With Larry Schmitt
Date: June 25 – 29, 2018
Skill Level: All
Class Fee: $375.00
When students discover – and then master – the textile craft tradition of nålbinding, they also discover the potential for items of utility and beauty that can serve well in modern life. Although nålbinding is often compared to knitting and crochet and even weaving, it is perhaps more akin to hand sewing. Nålbinding is found worldwide, but the focus of this workshop is Scandinavian-style nålbinding. By working through the steps of creating a pair of nålbound mittens, the workshop covers
- Needle making,
- Mastery of nålbinding stitches, and
- Problem-solving steps to create a useful and wearable garment.
In this workshop students will also learn a variety of appropriate felting techniques. Finished Scandinavian-style nålbound items will occasionally feature other textile techniques, including fringes, embroidery, and applique. Time will be devoted to the history and folklore of nålbinding, as well as nålbinding’s considerable influence on the preservation of Scandinavian craft traditions.
Scandinavian-style nålbinding reflects both place of origin and local culture. Students in this workshop will be encouraged to create nålbound items inspired both by tradition and the spirit of the maker! Beginners are welcome. Students will not be limited to mittens: socks, hats, scarves, or bags are possible as well as other projects – constrained only by skill and imagination.
Materials fee: (To be collected directly from students by instructor in class): $40.00 – Includes manuals (retail value $80), handouts, needles, and yarn required for first samples. Also included: supplies for students to make their own needles. Additional cost: As students achieve mastery, they will plan a first project. The weight and quantity of yarn required cannot be anticipated. Instructor will provide a selection of yarns – at cost – suitable for beginners. Students can bring yarns from their personal stashes: DK, Worsted or Bulky wool or wool blends – that are not shrink resistant, but keep in mind that some yarns, though usable, may not prove satisfactory for first projects.
As a child, Larry Schmitt learned many textile techniques from his parents, including nålbinding. Since the early 1980s, he has been teaching and researching nålbinding and has written a number of instructional manuals. These workbooks are among the few resources on nålbinding in English. Larry has taught and exhibited nålbinding throughout the country and has had students from abroad. As a textile artisan, his focus is traditional technique utilizing tools and equipment that are portable and easy to obtain or to construct – as evidenced by his other consuming interest: band weaving. Through his work, Larry seeks to breathe new life into old skills – transforming artifacts into facts of modern life.
Larry posts progress reports on his work at: http://needlesandheddles.tumblr.com/