Travels, October 2015

October 2014 was spent in European travels. The impetus for the trip was the invitation to present information on sprang at the Early Textile Study Group conference in London. The topic for this year’s conference was Peter Collingwood. Dagmar Drinkler agreed to present her research on the subject of ‘tight fitting clothing in antiquity’, and I contributed my experience making leggings.

My inspiration was this gondolier in a painting by Vittorio Carpaccio done in 1494.

My inspiration was this gondolier in a 1494 painting by Vittorio Carpaccio.

These are my latest version of 'sprang leggings'

These are my latest version of ‘sprang leggings’, created for that presentation to the Early Textile Study Group.

I did take the time to tour around London, spent a day on a double-decker bus.

Big Ben and the London Eye from the tour bus

Big Ben and the London Eye from the tour bus

While in the UK, I stopped in to visit friends. First up was Oli and Erica of Weavolution. They hosted me while I taught a finger weaving class to the Cambridge Weavers.

The Cambridge Weavers meet in a local community hall.

The Cambridge Weavers meet in a local community hall.

Participants each brought a c-clamps to fasten the work to the table.

Participants each brought a c-clamp to fasten the work to the table.

Members of the Cambridge weavers were very quick to pick up the technique, and master some basic patterns.

Members of the Cambridge weavers were very quick to pick up the technique, and master some basic patterns.

Next I visited my friends Elaine and Andy. They toured me through Yorkshire, including a trip to Chatsworth House, an amazing place.

Places like Chatsworth House helps one understand Downtown Abbey.

Places like Chatsworth House helps one understand Downtown Abbey.

Elaine and I talked sprang, and the probability that ancient Persians and Celts work sprang clothing.

Back in London, I stopped in at Alexandra Palace for the Knit and Stitch show, on Oct 9, minding a booth for The Braid Society, and gave a class on finger weaving: Weave a scarf on the train.

This is the finger woven scarf, made with minimal tools on the airplane and train.

This is the finger woven scarf, made on the airplane and train.

After the Early Textile Society conference in London, I travelled to Reading. There I was able to have a sneak preview of an amazing collection of braided pieces in the Reading Library, the Braid Society’s Biennial Exhibition.

Rosie and Helen finish up mounting the display in the Reading public library.

Rosie and Helen finish up mounting the display in the Reading public library.

Near Reading is the town of Aldebourne where individuals interested in diverse braiding techniques meet regularly in the local town hall. Thanks to Sally, and to my hostess Rosie, I taught another workshop there, this time finger weaving (last time was sprang).

The Aldebourne group always has delicious cakes. There were six different types to choose from that day.

The Aldebourne group always has delicious cakes. Here’s my hostess Rosie with one of the six different types to choose from that day.

For this workshop participants sat in a circle attaching their warps to their neighbour's chair back.

For this finger weaving workshop participants sat in a circle attaching their warps to their neighbour’s chair back.

On to the mainland of Europe. Thanks to Frieda who met me at the train station in Antwerp, Belgium. I taught classes in the Belgian town of Sint-Job-in-‘t-Goor.

Organizer and hostess Ina had some 'braiding stands' made up for the finger weavers.

Organizer and hostess Ina had some ‘braiding stands’ made up for the finger weavers.

This was an ‘advanced finger weaving class’, the follow-up to a previous session. Participants explored some of the variety of patterns possible.

two-colorer arrow

two-colorer arrow

solid colored arrow

solid colored arrow

lightning pattern

lightning pattern

The following day was a sprang class. Pauline brought a sprang cap that she had made after the sprang class last year.

The bonnet was part of her daughter's costume, portraying Medea.

The bonnet was part of her daughter’s costume, portraying Medea.

Medea wearing a sprang bonnet

Medea wearing a sprang bonnet

The sprang class

The advanced sprang class explored circular warp.

By then it was time for a rest. My friend Karin took me home. I sat in her backyard and worked on other sprang projects.

This was to be a 'turban', inspired by a head covering on a mummy in the Guimet Museum in Lyon, France.

This was to be a ‘turban’, inspired by a head covering on a mummy in the Guimet Museum in Lyon, France.

.... and the eventually finished sprang turban

…. and the eventually finished sprang turban

Accepting an invitation to visit a very talented bobbin-lace weaver (this sister of a Winnipeg friend) I travelled to Braunschweig. Between discussions on the subject of bobbin-lace, finger weaving and sprang, we toured through downtown Braunschweig, and made a visit to the top of the newly rebuilt ‘Schloss’ and the Quadriega.

The "Quadriega" is on the top of the "Schloss" (castle). You get there by way of an elevator and stairs.

The “Quadriega” is on the top of the “Schloss” (castle). You get there by way of an elevator and stairs.

On to the Netherlands. Braid Society member and friend, Ria toured me around the Netherlands.

Ria kept track of the train schedules, ensuring we made the connections.

Ria kept track of the train schedules, ensuring we made the connections.

We had been invited to the island of Terschelling.

You get to the island of Terschelling by way of a ferry.

You get to the island of Terschelling by way of a ferry. Here’s a scene at the harbour.

Resident of Terschelling, Marianne, is a very talented textile artist. She also has an amazing collection of textiles. She introduced us to the neighbourhood chickens.

Chicken neighbours eat out of Marianne's hands.

Chicken neighbours eat out of Marianne’s hands.

While on Terschelling, I visited the local yarn store, Tante Lies.

Come to find out, I'd been volunteered to give a talk on the subject of sprang.

Come to find out, I’d been volunteered to give a talk on the subject of sprang at the Tante Lies yarn store. I brought along a frame, and people were invited to give it a try.

While in the Netherlands I was privileged with a visit to another Ria.

Ria Hoogheimstra is an incredibly creative person.

Ria is an incredibly creative person. Check out her website www.feathers-and-dragons.nl

On Nov 1, I taught a sprang class in The Hague at the textile studio known as DeSpinners. Thanks to Dineke and Katia, this was a follow-up to a finger weaving class I taught last year.

Sprang workshop at DeSpinners in TheHague.

Sprang workshop at DeSpinners in TheHague.

What a pleasure to spread the good word about these amazing techniques to individuals interested in learning.

On to the final destination, Lyon, France.

The entrance to the Greco-Roman museum in Lyon, France is easy to miss. Look carefully and you can see the amphitheatre in the background.

The entrance to the Greco-Roman museum in Lyon, France, is easy to miss. Look carefully and you can see the amphitheatre in the background.

The Greco-Roman museum is built into the Fourviere hillside, right beside the remains of two Roman amphitheatres. If you’re in Lyon, you really should stop in, it’s a ‘must see’.

The theme of the month at the Fourviere Gallo-Roman Museum in Lyon was textiles. I had been invited to give a lecture on the subject of sprang bonnets. This is the reason I’d been working on that sprang turban. Wednesday I presented a workshop for children (and their parents, grandparents) on diverse braiding techniques. Thursday I presented my lecture and workshop on the subject of sprang. I brought along several replica sprang bonnets that I have made. Sprang frames were available and seven women took the opportunity to explore the basic sprang technique.

The Gallo-Roman museum had a lovely little sprang bonnet, on loan from the Textile museum.

This is a low-resolution image of the bonnet, shared with me by the curator.

This is a low-resolution image of the bonnet, shared with me by the curator. The fiber is a very fine (looks like sewing thread) wool.

Back at home, I’m now trying to map out the pattern.

My grid pattern and sample, trying to imitate the pattern of holes.

My grid pattern and sample, trying to imitate the pattern of holes.

One thought on “Travels, October 2015

  1. Pingback: Researching and re-learning the basics of Sprang – Greet's Middle Ages

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