Weaving Senovinis: The gifts of crafting in public

It’s been a few months now since I began crafting in public at my local library on Sunday afternoons. I work on different projects. Spinning (people especially love to see the spinning wheel at work), braiding, piecework, knitting or whatever I can stuff in a basket.

It is so fun to talk to people who see me working. Many are reminded of someone who used to craft or are just wondering what the heck I am doing. Occasionally I  will meet someone who likes to make things or has tried it in  the past.

No matter the reason, it is always a blessing to engage people about the joy of crafting.

The first time at the library I met an awesome woman and now dear friend whom I later found to be from Lithuania. Her craft of choice is weaving traditional Lithuanian narrow bands and sashes. She learned from her teenaged cousin while living in a concentration camp. In all her days here in the States, now in her 70s, she has not met another weaver that uses her method.

Traditional Lithuanian Weaving

Traditional Lithuanian Weaving by my friend

I had tried the technique in my college days using an older Supplementary Warp weaving video by Jacquetta Nisbet. On sale Here. I made the small sample on an inkle loom and left it at that.

Supplementary Warp Weave Video

Supplementary Warp Weave Video

Well when I saw my friend’s work I was inspired to revisit the technique. It is beautiful! I have found no other technique that can produce the kind of dimension that hand-picked weaving produces. She offered to teach me to weave in her way using a traditional frame loom and string heddles and sticks to manipulate the treads. There are very distinctive patterns that are used. So far my favorites are the tulip and the tree.

To add the different colors we tie them on in one continuous loop

The 1st weaving uses orange to make the pattern and two shades of green silky perle cotton for a border. To add the different colors we tie them on in one continuous loop

1st weaving sample. We use a picture frame as a loom!

1st weaving sample. We use a picture frame as a loom! We use a charted pattern to keep track of when to pick-up the colored pattern threads.

Tulip pattern weaving. (You can see the finished 1st sample to the left)

Tulip pattern weaving. (You can see the finished 1st sample to the left)

Traditional frame loom.

Traditional frame loom.

Tulip pattern detail

Lithuanian Tulip pattern detail

Tree pattern draft and woven sample

Tree pattern draft and woven sample

It’s so clever and fun to do. We often weave until after midnight. The time just flies when you’re have a good time. I can’t wait to fully explore this technique.

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