Craftmaking in a TROUBLED TIME

The last months have been like nothing else in our lives, with a raging pandemic that affects the whole world. In a way, it connects us all in a new way, at the same time as we are more isolated than ever before, with lock-downs and travel restrictions. Although Sweden has been considered to be relatively open life is turned upside down for many of us. The infection is still widespread here and you have to be very careful not to interfere to close with other people, including your own children. In fact, I have lived much more isolated than usual. Depressing in many ways, but I am fortunate to have two very comforting things to do. First, I have a wonderful nature around the corner. Almost every day I walk in my neighbouring forest morning, midday and evening. It is very clear that when not much happens around you get more sensitive to what you see and hear and to perceive the atmosphere. It has never been more breathtaking with the scenery, wild animals like hares, deers and birds. Plants and flowers that alternate over the seasons. I do love it all dearly.

I have not travelled much but in June I had the opportunity to visit another beautiful part of this country. I have written before about this very special place. It is so called “fabodvall” in the county of Dalarna. Now mostly a summer resort, but some decades ago it still played a significant part of farmers life in the North. The cattle, cows, sheep and goats, was essential for survival. In a harsh climate, it was a struggle to get enough fodder to last the whole year-round. “Faboden” or “Bua”, as is the local name, was an additional summer location for the cattle. Further up the mountains leaves and grass provided good grazing for the cattle. Every ” fabodvall” consisted of a number of small log- cabins for sleeping, cooking, making butter and cheese. Often in small groups, the activity was run by young women, often in their teens. It was a very important task and is an example of traditional independence and status of women in Scandinavia. This valuable part of history is now kept alive by descendants to the traditional farmers and is a much-loved summer resort for families with children and grandchildren. Many log-cabins have been in the family for centuries. Now a lively little community with a friendly atmosphere and it welcomes also newcomers.

And now to crafting. For some weeks I have been knitting, many, many hours. Maybe a waste of time but it is relaxing and keeps you occupied while listening to the radio. You have to concentrate on counting stitches and not think so much about a troubled world. One of the sweaters turned out to be to my son’s liking so I will give it to him.

My son and I have for quite a long time talked about making a set of clothes from pre-Viking age, it might be both a male and female set. We haven’t come up with a decision on fabric yet, but to start with a have made the first attempt in tablet-weaving. A very clever method for making fine ribbons used at the time. Clothes were often lined with elaborate tablet-weaved ribbons. You use a tablet with four holes threaded with yarn in different colours. By turning the tablets in various directions you weave the pattern. It is quite complicated and I have to practise more, especially to get the edges straight. But it’s fun!

I have recently made a new cover for my Kindle. The old one made two years ago was completely worn out. The button is made of silver and carneole stone. Apart from that, I have not made much silversmithing. I feel I have too much jewellery for the moment, I hope to have the opportunity to sell off some further on.

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