Posted by: lavernewaddington | March 2, 2012

Backstrap Weaving – Announcing….Events, Books, Resources!

It’s been one of those weeks again…hands occupied at the computer keyboard and eyes peering through the camera lense with plenty of small projects going on and off the loom bars but no “real” weaving getting done.

It is sample-weaving time for my next book and, as always, I just love my backstrap loom when it comes to knocking out wee samples for photographing. I can have several going at once on my twenty-six loom bars and even the smallest scraps of yarn can make enough warp to make my test successful.

At left you can see an old sample I made to check the proportions of the motif I was charting in double weave. I could put some safety strings in that warp, roll it up and put it in my pencil pouch.

The only real weaving I did this week was one more motif on my ikat band but then, that really is just another sample.  I do plan to use it for something when it is done. I made some sketches for the next ikat experiment and would like to get that going this weekend as an incentive to finish the sample band.

Karen in the Ravelry group told us about how blue and chocolate colored ikat pieces are her favorites from Guatemala and I have had that color combination in my head ever since. I have terracotta brown and navy blue dyes and I think I shall have to try something with those.

So while I have been tapping away at the keyboard and doing gymnastics with the tripod and self-timer on my camera, (12 seconds is NOT long enough!) one corner of my mind has still been occupied with new ideas for the my next weaving projects.

While I don’t have any new weaving to show you, I do have a few nice announcements.

Firstly, David K Barker’s first volume and first part of his third volume of textile designs of Bhutan are now available as downloads in addition to the second volume which I wrote about here some months ago.

The links are on the RESOURCES page. What will we do with all these motifs?! I have a few ideas. 🙂

I have also included on the RESOURCES page links to videos on a couple of my favorite finishing techniques for my backstrap woven pieces. Thanks to Tracy for this idea. She was just mentioning today how hard it is to find the video for the Van Dyke stitch that I embedded in a post a long time ago.

A couple of weeks ago, I showed two books on Leksandsband by Ing-Marie Frid which were sent to me by a weaving friend in Sweden. Some people have asked me about how to buy these books and I have put this information on the RESOURCES page too. Ing-Marie was kind enough to write a comment on my blog with a contact email address.

The books are not about teaching the band weaving technique, but are catalogs of patterns which have been beautifully and meticulously charted alongside photos of the original bands.

And, speaking of books…my e-book  Andean Pebble Weave is now available in French as Tissage Andin < Pebble> on  It went up on the Patternfish site a couple days ago and has been bought by two people in France and another in Switzerland so far….exciting! It will be fun to see how many French-speaking countries it reaches.

I guess I feel I have a small connection to France and Switzerland having spent five entire ski seasons in Val d’isere with my French boyfriend at that time as well as having done some wonderful summer hiking in the Pyrenees. And then there’s my aunt who left India as a young girl to work taking care of an elderly woman in Italy. She met and married a Swiss man and has lived in Switzerland ever since. We tend to wander about a bit, my family!

I am very grateful to Sandrine de Tricofolk who translated the book for me. Sandrine created the online forum for French-speakers known as forum filage for enthusiasts of all textile crafts. She also blogs about her various textile hobbies. And she also translated the following for me:

Je suis heureuse de vous annoncer que le livre “Andean Pebble Weave” a > été traduit par Sandrine de Tricofolk, et qu’il est maintenant > disponible en version française ici. Sandrine est à l’origine du forum 
 filage, un forum francophone pour tous  les passionnés d’artisanat textile, et partage également ses diverses > réalisations textiles sur son blog.

This week brought an interesting email to my inbox from Maria Elena Del Solar a Peruvian anthropologist whom I met at a weavers’ gathering that took place here in Santa Cruz, Bolivia last year.

That’s Maria Elena on the left with two other participants at the gathering from Chile and Ecuador.

Maria Elena is a member of an association called ANDESMANTA which is organizing what they call the first Meeting of Weavers of the Americas, ETAM2012, in the city of Cusco Peru October 1-4, 2012. 

She has asked all the recipients of her email to circulate this information and direct people to the website which has been set up with the first announcement.

I do not know very much about the exact nature of this gathering. The Tinkuy de Tejedores that was held in Urubamba, Peru in 2010 (in blog posts here and here) and the Encuentro de Portadores de Tradición del Universo Textil Andino y de Tierras Bajas (in blog posts here and here) which Maria Elena attended and which took place where I live in Santa Cruz, Bolivia were two quite different events. For one thing, the former was conducted in Quechua, Spanish and English and had a large attendance of people from outside Latin America. The latter was conducted entirely in Spanish, was a much smaller affair, and was attended only by residents of Latin America. However, the web page for the proposed ETAM2012 conference has a version in English.

Early morning pre-conference activities at the Tinkuy de Tejedores in Urubamba, Peru in 2010

Guaraní weaver, Angela, from lowland Bolivia meets and learns from Celinda, an Aymara weaver from highland Chile at the Encuentro held in Santa Cruz in 2011.

I will be staying tuned for more information and am very relieved to see that my calendar is clear for those dates.

Well, I think that that is it for the announcements. For this week there is just one more thing I would like to share with you.

A Facebook friend sent me a link to a Knitpicks knitting kit for an Altiplano Satchel which is described as having been inspired by Peruvian motifs.

Isn’t that gorgeous? My friend sent it to me as she thought that it might inspire a weaving project for me. I love, LOVE how people keep me in mind for these things! She said that she thought that it would look even better as a weaving. Actually, I doubt it. I think the bag as it is is pretty hard to beat!

I was tickled to see the “S” motif along the bottom and the sides which I have actually already woven.

I didn’t find that motif in Peru but rather on a yurt band from Central Asia. In fact it is charted and appears in its own tutorial here on my blog (sorry, but this one is not for beginners).

So, I have a head start on that part of the pattern! Certainly I could replicate the layout of that satchel design in weaving and would probably choose warp-faced double weave to do so. I have had success with translating warp float patterns to double weave before but I like that knitted bag just the way it is and envy knitters who will be able to sit on a train (or at a tribute concert to Frank Zappa as a friend of mine did!) or ANYWHERE with their two sticks and create something so beautiful!

Here is the “S” pattern doubled and mirrored on a belt I wove using the same technique as that used on the yurt band that inspired it.

We talk about the wonderful things that can be created with the backstrap loom with its simple sticks and a few weeks ago I blogged about the lovely Wayuu bags in tapestry crochetlike the one at left, made with one simple stick with a hook on its end.

Now, what about two simple pointed sticks otherwise known as knitting needles? According to the Knitpicks page, the body and strap of the bag are knitted in the round and steeked (steeked?! I know as little about knitter-speak as I do about crochet terminology).

I have some more gorgeous knitted things to show you including some images of stunning traditional outfits from Sweden made in twined knitting that a collector sent me with some background information which is really interesting (I say that as if I know what twined knitting is…I don’t really!). Of course there is a Ravelry group for twined knitters. The traditional outfits are red with gorgeous black motifs. You know I am a sucker for red and black and I am sure that those knits will inspire a weaving project!

I am going to save all that for another post.

So, I will close this page early for this week and use the extra time to dive back into my book. Hopefully, I will be able to make time for my weaving projects this coming week.


  1. I’ve crocheted for years, but have no idea how to do tapestry crochet. Hmmm…

    BTW, to steek in knitting is to knit a piece in the round and then cut and hem it to form a flat piece.

    • Thanks Dianne! So now I know what “steek” is. Cutting knitting sounds even scarier to me than cutting weaving but I guess there is good reason for doing it that way. As for tapestry crochet, check out Carol Ventura’s web site and books. The projects she shows are gorgeous.

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