2016 Central Region Seminar: Nordic Journeys

Saturday, Sept. 24th, 2016
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Ontario Science Centre, 777 Don Mills Road, Toronto, ON M3C 1T3
Free Parking before 9:00 AM

Central Region Seminar Bookmark 2

Central Region Seminar Bookmark 2

The Toronto Guild of Spinners and Weavers presents Keynote Speaker Becky Ashenden: My Nordic Journey at the 2016 Central Region Seminar. Becky is the owner and main instructor at Vävstuga Weaving School in Massachusetts, specializing in weaving in the Swedish tradition, www.vavstuga.com

Seven Nordic-themed afternoon workshops for
spinners and weavers! 

$40 before June 1, 2016
$45 after June 1, 2016


Click here to download Event Information and Registration Form
 Workshop Descriptions

All workshops are 2 hours in length, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

1. My $50 Challenge (Jette Vandermeiden)

Jette has amassed an amazing collection of handwoven textiles from around the world simply by giving travelling friends a $50 budget to bring back a piece of locally produced handwoven cloth. The result is not only a cross-section of textiles and weaving techniques from an array of countries, but also wonderful stories of the quests and the weavers who produced the cloth.

Pre-requisite skill level: none
Cost to each student for materials: none
Student-provided equipment/materials: none

Jette Vandermeiden has been creating textiles since early childhood. Studying textile arts at college led her to find her strength in weave theory, structure and design of cloth. As consultant to museums, documentary researchers, and developers of weaving curriculum for college fibre arts programs, columnist for FIBRE FOCUS and teacher, Jette conducts workshops across Canada, USA, England, Holland and Belgium. She weaves damask and Scandinavian weaves on her drawlooms, and studies Jacquard weaving. A series of YouTube videos to help weavers solve basic weaving problems is her latest project.

2. Flax to Linen with Ease (Harriet Boon)

A two-hour workshop offers an introduction to the plant and the fibres produced and their possible end usage. With the minimum of additional equipment participants will spin a fine linen yarn and a very short tow rope or thirsty towel yarn. Appropriate finishing will be included.

Pre-requisite skill level: basic wheel/spindle competence
Cost to each student for materials: approx. $10.00
Student-provided equipment/materials: spindle/wheel, pair of hand cards, terry-cloth washcloth.

In 1976, Harriet earned the Master Spinner designation from Georgian College. She has been an instructor with the OHS spinning program since its inception in a broad range of topics: wool, flax and natural dyes. She has lead workshops throughout Ontario and in the USA.

3. Weaving on a Warp-Weighted Loom (Jo Duke)

The warp weighted loom was commonly used for weaving cloth throughout Nordic countries from prehistoric times, up until the 19th or 20th century in Iceland, Norway, and Finland. You will have a chance to weave on warp-weighted loom, and learn how to create a warp with a woven header. We will also discuss several options for tying string headles, ways to weight the warp, how to weave plain weave and several different twill patterns, and how to design and build your own loom.

Pre-requisite skill level: Some weaving knowledge is useful, can be narrow work, hand manipulation or floor looms.
Cost to each student for materials: none – demo only
Student-provided equipment/materials: notepad or camera

Jo has been weaving in a historical setting for many years, but launched into her journey with the Warp Weighted Loom in time for the 1000 year celebrations of Viking discovery in Newfoundland in 2000. Since then she has been collecting looms and information on different styles of weaving in the Viking Era, has taught weaving and fibre arts around Ontario and has been part of many demonstrations put on by DARC – the Dark Ages Recreation Company and by the Sudbury and District Weavers and Spinners Guild.

4. Tablet Weaving (Rob Schweitzer)

A hands-on introduction to tablet weaving. Participants will be introduced to the history of tablet weaving, learn some terminology and try out a number of different patterns.

Pre-requisite skill level: none
Cost to each student for materials: $12.00 for a kit
Student-provided equipment/materials: none but people are welcome to bring their own equipment.

Robert Schweitzer is a high school chemistry teacher. He has been teaching tablet weaving for over 20 years and has given numerous presentations and demonstrations of tablet weaving and other Viking technology. Locations include WASOON, ROM, Upper Canada Village, and L’ans aux Meadows Newfoundland. He has also had a number of articles published in TWIST and Handwoven magazines.

5. Lucet Braiding (Roxann Blazetich-Ozols)

Centuries ago, it is believed that the Vikings used a “lucet” to create braided cords for their garments. This workshop involves using a dual lucet, the Ducette™, to make a scarf/necklace or “scarflace” with contemporary fibres. Many samples of unique wearable art on display will stimulate the imagination on how one can eliminate that yarn stash, no matter how small. Come and join in the fun and prove that “what was old is new again”. Participants will use the instructor’s Ducette™s in class and choose from her collection of fibres to make their own “scarflace” to wear home.

Pre-requisite skill level: none
Cost to each student for materials: $15.00 (includes illustrated instructions and choice of fibres for the project
Student-provided equipment/materials: Scissors, 4 mm crochet hook, magnifier if needed, short knitting needle. Instructor will have additional tools for in class use and for purchase.

Roxann has designed a dual lucet, the DUCETTE™, with which she teaches ancient Viking braiding techniques to fibre enthusiasts of all ages. She has been marketing this tool with instructions and her braided fashion accessories at artisan, fiber and bead shows throughout Canada. Roxann’s wearable art collaborations with bead makers have been included in Canadian and international publications, exhibitions, competitions and shows.

6. Introduction to Naalbinding (Lynette Pike)

Naalbinding is a technique that dates back to the Norse and Roman eras and earlier. It has been found in a range of locations from Egypt and the Middle East into the Scandinavian countries and England. It is still a practiced craft in countries such as Norway and Denmark. The workshop will cover some of the mittens and socks that are both archeological and modern examples but the majority of the time will be hands on instruction in the technique. Instructor is right handed.

Pre-requisite skill level: none
Cost to each student for materials: $10 if materials required – includes wool and a hand carved bone naalbinding needle.
Student-provided equipment/materials: Students may bring their own 100% wool yarn and needle.

Lynette Pike is a member of the Dark Ages Recreation Company where she recreates, demonstrates and teaches Norse textile crafts and tools. She primarily focuses on naalbinding but also enjoys sprang, spinning and weaving. She has previously taught naalbinding at Forward into the Past, Pennsic (SCA) and to many friends.

7. Nordic Sheep Breeds (Toronto Guild of Spinners and Weavers)

In 2016, guild members undertook a guild study of the ancient sheep breeds of northern Europe, whose unique double- or even triple-coated fleeces are still available to spinners today. The guild worked in small groups to thoroughly explore each rare breed’s fleece characteristics by washing, preparing, and spinning the wool and creating fabrics or small projects with the resulting yarn. By documenting the process they discovered some very interesting quirks and features of the fleeces, and were able to reach conclusions about appropriate uses for each one.

Fleece, skeins, and woven and/or knitted samples will be available for examination and discussion.

Some hand carders and combs, spinning wheels, spindles, and pin looms will be available so that participants can work with these rare and unusual fleeces.

Pre-requisite skill level: none
Cost to each student for materials: none
Student-provided equipment/materials: Hand carders or small combs (optional),
spindle (optional), notepad and pen, camera.

Experienced spinners and weavers from the Toronto Guild will present the results of their guild study on Nordic sheep breeds.

Download the workshop descriptions and Instructor biographies.