Fiber Arts

Nålbinding—A Practical Fiber Art

Kate Martinson

$214 members / $264 non-members

Scandinavians have used the nålbinding technique for hundreds of years, even before the Viking Age, to make mittens, strainers, stockings, and a multitude of other useful items. This ancient technique fits perfectly into contemporary fashion and household uses. Its simplicity and portability make it wonderful. Using a single-eyed needle, you will make a pouch, mittens, and various
other small items as time permits. Most objects will be made of wool and finished by hand with a traditional fulling treatment. There will be a materials fee.

 

Level of instruction: All levels. Youth ages 16 and 17 signed up with a participating adult receive a 25% discount.

Kate Martinson is an Emeritus Professor of Art at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, where she taught art education and fiber arts classes. Kate is very active in professional and artistic endeavors at the local, state, and national levels. She has introduced nålbinding to many American fiber artists and has taught numerous textile-related classes throughout the United States, and in Norway at Rauland Academy.

Flettet Kurv (Braided or Woven Basket) Tote

Jean Schutte

$64 members / $84 non-members

Ta kringler og kager og andre smaa sager . . .” (Take cookies and cakes and other small things!) Baskets were the oldest common forms of transporting goods. In this class, students will use a very old, simple weaving technique to make a convenient basket with many uses. The finished basket measures 17 inches long by 8 inches wide and 19 inches high. It has very sturdy canvas handles and dyed reed for accent.

 

Level of instruction: All levels. Youth ages 15 to 17 signed up with a participating adult receive a 25% discount. There will be a materials fee.

Jean Schutte has been teaching basket weaving since 1986. She is mostly self-taught, but has studied with teachers in the Amana Colonies, Iowa; Winona, Minnesota; and Faribault, Minnesota. Jean has worked in many different media, including pine needles, red cedar bark, oak, birch, ash, and willow. For the past 19 years, Jean has been teaching classes at Vesterheim, Northeast Iowa Community College, public schools, 4-H groups, and her studio.

Bunad Camp

Sue Sutherland

$256 members / $306 non-members

Each area of Norway has a different bunad (national costume) design. This class is for anyone who wishes to construct their own authentic formal or everyday bunad, an authentic purse, cap, shawl, belt, or blouse to complete the costume. Sue will have many different fabrics, colors, and ideas to help you start or complete a bunad or accessory. Class will be held at Luther College Baker Commons with overnight accommodations available. Reserve rooms with Darlene Fossum-Martin. Material fees will vary depending on project.

 

Level of instruction: All levels. Must bring your own sewing machine.

Sue Sutherland studied apparel and textile design manufacturing and learned to make bunads from Thorbjorg Ugland and Molle Horn, both from Heimen Husflid in Oslo. For many years she embroidered bunads for Odden’s Norsk Husflid in Wisconsin, until she purchased the bunad part of their business in the mid 1990s. Since then she has been making bunads, teaching bunad courses, and offering authentic materials and accessories through her store, Bunad Butikken, in Ely, Minnesota.

Weaving a Double Weave in the Scandinavian Style

Laura Demuth

$320 members / $370 non-members

Finnweave, or meråkervev, is a double-weave technique in which two layers of fabric are interchanged to form surface patterns. Requiring only a four-harness loom, complex patterns can be achieved using a combination of loom-controlled threading and pick-up techniques. Finnweave differs from other double-weave techniques in that the resulting fabric is not reversible. However, Finnweave produces smooth diagonal lines and is preferable for designs that include diagonals or curves.

 

Level of instruction: Appropriate for any weaver who has experience working at a floor loom and is comfortable reading weaving drafts.

Laura Demuth has been a weaver for over 30 years and enjoys all aspects of fiber production, from raising the sheep to taking a finished piece off the loom. Because she lives on a small acreage just seven miles northeast of Decorah, Vesterheim has been a continual source of education and inspiration throughout her weaving career. Laura has focused on traditional weaving structures and techniques, and is a Vesterheim
Gold Medalist.

Birch Bark Weaving Using the Double Diagonal Technique

Phyllis Knutson

$146 members / $196 non-members

Students will learn to thin down bark for weaving while Phyllis tells how to harvest birch bark, with all of its natural beauty. Students will weave a small birch bark dish in the diagonal weave and then select from a variety of other items to make in the double diagonal weave. Items include rings, beads, Christmas ornaments, and berry baskets. Phyllis will share the folklore and history of birch bark, which she has learned through her experiences and from others who enjoy working with this beautiful medium. There will be a materials fee.

 

Level of instruction: All levels. Fairly good hand strength is required. Youth ages 16 and 17 signed up with a participating adult receive a 25% discount.

Phyllis Knutson found her passion for weaving in 1992 and hasn’t looked back since. Her award-winning creations using this beautiful, leather-like bark have been displayed and shown at art shows and galleries throughout the Midwest and her work has been featured in Gloria Adrian’s book, Women Who Work With their Hands. Phyllis teaches around the country. She is passionate about the art of basket weaving, which she feels gives her a door into the lives of people from many parts of the world. They have become her friends and partners in assuring the ancient art of birch bark basket weaving lives on.

Beginning Weaving

Laura Demuth

$320 members / $370 non-members

This class is designed to introduce new weavers to the basic skills involved in weaving on a floor loom. Participants will learn how to make a warp, dress the loom, and read threading drafts. The first warp will introduce basic one-shuttle plain weave and twill structures. The second project is a two shuttle monk’s belt design. We will discuss finishing techniques, including treatment of ends and blocking. Participants will be introduced to the use of natural fibers, primarily wool and cotton. There will be a materials fee.

 

Level of instruction: No previous weaving experience is required for this class.

Laura Demuth has been a weaver for over 30 years and enjoys all aspects of fiber production, from raising the sheep to taking a finished piece off the loom. Because she lives on a small acreage just seven miles northeast of Decorah, Vesterheim has been a continual source of education and inspiration throughout her weaving career. Laura has focused on traditional weaving structures and techniques, and is a Vesterheim
Gold Medalist.

Sewing a Busserull, Norwegian Heritage Shirt

Carol Colburn

$128 members/$178 non-members

Historically the busserull was worn as a work shirt and is now used by Norwegian Americans for heritage festivals, dancing, or enjoying outdoor life. Participants will sew imported red or blue and white striped cotton fabric to create a classic shirt to fit. Beginner to advanced sewers will be guided step-by-step from cutting to finishing. There will be a materials fee.

 

Level of instruction: All levels. Must bring your own sewing machine.

Carol Colburn has studied Norwegian and Norwegian-American clothing at Vesterheim since 1974. She is co-author of the Vesterheim publication Handweaving in the Norwegian Tradition and has contributed chapters on Norwegian-American clothing to Marion Nelson’s books Norwegian Folk Art: The Migration of a Tradition and Material Culture and People’s Art Among the Norwegians in America. Carol is Professor Emerita of Theater and Costume History and Design at the University of Northern Iowa.

Weaving a Nordhordland Banded Coverlet

Jan Mostrom

$320 members / $370 non-members

Coverlets from Nordhordland, Norway, are often characterized by narrow sections of a variety of woven techniques. In this class you will be weaving sections of krokbragd, lynild (lightning), inlay bands of harrender (Hs) and Vestfold technique, kjerringtenner (teeth), and rutevev tapestry. Weaving this sample is a great way to learn or to review these classic Norwegian coverlet techniques. Your finished sample will make an attractive wall hanging, table runner, or cushion cover.

 

Level of instruction: Appropriate for any weaver who has experience working at a floor loom and is comfortable reading weaving drafts.

Jan Mostrom, from Chanhassen, Minnesota, earned her Vesterheim Gold Medal in 1999. She learned to weave from Lila Nelson while at Luther College and since then has been weaving in the Nordic tradition. She has taken weaving instruction from many Norwegian teachers here and in Norway. She teaches weaving and rug hooking in the Midwest. Her work was included in Norwegian Folk Art: The Migration of a Tradition, the traveling exhibition curated by Marion Nelson, former Vesterheim Executive Director.

Hedebo Needlework

Roger Buhr

$64 Vesterheim members / $84 non-members

This class is designed to teach beginners the basic stitches of this unique form of needlework that originated in Denmark in the late 1700s. It is one of the least known needlework techniques and one of the most beautiful. Thread rings, buttonhole stitches, and pyramids are combined to make interesting forms of needle lace that can be used as inserts in fabric or independently attached to a piece of fabric as an edging. Hedebosøm is very adaptable and can be used to make heirloom pieces for special occasions, such as baptisms, confirmations, and weddings, plus Christmas tree ornaments and coverings for lamp shades and pillows.

 

Level of instruction: All levels. Youth ages 15-17 signed up with a participating adult receive a 25% discount.

Roger Buhr, Decorah, Iowa, has stitched hedebosøm for 17 years and has taught courses at Vesterheim and the John C. Campbell Folk School in Basstown, North Carolina.

Tatting Needlework

Judy Hansen

$128 members / $178 non-members

Everyone is welcome in this beginner class where Judy will teach the basics of using a tatting shuttle and thread. Tatting consists of making rings from the shuttle thread and chains from the ball thread. Together, these rings and chains can be used to make ornaments, doilies, bookmarks, jewelry, 3D tatted pictures, and many other fine lace items. You will learn the technique of the double-stitch, which has two complementary slip-knots. Great embellishment for heirloom pieces. There will be a materials fee.

 

Level of instruction: All levels. Youth ages 15-17 signed up with a participating adult receive a 25% discount.

Judy Hansen, of Rochester, Minnesota, is keeping tatting alive. She learned to tat in 1998 from her mother, Judith Lind, who demonstrated tatting at Vesterheim for 12 years and continued tatting until she passed away at the age of 101. Judy and her husband Dave have been demonstrating tatting at the Scandinavian Høstfest in Minot, North Dakota, for 25 years. Now that their three sons and daughter-in-laws tatting, too, they are known as the Hansen Tatting Family. Judy has also taught classes in Tucson, Arizona; Rochester, Minnesota; and Telemark, Norway.

Wrist Warmers in the Skinnfell Technique

Kate Martinson

$128 members / $178 non-members

From the time of first habitation in Norway, people harvested skins from animals and converted them into clothing and household goods. What developed over time was the beautiful craft of sheepskin printing. We will gather beautiful skins and leather, traditional wooden blocks, and simple sewing tools in order to decorate and make traditional wrist warmers, pulsvarmer. Also included will be history of this remarkable handcraft. Materials will be provided by the instructor with a materials fee.

 

Level of instruction: All levels.

Kate Martinson is an Emeritus Professor of Art at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, where she taught art education and fiber arts classes. Kate is very active in professional and artistic endeavors at the local, state, and national levels. She has introduced nålbinding to many American fiber artists and has taught numerous textile-related classes throughout the United States, and in Norway at Rauland Academy.

Knitting Sámi Mittens

Laura Ricketts

$128 members / $178 non-members

In the far north of Scandinavia live the Sámi people, Scandinavia’s only recognized indigenous people. Far more than reindeer herders, the Sámi have a history rich in textiles and crafts. Learn about the Sámi community and its history of knitting, while knitting two very different miniature Sámi mittens, one based on a mitten in Vesterheim’s collections. You will learn to make two and three colored slyngborden (the leaning braid at the cuff), afterthought thumbs, braids, and tassels. There will be a material fee.

Knit-In
Join us for a Knit-In on November 8 and 9 in Decorah. Everyone is welcome to come and knit, chat, listen to presentations, and take a behind-the-scenes tour of textile storage. The Knit-In is made possible by gifts in memory of Ann Swanson and Grace Rikansrud. For more information, contact Laurann Gilbertson at Vesterheim (563-382-9681, lgilbertson@vesterheim.org).

 

Level of instruction: Intermediate knitting ability is required—casting on, knitting, purling, and decreasing, plus color work and knitting-in-the-round.

Laura Ricketts has lived and knitted around the world, relishing the spice of many cultures. She currently resides in north-central Indiana. A knitter, crocheter, spinner, and, most recently, a weaver, she adores the fiber arts. A former high school history teacher, she now brings her teaching skills to the fiber field. Most recently, she has investigated the Sámi people of the northern Nordic countries and their contribution to knitting. In September 2013, she traveled to the Sámi homeland, gathering patterns and stories. She has published articles and patterns in Piecework, BÁIKI: the North American Sámi Journal, and the book series What Would Madame DeFarge Knit?

Knitting the King’s Sweater

Laura Ricketts

$128 members / $178 non-members

On the night of April 9, 1940, three-year-old Crown Prince Harald and his two sisters left their home. Told they were going on a ski trip, they actually were fleeing the Nazi invasion. The future King Harald used this sweater during his flight. It is also pictured in his passport from that time. In this two day class, we will discuss wartime Norway while knitting a miniature version of this sweater. We will also examine finishing techniques and various color work techniques.

Knit-In
Join us for a Knit-In on November 8 and 9 in Decorah. Everyone is welcome to come and knit, chat, listen to presentations, and take a behind-the-scenes tour of textile storage. The Knit-In is made possible by gifts in memory of Ann Swanson and Grace Rikansrud. For more information, contact Laurann Gilbertson at Vesterheim (563-382-9681, lgilbertson@vesterheim.org).

 

Level of instruction: Basic intermediate knitting skills needed—cast on, knit, purl, increasing, decreasing, and casting off.

Laura Ricketts has lived and knitted around the world, relishing the spice of many cultures. She currently resides in north-central Indiana. A knitter, crocheter, spinner, and, most recently, a weaver, she adores the fiber arts. A former high school history teacher, she now brings her teaching skills to the fiber field. Most recently, she has investigated the Sámi people of the northern Nordic countries and their contribution to knitting. In September 2013, she traveled to the Sámi homeland, gathering patterns and stories. She has published articles and patterns in Piecework, BÁIKI: the North American Sámi Journal, and the book series What Would Madame DeFarge Knit?