Being a female of northern European (Iceland which means Norway, Sweden and Denmark, along with Ireland and Scotland) ancestry, I think spinning of fibres is in my blood because all women in those countries for the past 1,000+ years (except the last few hundred) spun. I love the smell of sheep wool and the hundreds of yarns to be created from hundreds of breeds: the soft warmth from lopi; the brilliant hues of dyed cotswold; the bounciness of the down breeds. I love the spinning of flax how it looks like spinning gold and silver depending on how the fibres have been processed. I love the richness of spinning silk fibres: rose gold from red eri; copper from peduncle tasar; yellow silver from tussah; brass from muga; and pearls from bombyx moths.
Ruminate on this for a minute. The wool of an animal, the cocoon threads of moths and the bast fibres of plants. Isn’t it amazing what we can do with these fibres? Challenging me now is fireweed seed fluff.
To satisfy this addiction, I signed up and eventually graduated from the Olds College Master Spinners certificate, a 6-7 year program which included an applied research component.
I am fascinated by fibre-y things, so I started a blog to record some of these items of interest back in 2009 and it petered out by 2015. That blog can be found here. A newer unorganized blog will continue here to keep track of textile related items that interest me.
Native Art History Unmasked
I just reviewed this book for the Ormsby Review. It is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it. Doing a review forces you to really think about what you are reading and this book still has me thinking it over. There is so much to learn by reading it. I could go on and…
Coast Salish Woolly Dogs
A new article on Coast Salish wool dogs appeared in Hakai Magazine this week. This is very comprehensive and a great read and is also available in audio form. I want to make some corrections or question a few minor items not to nit pic or be critical, I just want to clarify what is…
The Valkyries’ Loom
I am reading a book recently published The Valkyries’s Loom: The Archaeology of Cloth Production and Female Power in the North Atlantic a fascinating history of women and weaving in the Viking world of Iceland mostly, Greenland, Faroe Islands and northern Europe. Michele Hayeur Smith’s research into the 1,000 years of Iceland weaving traces social,…