Swedish Art Weaves with Joanne Hall

Krabbasnår (or Krabba), Rölakan, Halvkrabba, Dukagång, and Munkabälte (Monksbelt). These unique weaves have intrigued me since I first saw photos of them. Some of the designs look like hand-stitched embroidery. The Swedish Art Weaves workshop with Joanne Hall introduces the simple techniques used for weaving these traditional patterns. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to learn how to weave these beautiful designs for myself.

Swedish Art Weaves workshop with Joanne Hall.
Joanne brought examples of Swedish art weaves for the students to view.

Joanne’s presentation to the San Antonio Handweavers Guild was enlightening. Photos of her travels to Sweden show how the rich weaving heritage there continues to thrive. That, along with Joanne’s knowledge of Swedish weaving traditions, gives context to these Swedish art weaves.

Krabbasnår, a Swedish art weave.
Krabbasnår (krabba) is a laid-in technique with a plain weave ground. The pattern uses three strands of wool Fårö yarn. The warp is 16/3 linen.
Weaving Krabba, a Swedish art weave.
Besides maintaining warp width, the temple is useful for covering up the weft tails to keep them out of the way.
Workshop with Joanne Hall. Swedish Art Weaves.
Joanne explains the next step to workshop participants.
Swedish Art Weaves sampler, with Joanne Hall.
Dukagång is another laid-in technique with a plain weave ground. A batten is placed behind the shafts to make it easy to have the pattern wefts cover two warp threads. (A jack loom can do the same by using half-heddle sticks in front of the shafts.) Dukagång can be woven as a threaded pattern, but then the weaver is limited to that one structure, instead of having different patterns all in the same woven piece.
Fascinating way to weave monksbelt!
With threaded monksbelt, as I have woven previously, the monksbelt flowers are in a fixed position. With this art weaves monksbelt, the monksbelt flowers can be placed wherever you want them. Half-heddle sticks at the back, batten behind the shafts, and a pick-up stick in front of the reed–a fascinating way to weave this traditional pattern.
Swedish Art Weaves workshop with Joanne Hall. So much fun!
Last loom standing… Time to pack up. As I prepare the loom for transport, I detach the cloth beam cords. Now we can see the right side of what I have woven.
Swedish Art Weaves with Joanne Hall. Fun!
From the top: Krabbasnår, Rölakan Tapestry, Halvkrabba, Dukagång, and Munkabälte.

Väv 2/2013 has instructions for the art weaves. I have the magazine issue, but Joanne’s workshop brings the historical techniques to life and makes them understandable. That is exactly the prompting I needed to begin exploring these fascinating patterns on my own loom.

Weaving Swedish art weaves from the back.
Back at home, my little loom is getting ready to weave some more beautiful Swedish art weave designs.

May something historical be your new interest.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

18 Comments

  • Beth says:

    Beautiful! I’m curious, how long did it take to weave this piece?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Beth,

      As with most weft-faced weaves, this is not fast weaving. I was happy to be able to finish this much in a 2 1/2-day workshop. I’m eager to do more of this slower-paced weaving at home.

      Thanks,
      Karen

  • Charlotte says:

    Brilliant that you were able to take your loom…your beautiful loom…your piece is absolutely lovely. The colors in your top match the colors in your cloth. Fun!!!! And, lovely cloth!!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charlotte,

      I’m fortunate to have a countermarch loom small enough to be dismantled and relocated. It was a satisfying workshop. So enjoyable to make these unique patterns in the cloth!

      Thank you,
      Karen

  • Vivian says:

    Your explanation is bright and helpful. I will shelve these weaving methods. I have been interested in the weaves and you have helped untangle the concepts as well as highlight the various groups of Swedish weave structures.

  • Cindie says:

    How timely, I’ve just written my deposit check this morning for a guild workshop we’ll be having with Joanne this coming fall.

  • Jane Milner says:

    I recently took the same class with Joanne Hall at the Eugene Textile Center in Eugene, Oregon. Lots of fun, and I learned a lot!

    Is your small loom a Glimakra? What is it?

  • Anonymous says:

    I just got myself a 32 in Heddle. I’d like to make small Matt’s and runners. I live in Chilliwack B.C. Can you direct me to a class?

    • Karen says:

      Hi new weaver, I am not connected with any rigid heddle loom classes. There are some good books on rigid heddle weaving. A book by Syne Mitchell, Liz Gipson, or Jane Patrick would be a great place to start.

      All the best,
      Karen

  • Ladella Williams says:

    Ladella from Portland Oregon actually knows Joanne Hall! Also she went to college with my cousin! I highly recommend her as a weaver with considerable experience! She has a wealth of knowledge and experience! Happy Weaving! I have been weaving forever it seems!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ladella, How wonderful that you have a personal connection with Joanne. Her weaving knowledge and experience can’t be matched. What I love about Joanne is her kind and gentle manner as she patiently passes on her knowledge to her students.

      Thank you for chiming in!
      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Arlene says:

    Facinating.. can you suggest a book but I could follow the technique …thanks in advance Arlene

    • Karen says:

      Hi Arlene, Yes, I recommend Heirlooms of Skåne: Weaving Techniques, by Gunvor Johansson. Vavstuga.com carries the book. The author covers all these techniques in detail. It’s a beautiful book.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

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Every Color Imaginable

Can you imagine weaving in a place where you have access to fully-stocked shelves of colors and fibers? Or, imagine someone with excellent color sense setting up a warp-faced project for you to weave, giving you the freedom to simply focus on pattern. This is what it was like at Vävstuga Weaving School for More Swedish Classics.

Pick-up Band woven on floor loom at Vavstuga

Set up on a four-shaft loom, band weaving with pick-up is simplified (or complicated, depending on how you see it). Five treadles are used to raise and lower threads. A pick-up stick is used to lift pattern threads, and a band shuttle stick is used to beat in the weft. Being a warp-faced weave, all the color is in the warp, and the weft is mostly hidden.

Rep weave on the loom at Vavstuga

Becky’s Rep Weave in Four Blocks on Eight Shafts. I took this opportunity to experiment with patterns. You might call this “playing with blocks.” Again, being a warp-faced weave, the color is pre-determined by the arrangement of the warp ends. The thin 16/2 cotton weft alternates with a thick weft of mini string yarn, giving the characteristic ribbed surface.

Worry happens when I don’t think I have what it takes to do the job, or when I think I won’t have enough of what I need. When Becky Ashenden prepares the warp, I certainly have no worries about choosing colors. And, with an abundant supply of 16/1 linen, I can combine three shades to produce a gorgeous, rich red, with no fear that the color supply will run out before I finish.

Beautiful Smålandsväv in linen on the loom at Vavstuga!

Deep red, burgundy, and coral 16/1 linen are wound together for the pattern weft in Smålandsväv. The warp is 16/2 line linen. This is the project in “More Swedish Classics” that gave me the most pleasure AND the most angst. …but that’s a story for another day.

We have a Father in heaven who knows all the things we need. All he asks is that we get to know him so we can learn to do things his way. It is much like weaving within the guidelines of the studio where we’ve been given the privilege to weave. Is that too much to ask? For his part, then, he sees to it that we have everything we need, giving us access, through his Son, to his great supply closet.

May your needs be amply supplied.

In case you missed, here is what I posted last week while I was at Vävstuga in beautiful New England: Vävstuga Autumn and Vävstuga Autumn II

Once again, Becky graciously allowed me to sit down with her to ask a few key questions. I am excited to share that conversation with you soon! Stay tuned… (Remember last year?)

Love,
Karen

4 Comments

  • Helen Hart says:

    Wonderful photos and am jealous of your being able to go to the V studio. Where might I find the instructions for band weaving on a 4s loom. Thanks.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Helen, I wish everyone could go to Vavstuga with me! Maybe you can go sometime.

      This is my first experience with band weaving on a 4 shaft loom. I’m not at liberty to hand out Becky’s instructions for the class. I’m not sure where else to find instructions for this. I do know that the Baltic patterns in Anne Dixon’s “Inkle Pattern Directory,” pgs.61-81, can be used for this type of set up. We used 4 shafts and 5 treadles; 1 of the treadles just lifted the pattern threads, and then we used the pick-up stick to create the pattern.

      Karen

  • Laurie says:

    I followed you the next week at More Classics. Amazing. (I was at Basics with Steph.) Your voice for this experience is perfect.

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