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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Suzanne Jameson Kramer... A group of excellent early Scandinavian looms

A Visit to a Scandinavian Antiques Dealer with Scandinavian Looms and Bands.

Finally, I got to take a trip to River Falls, Wisconsin this summer to see Suzanne's collection of old Band Looms. Suzanne has a lovely shop out in the middle of corn fields. I had met her a few years ago at Norfest, a Norweigan festival in Decorah, Iowa at the Vesterheim Museum. She always seems to find those treasured antique looms that are hard to find.

She had several at her shop. You can contact her to inquire about purchasing an old loom and also see what she has available.  Her 2" x 3 1/2" business card is encluded in many of the photos for you to see how small the looms are.  Looms were individually carved usually by a husband or son, and some were better at carving than others. This does make them all warm and personal.  I have carved many myself. You need a thin piece of wood and a chip knife. A friend of mine made a nice one using a utility knife and a sheet of poplar from Home Depot. Mark the lines on both sides, flip back and forth while carving deeper to make each slot and drill small holes last. There are new folks carving or using laser cut looms available on line.

Or give Suzanne a call and purchase an old one. They are quite durable. You will see below how some have been repaired in the old ways of saving and repairing.

I found she has several older bands. They seem to be woven of very fine linen background threads with wool pattern threads and very tightly woven.

This is the band that I purchased and a threading chart.

Please visit my other blogs using the search bar above for more bands, free download blank charts and info or my web site or my pinterest page for more looms and bands.

Want to carve your own? Contact me at my web site to set up a class or be put on our list for upcoming classes.

New to band/tape weaving or do you inkle weave? Check out my book for beginners on Amazon or my web site: Tape Loom Weaving... simplified.

And have fun!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Hancock Shaker Museum, MA; Mystic Seaport, CT... Rag Rugs and Bands

Day tripping this April in March like weather.  In New England, we had 61 days of March weather this year.  I got back to the Hancock Shaker Museum near Pittsfield, Massachusetts to photo some more of their rag rugs, a follow-up to my blog last May,

Some of the twists used in the Shaker rugs were wool yarn, some were thin wool cloth strips.

Notice all the bands used as binding on the edges. Some go all around the rug, some are just on the ends. Some wrap from front to back, some just on one side.

I found another small band loom this time and some woven bands.

Mystic seaport in Connecticut, also had rag rugs and  a band loom on display...

Thanks for looking... browse my blog for more weaving experiences, ideas and tips.
Happy Weaving!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Fiber Festivals and New Ikea Loom

It is April and Fiber Festivals start all over New England! Knitters, weavers, spinners, felters... we all get together to meet up and talk wool.  Fiber festivals are fun family events.  Families, older folks, reenacts from all era's. We touch the yarns, fleece, linen fibers, cotton rugs. We buy and trade socks, bags and clothing.  We buy new tools.... combs, wheels and looms.

I make band or tape looms for weaving colorful or plain bands used for trim and necessary drawstrings and ties on clothing, bags and hats. Seam binding, chair webbing... there are so many uses for bands and band weaving is simple and fun.

I was a Ikea last month and saw some nice little picture frames for 99 cents.  They are new and brightly colored.  Usually I buy picture frames at stores, tag sales and thrift stores. Wood are the best. Wood is durable and pretty.  I buy "Skinny Sticks" at Michaels craft stores.  These little sticks are sturdy and thin. You can use pop sticks, but they are wider than skinny sticks and you can pack more skinny sticks into a frame.

My Ikea frames are 4 x 6.  17 Skinny sticks make 17 slots for a total of 34 Threads.  This is a good number of threads to make a multitude of patterns and has enough space to weave those advanced pick up patterns so popular in Europe. You can see some colorful bands on the looms below woven on these looms.

My first Fiber festival is April 21st this year.   There is a lovely festival on the east side of the Hudson River in New York State.  About an hour and a half from NYC, the festival is among farm land and country homes at the historic site... Clermont.  There will be sheep and sheep dogs, sheering demonstrations, weavers, spinners, knitters, felters along with a live band and good foods in a beautiful setting overlooking the great Hudson river.

Also in April is our Connecticut fiber festival in Vernon, CT.  Again it will be packed with live fiber critters and fun people having a good time sharing what we love.

Next month in May is the Massachusetts fiber festival in Commington.  A two day event, stay late on Saturday for the pot luck dinner with lots of good foods and time to chat with other fiber people.

Please find a fiber festival near you or come see me demonstrating tape looms at the above. There are many more festivals across New England and the rest of our great country.  They are fun, informative and the connections made with other fiber people will last a lifetime.

I hope this blog will spark your interest in these wonderful looms and the bands you can create for your costumes and for your modern lifestyle.

New to tape weaving? Check out my book, Tape loom weaving simplified at my web site or on Amazon. Fun, easy and portable... weaving on small looms was necessary from Vikings ties to present day hat bands and banjo straps and every society and purpose in between. Check it out, come try it at one of my festivals.  Search the blog here for samples and ideas. Interested in older style looms? Check out my pinterest for historical looms...

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Viking Dress.... Card Weaving or Band Weaving?

Roger and I attend some viking events to demonstrate our trades. Roger, Norwegian, demonstrates carving round wooden bowls on a spring-pole lathe. I weave bands on gate looms.

Last year, we had time to squeeze in the Scandinavian-Hjemkomst festival in Moorehead MN the end of June.

It was a last minute event for us, squeezed in between two fair demonstrations. It turned out to be a lot of fun. I had about a week or less to come up with a costume.  I made a linen dress with gores and a blue apron to go over it.

I wove a simple trim for the neck and cuffs of linen threads and put wood slice buttons on my apron.

Then I took a piece of rough pale green cotton and made a simple pull over.  Then I ran out of time.

Over this winter I added trim along the neck of my green dress and wove a belt of wool.

Now, how accurate are these hastily made costumes?  Well, they look ok for today's reenactments. We can be forgiven for living in the 21st century and lapsing into modern stuff. We drive our cars to events. Behind the scenes we eat on paper plates, we drink from plastic water bottles, we bring snacks in plastic bags.  We love faucets inside and out for water. We love indoor plumbing and porta potties do in a pinch. We sometimes wear clothing that is not quite accurate.

First of all, I sewed all but the hems and trim on my electric sewing machine. My fabrics are modern made reproductions of linen and cotton. Even my woven trim is processed on modern machines.

We are living in a modern world and our purpose of reenacting the olden times is to learn, teach and have fun. Today's most accurate living history museums do not always use and display pole lathe wooden bowls and trenchers, mocha wear mugs, hand-forged nails in their buildings or loom woven fabrics in their costumes sewn by hand on bone needles, but most of us know how it was done and our modern machines made props can sometimes open a discussion on what life would have been like... if we had endless amounts of time.

My blog today is about whether the Vikings bands for trim and ties were woven on cards or a gate loom.  And what patterns did they use?

Gate Style Band Looms
Weaving with Cards

The Viking age was lived somewhere between 800 and 1050 AD.  Pottery, bone and metals have survived the thousand years of time and weather.  The Vikings tended to bury things in dirt and caves rather than the Egyptians in air sealed rock tombs. A lot of Viking life has crumbled in time. That being said, many museums hold treasured finds of early weaving and tools. A wonderful detailed article was written by Anne Stine Ingstad about tools and fabric from the excavation of the burial mound Oseberg farm, Tonsberg, Norway.  PLEASE follow the link below to read about it....

Weaving tools found at the Oseberg site.

In searching for samples of bands in museum collections, I found it hard to find detailed, expert assessments of the way a particular band was woven and the materials used. I found many great photos of decaying old bands on Pinterest, but many are posted without sources and museum archive photos are also hard to find on line. I must research this more.

For now I found an interesting band at the above link, a colored sketch of a band at the Oseberg site and an original photograph.  It was labeled that it was card woven, but it looks like a band weaving to me... or can be adapted to the band loom.

Here are my finished bands ready for this years Viking events. Below is the pattern chart I used. The small neck band is linen. The belt is all wool, about 8 feet long.

in front of the church 2017
2017 dress

2018 with new bands
My conclusion is that since I specialize in band looms, gate style, I will continue making them on my wooden loom. I tried cards... once. I like my band looms. They are so portable, easy to make, easy to weave and more accurate than modern inkle looms.

For more info on Scandinavian Band Looms and Weaving.. checkout my web site and this blog...  Also find many old looms and bands on my pinterest pages...

New to band weaving? Check my web site, or Amazon for my easy to follow book, Tape Loom Weaving... simplified.

Wooden bowls hand-turned on a spring pole lathe...