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Happy Valentines Day

In answer to Rebecca Mezoff’s thoughts about weaving a heart instead of fretting about the current world of politics, I flipped over my pipe loom, on which I had just finished one of my Norwegian billedvev samples of dovetail joining, and set to making a small symbol of love.

I’m also testing warp and weft for my class in September, and I like the combination of 12/9 seine twine set at 8 epi, with Harrisville Highland as weft.  It packs in nicely, and shows off decorative joins.  Look at the difference between the two sides of the “l” in love. Don’t look at my really bad “o;” at that point, I just didn’t have time to rip and re-do.

Last year I taught a class on Scandinavian fringe embellishments; I love the way many Swedish woven and embroidered have fringes, or kavelfrans, of many colors, made from leftover yarns.

This photo is from the fabulous Textilis blog. Here’s a video about how to make kavelfrans, as a two-person task.  It’s in Swedish, but even if you don’t speak Swedish, you might understand a lot of the process.  It’s fun!  I had some lengths of fringe, and added them to my little love tapestry.

I hadn’t seen much about the fringe as a Norwegian technique, but just last week, when I was reading a scholarly tome about Norwegian tapestry, or billedvev, there was a section about embellishments.  It was so interesting to me- the medieval tapestry puter, or pillows, that were widely reproduced in the national romantic era of the early twentieth century, are now displayed as wall tapestries.  The stuffing and backs and embellishments of the original pillows are long gone; it’s the lovely tapestries and their imagery that modern audiences are familiar with.

Here’s what the book said.

Here’s figure 184, of the “unusually gay border.”

Last week at Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum, I examined a number of tapestries; again, for use in the upcoming class.  This one was a copy of a medieval tapestry, and made by Den Norske Husflidsforening in the early 20th century.

Perhaps the original was sewn to a back of linen in plain weave, and had fringe or pompoms?  We’ll never know.






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