Norwegian Pick-Up Bandweaving

My new favorite book is Norwegian Pick-Up Bandweaving by Heather Torgenrud (2014). It focuses on everything I like about weaving: the history, the color, the texture, and the process. Plus, there are dozens of patterns. If you have an interest in weaving Nordic-styled pick-up bands, well, here’s your book. Using a rigid heddle with a backstrap setup, this style of weaving produces sturdy, vivid, and cheerful bands which were once used around the house for things like belts, shoe laces, baby swaddling, package ties, and clothing decorations. Heather Torgenrud’s book is that type of reading that gets to the heart of an important style of weaving, a delightful discovery for someone like me, the weaver who likes to know.

I’ve had an interest in this style of band weaving ever since, over four years ago, I discovered a treasure in an antique shop, a Norwegian rigid heddle, or bandgrind:


Isn’t it gorgeous? Hand carved, it may have been a traditional courting gift from a young man to a young woman. It was most likely used with the decorative top hanging downward although I’m not positive about that. At the time, I wasn’t certain what it was other than a little loom, and it took some research to come across the explanation. Although you can use a band loom on a regular frame loom, they were normally used with one end of the warp tied to something sturdy like a doorknob and the other end secured around the weaver’s waist, backstrap style.

I love the portable nature of band weaving, and currently I’m looking forward to receiving a “slotted” rigid heddle, which is useful for weaving patterns. Although I love my antique band loom, I don’t dare use it, so in the meantime, I’ve been using my small Ashford Sampleit loom for some practice. Here’s a seven-thread band with embroidery and crochet cottons:

Pickup Band Weaving



A Little Grindvev


Also known as a bandvev. These hand-carved Norwegian looms were used to weave narrow bands. Often carved by a suitor and given to a young woman, it was a useful and decorative object. I found this one at an antique store, first assuming it was a replica. It’s a bit too fragile to use, but it’s neat, isn’t it?

Photos of other band looms from a Norwegian digital museum.

A blogger who weaves bands on a grindvev.


New Stuff! Emilia Stand, Inkle Loom, etc.


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Merry Christmas to me, about six weeks early.

What's new? A Glimakra Emilia stand! It was delivered this morning, along with a second 10 dent heddle and a second heddle kit. I was able to swap out the big desk in my work area, and I replaced it with this half-size desk we happened to have sitting around. The new stuff in my room actually inspired me to tidy up–although I have some clutter in a few of those cubes–but now my yarn is all in its proper place in the organizer I bought this summer. Extra heddles are corraled by a cool sunflower napkin holder. Also on the top of the organizer is a neat Norwegian band loom, or grindvev, I picked up at a local thrift store. It's quite a treasure that I'll blog about another day.

My mini inkle loom was made by Mac's Traditional Shop. It's just 16" long, and it can make about a 40" to 50" band. Isn't it cute? I have yet to finish my first sample. I made some beginner mistakes warping, and after struggling for about half an hour, it occurred to me that I didn't know how to use an inkle loom! And so I went to Youtube and watched a few videos, and then returned to the loom with a new perspective.

The top of my organizer also holds my sewing kit and a wooden bird, carved for me by my husband 20 years ago this coming Christmas. It's one of my priceless treasures.