Archive for March, 2008

Arpil plans

March 30, 2008

I’ve got a photo of me from last month, completing work on the oblique-style sash sample.

Currently I’m weaving the Assomption swatch. It’s reached 12 inches in length, 60% done. And there’s a photo if it, too.

I will be attending the Artisans Market at Fort Whyte Alive on April 5 & 6. The Advanced Fingerweaving Class has already begun, and the Beginner’s Class is in the works.

In May I’ll be attending the Rupertsland Colloquium in Rocky Mountain House. I will also participate in the Musée de St-Boniface Museum “Visit with the People of Red River” on May 28, 2008


Website Updates

March 22, 2008

A few new things to look out for at

Information has been updated in nearly every section. Most importantly, check out the resources section for details about Carol’s book, weaving classes and different yarn types.

A brand new front page has been added.

Finally, a small temporary store has been set up on ebay. For now, you can only buy the book but there will certainly be more items to come. Keep checking back!


Book Reviews

March 22, 2008

Dr. Katherine Pettipas, Curator, The Manitoba Museum writes:

This publication is welcome addition to the literature on the ancient craft of finger weaving. Carol James, an accomplished Winnipeg weaver and teacher, has dedicated over 20 years to the art. Her knowledge and sash reproductions are based on the detailed study of historical artifacts that are housed in various heritage institutions such as The Manitoba Museum and the Musée Saint-Boniface.

Beginners and experienced finger weavers alike will appreciate this well-illustrated “how to” guide that not only presents the basics, but also guides the user through the complicated art of “trouble shooting.” This type of information sharing is only possible from Carol James’ years of experience as highly skilled weaver and outstanding teacher of the craft.

Gabriel Dufault
Union nationale métisse Saint-Joseph du Manitoba

In an easy to understand format, Carol James has demystified the fascinating art of finger weaving, particularly that of the taditional sash. Through illustrations and clear explanations, she makes it relatively simple for the novice to create his or her own heirloom. Her many years of experience with her craft brings to the reader the required assistance and reassurance that they also can explore their creativity.

Excellent resource material!

Marie Zorniak
Grade 4 teacher
Strathcona School
Winnipeg Manitoba

Carol has a talent which transcends her delft fingers as she spins and weaves wool. Carol is a patient teacher who shares her weaving knowledge with young students and is as excited as the children when they see their first threads become a pattern. This book of wonderful information helps to unravel the technique of finger weaving in a clear and concise manner.

Carol is a master weaver who brings threads of wool to life as they dance in patterns as she weaves. This book reflects the simple and clear way that Carol teaches this art

Carol’s quiet way of teaching as she passes her knowledge on to students makes her an honoured guest in my classroom. Students delight in the process and the making of their projects.Carol’s book is reflective of the learner and their new found skills as she takes them on a journey of discovery.

About the book

March 22, 2008

I’ve been teaching fingerweaving for some time now. My students have encouraged me to publish the ‘handouts’ in book form. It was a small project that really got out of hand. It’s now a full color 64 page book, entitled
Fingerweaving Untangled, an illustrated beginner’s guide, including detailed patterns and common mistakes.

The book provides two methods for fingerweaving, a beginner’s method and an advanced method.
It is well illustrated with step-by-step drawings and photos, vetted by a wide variety of students of varying abilities.
Also included are photos of museum-pieces, and sashes I’ve woven, illustrating the techniques, patterns, and common mistakes.
This way you can do-it-yourself for that sash you’ve always wanted.

Book Launch

March 19, 2008

Carol standing beside the printed pages of her book.

So the trip to Friesen’s Printing was amazing. I watched the pages roll through the presses. How I love to see machines work. And it was my book they were printing!

A few days later 16 boxes were delivered to my house, taking up a whole corner of my work room. So now I’m needing youall out there to order books, so I can have my work space back again.

The booklaunch was last night, March 12, at McNally Robinson’s on Grant Street in Winnipeg.

Carol and daughter Claire

Thanks to D’Arcy for the music. Thanks to Rachel at McNally’s for encouraging me to include an activity, seeing as how this is a ‘How To’ book, not a literary sort of thing. It’s because of her encouragement that we had the ‘Weaving Dance’. It was lovely to see so many former students and friends there to support me.Thanks so much you guys!

Now back to work on those Heritage sash samples for Manitoba Artists in Healthcare and the Manitoba Museum. The 4th piece, entitled ‘Woodlands’ is in the finishing stages. Someone passed me information on a similar piece, indicating that the fringes were tied with caribou hair. Not having any of that around my house, I’ve tried tail hairs from my bordercollie-chow cross dog. It’s a bit more frizzy a fibre than the caribou in the picture, but it seems to work. (I’ve got to figure out how to enter pictures into this blog.) Not certain of the results, I’ve consulted with Roland Bohr of the University of Winnipeg, Centre for Rupertsland Studies, when I visited his Material Culture class. He seemed to think the dog hair worked OK, so I guess I’ll be finishing up the other fringe the same way.

Then on to swatch #5 which is the classic Assomption pattern. I’ve chosen a fine silk cord for this one, and hand dyed it. I find the silk much more slippery than the wool. A firm hand is required to keep things from getting out of hand.

Word from the Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum is that funding for the Advanced Fingerweaving Class has been approved. The advanced class now should be starting up the last weekend of March. The Musée has also been receiving requests for another beginner’s class, so that one may well be starting up in April.