Archive for November, 2009

Fingerweaving Videos

November 11, 2009

Here are some short videos, showing you how fingerweaving is done.

This is the very basic method for the voyageur ceinture fléché, adopted by the Métis as their arrow and lightning sash. If you can do it with eight strings, you then can do it with 24, with 50, or with 100 strings.

The videos show you the ‘beginners method’.

For more information, fancier patterns, you might want to have a look at my book Fingerweaving Untangled.


fingerweaving video instructions

November 11, 2009

I made a video with my digital camera, filming the beginner’s method. It was previewed by Social Studies teachers at the Winnipeg teacher inservice sessions, upgraded, and then played at the ManitoAhbee festival.
My web person now tells me that the video is now on youtube, alongside my ‘advanced fingerweaving’ video.
There are three new videos: one showing you how to arrange the threads on a stick, the second video shows you the really basic method for fingerweaving, and the third video shows you how to finish off the fringes.
My website will soon be up-graded, and these videos are then going to be accessible through the website.

SashWeaving Square Dance

November 11, 2009

The World Premiere SashWeaving Square Dance was held on Saturday, Nov 7, and deemed an immediate success. A sash was created and presented. The 8 strands I had spun together worked just fine … although a bit worn from the practice, unweaving, practice, and re-weaving. The wool was rather soft. Next time I’ll recommend we fork out for a fresh set of cords for the performance.
The local french newspaper LaLiberté ran a front page photo coverage.

La P’Chit Dawnse


ManitoAhbee, Metis Sashmaking workshop

November 6, 2009

The education component of the ManitoAhbee festival included me and my sashmaking workshop. Three mornings this week I offered a three-part presentation: 1) images of metis sashes and some of their stories. 2) how sashes are made, overview of loom weaving and sashweaving. 3) audience participation, two activities to instruct and permit students to leave with their very own ‘wrist sash’.
Thanks to the help of friends and former students it went very well, as you can see in the happy faces of the participants:

Discussion of sashes, fingerweaving vs loom weaving

Carol Addresses the participants, loomweaving vs fingerweaving

Audience participation, group weaving

Audience participation, group weaving

Hands - on weaving experience, ManitoAhbee

Hands - on weaving experience

Successful weaving experience

Success! Everyone leaves with a wrist sash and a smile.

Canadian History on the BBC

November 4, 2009

In the summer of 2008 I was interviewed by Ray Mears, part of a series on Canadian History. Ray had been recommended to me by Dr Katherine Pettipas, curator at the Manitoba Museum. Ray Mears interviewed me on the subject of fingerwoven sashes, the sort of thing worn by personnel of the transportation industry in the early 1800’s. Employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company transported goods from seagoing vessels to the far interior of Canada by canoe. Now and again, when one river gave out, and it was necessary to walk a little ways to the next river, the goods (and canoe) were carried. This walking and carrying is called ‘portage’, from the French word. Because these individuals managed such heavy loads, good abdominal and back support was recommended … hence the sash, worn twice around the middle, and tied tightly.
Anyhow, the construction of these belts, the very low-tech method, no loom involved, is my specialty, also known as Fingerweaving. As most of these pieces feature an arrow shape, the french called them arrow belts, literally ‘ceinture fléchée’.