The Lingonberry Garden

A blog celebrating painting, design, folk art, Scandinavian-American heritage and everyday living.

Weaving...and so it begins

Found so many treasures of all sorts at the Scandinavian Festival of Southern California in April. The campus of Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks drew thousands of visitors for the  Scandinavian music and art, story telling, specialty foods and vendors, artisans with their crafts, and in the Viking camp, reenactors sharing aspects of the day to day life of long ago. Lots of new insights — and stories— all around. (This was the first year participating as a vendor there with our Lingonberries line.)

I was captivated by the weaving… Judith Gabriel Vinje got caught up in the spirit years ago volunteering with the Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation for the festival. She was on the board and someone mentioned she might like to try participating in the encampment and demonstrating weaving. And she’s been doing it ever since… She ’s self-taught as far as weaving goes — “you can do it on your own, with all the books and videos and especially with YouTube now,” she said. She was demonstrating the inkle loom for band weaving and a vertical loom for larger weaving. So many stories just in the intriguing assortment of yarns and weaving tools and colorful array of woven patterns in the many weavings she had displayed.

Strike up a conversation with her, and you find her interest and knowledge of all things Scandinavian runs deep. She’s an award winning author and journalist, who has written for many publications, including the Norwegian American Weekly and before that, Norway Times in New York. She is also active in the Sons of Norway, presenting cultural programs for lodges on a variety of topics. Loved the chance to talk with her — and can’t wait to do more weaving!!

Of course, there is no such thing as "just weaving."  There's the study of designs and patterns, their history. The types of weaving -- the variety of looms and sizes.  Weaving for clothing and weaving textiles for the home. Weaving as art. And then there's the yarn. The colors, the textures. Cotton? Silk? Wool?  Llama or alpaca? The learning, the experimenting, goes on and on...

Just two days of the festival, but lots of inspiration…and so many things to explore…

Look for more updates on our Facebook page,