måndag 21 juli 2014

Weaving Viking Style in Grebbestad - Opstadgogn

We had the opportunity to attend a weeks course in weaving on a warp-weighted loom, also called an opstadgogn. Weaving is really not my forte but I was intrigued to get the chance to try a technique so old and once spread almost all over the world. The course was held at Grebbestads Folkhögskola and our teacher was Lena Hammarlund, assisted by Margareta Ovelius. Many thanks to both of them for being such skilled instructors and nice people.
Making a warp for the startingborder
We started by making the warp for a starting border. Making the warp for the opstadgogn starts with weaving a band were the weft will become the warp of the main weave. I know it sounds a bit complicated but it is a very clever solution.
Weaving the starting border and making the warp at the same time
Here I am weaving the band and at the same time pulling the weft out (200 cm) to my right letting it form the warp for my weaving on the opstadgogn. I am planning a weave 120 cm long.
Sewing the band (warp) to the loom
When I have enough threads for the warp (240) I take the band and sew it on to the top part of the opstadgogn (the cloth beam). When I place this back in the opstadgogn the long threads that form the warp will be hanging down as they are supposed to.
The starting border sewn to the cloth beam
The warp - note that we have separated the front and back layer
of the warp (knots at the bottom)

Separated front and back
Cutting the warp threads

Tying the layers separately and putting the front layer
over the cloth beam to be able to work with the back layer

Preparing weights
The opstadgogn is a warp-weighted loom. We used bags filled with sand as weights. I needed 24 bags. I my case all should have a weight of 700 grams.
Counting threads - preparing attaching the weights
Next step was to distribute the threads evenly for the weights. In my case that meant 10 threads per weight of 700 grams, equal to 70 grams of weight per thread.
Attaching the weights
Above you can see me attaching the weights. Note that the back layer of the warp was done first. After attaching the weights you make a crocheted chain to keep the threads in order.
Tying heddles
After all weights were attached it was time for placing the heddle rod and starting tying heddles. Tying heddles is very precise work. Make one mistake and you will regret it. This was when I realised that weaving is a craft for untiring perfectionists.
If the heddles are tied correctly you should end up with a nice and faultless shed. This was the end of day two -  and I cannot describe the relief I felt when my shed turned out as it should. Dressing the loom finished after two days.
Weaving on the opstadgogn
Day three - I started weaving. This was something I had been looking forward to during the first days.
Weaving sword
We used weaving swords while weaving.
Making progress
The rest of the week was pure entertainment. Weaving was a straight forward business and I was suprised that I really liked it a lot.
In the loom
I had chosen a rather thick Rya-yarn that had a nice robust feel to it and I really liked the fabric that I saw in my loom.
Finished with fringes
On Friday I finished my work and I was taught how to make a nice fringe as a finishing. I cut my weave down. Washing will be done at home. This was a very educational week and I learned a lot. Perhaps weaving is something that is not out of my grip after all. I will have to practice more. I attended this course with my husband ("Knotting" on Ravelry) who is more of a weaver than I am. We are now seriously considering getting an opstadgogn since we both found this week fun and rewarding.

We did not spend all time indoors this week. The weather was fantastic and Grebbestad offers a lot of beautiful views.
At home - washed and ready for use.

Finally, here are some links to videos on Youtube for those of you who would like to see weaving on an opstadgogn. The films "Norsk-samisk Grenevaeving" from Senter for Nordlige Folk/Manndalen, are in five parts.

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4
part 5

2 kommentarer:

  1. Oi, så kult! Jeg har nettopp gått på et års kurs i oppstadvev. Bilder og rapport finnes i bloggen min :)