Sprang is an ancient textile technique dating as far back as the Bronze Age in Scandinavia. It produces textiles with amazing elasticity and you get two rows of cloth for every one row of work. We'll begin class with pre-warped frames and explore the basic ‘stitch.’ You will learn finishing techniques as you transform this first warp into a small bag or hat. We will also explore variations in the basic stitch and how to create holes (lace). By the end of class you will be able to plan a simple project, set up both flat warp and circular warp, join colors in the warping process, work the interlinking stitch, recognize the importance of safety strings and use them, identify mistakes and correct them, and perform three different finishing techniques. Pattern reading and pattern writing methods are presented. Expect to take home six or so different pieces of your own work, representing a diversity of applications of the technique. There will be a materials fee of $40, which includes frame to take home, materials for several warps, shed sticks, safety ties, spring clips, rubber bands, and assorted other gizmos. Carol James will give the presention Sprang—What Is It? at 7:00 p.m. on April 21, free and open to the public. Find out about this almost lost technique. Sprang was recently red-listed by the Norwegian government. This is a designation given to techniques that are cultrually important but in danger of disappearing. Sprang is still done by the Sámi.
Carol James has been exploring low-tech, easily transportable textile methods for 30 years and is of the opinion that anywhere is a good place to weave. She has examined items in collections across North American and Europe, and has made replicas of some of these items for clients such as the Manitoba Museum, Parks Canada, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and the Norwegian Army Museum. A very patient teacher, she has taught in Canada, the US, New Zealand, and Europe. In June 2015 she was an invited guest speaker/instructor at a sprang conference in Fetsund, Norway. She is the author of numerous articles and three books: Fingerweaving Untangled and Sprang Unsprung and a new book of Sprang Lace Patterns.