leksand.

The busy Leksand stall.

This is the beautiful hand woven band that I bought. 
I had an amazing time at the Weave fair. I met weavers from around the world. The stand for the Swedish Weavers Association was of particular interest.   I bought one of their practical large bags which was very useful for all my purchases. I will write more about this in a future blog.

An excellent bag for carrying lots of 'goodies'.
The Skane region is famous for its embroidery.  The stand gives an idea of how colourful they are.

The cushions are glorious.

These bags came as kits so that you could make your own.  The bands were all commercially woven.  

We also visited other places in Sweden.  We went back to Orebro and found other sights to explore including the iconic water tower.   There is a small open air collection of old houses in a lovely park.
Lovely old buildings to explore. This shows Siw's shop.

Here I met Siw Norup who had a small shop selling her handmade items.

 She was selling her collection of woven bands as she does not weave them any more. She wove simple warp faced bands and was selling her heddles and band locks.

The bands were very colourful and I bought one as a souvenir. It uses different weights of wool and has an interesting asymmetrical pattern.

woven band by Siw

I hope you have enjoyed this trip to Sweden and the Weave Fair.  The next Fair is in three years time.
One area of the exhibition hall was partitioned as a private area for the people running the various stands.  I spotted these two patient dogs - I felt the same after three days.

The free online workshop for patterned band weaving starts today.  See my blog for details.

I will be writing future blogs about the other places I visited in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland.

Happy weaving

Susan J Foulkes

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Online Guild Annual Challenge Lace for All Seasons

I decided to take part in this years annual challenge with the Online Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers

The title of the challenge was 'A Lace for All Seasons.' The brief was broad - any techniques and skills as long as spinning, weaving or dyeing were included.

When I first started to learn to weave, I wove a silk stole on a table loom in the weaving class I attended.  It was a pattern by Sharon Alderman.  I loved her patterns and always looked out for any ideas and articles by her. This pattern appeared in Handwoven in Jan/Feb 1989 page 106

The silk lace shawl was woven in 2/20 white silk and is very long. the treadling sequence is 72 picks. For the class table loom, I had to have a detailed list of sheds and keep track of them very carefully.  I think that there is one small mistake in the treadling which I noticed when the shawl was off the loom.  I know the mistake is there but to most people it is invisible. In the weaving class we were encouraged to keep accurate records.  I have noted that the warp took me three hours to make, the threading on the loom took 4 hours and one pattern repeat took 25 minutes to weave! The final length was 79 inches and the width 23 inches.

The shawl is very long, warm and rather stylish. The pattern has open work areas but with a plain weave trellis in between.

I remembered that many years ago I bought some 2/30 gold silk which I had never used. The silk was very shiny and smooth and I did not know how it would weave. I realised that I would have to sample before I could be sure of the sett.

But first of all, I needed to design a lace pattern.  I wanted something that would have a lacy pattern but also have some areas of plain weave to hold the structure of the fabric together. The Best of Weavers: Huck lace was a good place to start. On page 8 there is an 8 shaft draft for a scarf. It was woven in 2/30 silk with a sett of 24 epi.  The huck lace pattern is in blocks of 5 ends where the base threads are alternately threaded on shaft one and shaft two.  I liked this idea but not the pattern.
I looked back at the 8 shaft version by Sharon Alderman.  I did not want to repeat the pattern and I wanted something a little different. The Fibreworks PCW program is very useful for designing patterns. I tried a number of different variations and the one on 9 shafts seemed very attractive. I wanted a pattern that would emphasis the open work areas.

Publisher: Alexis Yiorgos Xenakis  2000
This is a wonderful book edited by Madelyn van der Hoogt.

I devised a 9 shaft pattern of open work triangles inside a lattice. Here is my own draft. The treadling repeat is 60 picks.

Two pattern repeats showing the plain weave on the left side

One pattern repeat to show the threading and loom set up.
I was not sure that the sett of 24 epi would be suitable for this very shiny, slippery silk.  I made a warp long enough to weave a sample. I decided to use of sett of 27 epi using three ends per dent in a 9 reed.

Width at reed:  18.4 inches  approx 46.6 cm
Sett: 27 epi
Treadling is approx 25 - 26 ppi.

I wove a sample and cut it off the loom.  I washed and ironed it.

The sample and weaving on the loom
I was pleased with the result.  Although the sett was slightly closely than I would  normally have used, the open pattern displays well.  The lattice in between keeps the lace areas stable.  On the loom, the open lace areas do not open up.

Here is a close up of the weave structure.

It wove like a dream.  The tension and even beat seemed easy to do. The colour in the picture is rather too yellow,.  The silk is pale old gold.

close up of weave structure
The lattice surrounding the open lace area sets off the pattern and I think makes it more dramatic.
I found it very difficult to get a good picture of the actual colour of the silk.  It changes according to the lighting conditions.  In sunlight it seems to sparkle gold. On a dull day, it appears somewhat washed out, as you can see on this photograph.

White silk stole and new old gold silk huck lace scarf. 

close up showing the pattern of the stole and scarf

Finishing the scarf 

To finish the scarf, I hemmed the ends and then made short plaits along the width.The scarf was then washed.  The fringes were trimmed after washing.

The length of the scarf is 209 cm  82.25 inches
The width of the scarf is 41.5 cm 16.25 inches
The twisted fringes are 5 cm  2 inches.

I was very pleased with the result. I shall enjoy wearing this scarf.  The challenge was 'A Lace for All Seasons.'  This scarf can be worn as a dressy evening accessory or wrapped around the neck to keep warm.  It looks very good with a dark coat.

Happy weaving for all seasons.

Don't forget that my online workshop for the Braid Society starts in two weeks.

I have just returned from the Weave Fair in Vaxjo, Sweden.  I was thrilled to meet Madelyn van der Hoogt. The book about Huck Lace is one of the many invaluable books that she has written.

As you can see, I am wearing my lovely new silk scarf, after all, it was a Weave Fair!

Susan J Foulkes October 2017