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Old 03-11-2012, 04:29 PM   #1
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Twining bags--Two I'm working on

Thought I'd share what I've been working on. I twined three bags recently. I only have two of them because while I was sitting outside in the sun twining one of them, a neighbor begged to buy it, and I sold it before getting a picture of it. Anyway, I thought I'd share what I've been working on and see if I can upload the pictures correctly.

The bag on the left has the bottom finished but hasn't been lined yet. I like to put a lining in them. I respun the wool very tiny and the background that the buffalo are sitting on isn't fabric, but tightly spun and tightly twined wool. The wool is so thin that this bag took a very long time to complete. I used false embroidery, a little embroidery, z-twist and a z-twist wrap. I used traditional patterns with a modern twist. There are 4 total buffalo and they are all different. I wanted to do the false embroidery of the buffalo with buffalo hair, but at the time I did it, I couldn't get any hair, so it's just done in wool.

The bag on the right is inspired by a Potawatomi design in a museum. It's not exactly the same, but it's pretty close. I will have to dig out the museum picture. Anyway, I'm getting close to finishing that one. It is also on Indian hemp warps and respun wool, although it is not spun as thin as the wool in the buffalo bag.

I am thinking about putting straps on them. Any suggestions for straps on these? I thought I'd share what I was working on. Not too many twine these days.

I hope the pictures come out. Looks like you click on a pic and get a bigger view of it.
Attached Thumbnails
front.jpg   backs.jpg  

Last edited by docat; 03-11-2012 at 07:21 PM.. Reason: Made a couple sentences clearer.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:45 PM   #2
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Wow, those are cool! I especially like the buffalo one!

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Old 03-11-2012, 11:28 PM   #3
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very nicely done!!! thank you for sharing this!!!
can you give a tutorial on how to do this?
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:58 PM   #4
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Thanks for the encouragement!

I would be happy to help anyone learn this. So few people make them any more. I will look into making a tutorial. It is very relaxing. Thanks so much for the encouragement.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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Beautiful work! And I thought beading took patience. Your bags are amazing!
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:01 AM   #6
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Those are beautiful!!! No wonder your neighbor couldn't resist, lol.
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:27 PM   #7
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Those are really nice!!! I would love to learn how to do that! Eagerly awaiting your tutorial!!
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:47 PM   #8
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Need a Tutorial on a Tutorial LOL

I have to have my daughter help me over spring break to make a tutorial. But if you want a heads up on it, one thing you could do is look over your beadwork designs. Not all, but many beadwork designs can be twined. The fewer colors per row, the easier.

I made my own frame to twine on, and the materials cost less than $5 at Wallmart, and it's easy to put it together.

So we'll put a tutorial together when she's got spring break and can help me.

I started another bag; the new one is an underwater panther bag. It is smaller than the other two, but way more complicated. Will add some pix when it starts shaping up. Wish I could stay home all day and twine this week. I have the week packed full of obligations guaranteed to wipe me out. Next week will be less hectic...well a little less.

Thanks everyone for your encouragement.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:45 AM   #9
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Wow. They are very nice.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:38 AM   #10
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Those are gorgeous!! How much do you charge for one?
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docat View Post
I have to have my daughter help me over spring break to make a tutorial. But if you want a heads up on it, one thing you could do is look over your beadwork designs. Not all, but many beadwork designs can be twined. The fewer colors per row, the easier.
That's great, we are ahead of the game then if we already have beading patterns....


Quote:
Originally Posted by docat View Post
I made my own frame to twine on, and the materials cost less than $5 at Wallmart, and it's easy to put it together.
Cost effective!! Excellent!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by docat View Post
So we'll put a tutorial together when she's got spring break and can help me.
That's so great!! Thank you so much for being willing to teach all of us!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by docat View Post
I started another bag; the new one is an underwater panther bag. It is smaller than the other two, but way more complicated. Will add some pix when it starts shaping up. Wish I could stay home all day and twine this week. I have the week packed full of obligations guaranteed to wipe me out. Next week will be less hectic...well a little less.

Thanks everyone for your encouragement.
we can't wait to see what you're working on, I agree with the others here, please post pictures when you can, and again, thank you for your willingness to teach us.....
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:51 AM   #12
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While waiting on the tutorial, can you tell us a little bit about twining...history. And how long have you been doing it?
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:33 PM   #13
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I make them and it take about a while to finish
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyJo View Post
While waiting on the tutorial, can you tell us a little bit about twining...history. And how long have you been doing it?
Hi NancyJo,
Twining is very ancient. Almost all of the native cultures did it at some point in time. The early twinings were made into clothes and old pieces were pressed into pottery to dress up plain pots.

Indian hemp or Dogbane, basswood fiber or nettle and other vegetable matter was used in earlytwining. The Nez Perce have the best twined corn husk bags, just beautiful.. anyway,with the Europeans, trade in the matter of worsted and more often ready woven blankets of wool were unraveled and re-spun. The respun wool did what my buffalo bag did and that is to make a very dense weave and an almost fabric appearance when plain twining.

Some ethnologists called these tapestry bags. There is another type of twining called the open weave, which is an older type. Some are twined upside down, some rightside up. Some make a simple frame like I do and I met one lady who does it all without any frame at all,,,free form. Once you get down your basics, you will be able to try more complicated designs.

I twined with Indian hemp warps. Warps are the string structure you see in the bottom of the unfinished bag. Notice that it is inside the twining and cannot be seen. A great substitute for that is craft hemp...which is also traditional, and wally world sells craft hemp for five bux for 100 yards. There might be some somewhere else, but it works.

There is a youtube of a girl using a frame very similar to mine. She unfortunately doesn't show you what she is doing, but that's what the tutorial is for.

I don't know how to put a link to the youtube on here.
The title is _ Danielle Carley: finger weaving returns to Lac Courte Oreilles in northwestern Wisconsin_ Put up by stephencarlmurphy1
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:15 PM   #15
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To Nancy Jo

Well, I typed you in a rather lengthy post and I don't see it.

If it doesn't show up, I'll type it in again. One thing you might want to look at is a you tube of a girl twining. I don't know how to link, but the title is _Danielle Carley: Finger weaving returns to Lac Courte Oreilles in northwestern Wisconsin_ Her frame is just like the one I made, it seems to be. I use dowels and as I work the bag, I turn it around and around. If I get it going fast, it flies, but I like to go at a steady rate, which means I can keep my tension on my twists steady.

Remember when you pick out beadworking patterns, you might look for hatband patterns or patterns for bracelets. If you notice on the buffalo bag, a pattern can go all the way around the bag in a repeating way. The you can pick another pattern to go around it. Some repeating patterns repeat on 8 beads or 9 beads or so. It would be good to pick a group of patterns that repeat on 8 or 9 or whatever beads, and when you pick your number of warps, you will pick a number that is divisible by 8 or 9 or whatever you chose.

Lots of beadwork patterns that work are on a website called 407 Free Native American Beadwork patterns. They may not be all traditional, but most of them are repeating and do not have too many color changes per row.

I hope that helps. I wrote a bit about the history of twining, which is pretty ancient, but I don't see it here. I will repeat it if it doesn't show up.

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:30 PM   #16
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Thanks.....I'd been looking on the internet and really didn't find out a lot of info. Do they sometimes call it backstrap weaving? Just curious it kind of looked similar. I am eager to learn how to do it. I like weaving and I like the look of the bags. Thanks for posting about it. It looks similar to some Creek weaving.....maybe it's the same. But anyway, looking forward to your tutorial.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:48 PM   #17
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Nancy Jo: Backstrap weaving really is a different animal. Experts say that twining isn't technically weaving because the weft and warps don't interlace. As a matter of fact, I have done backstrap weaving in the past, and it really is traditional weaving in a skinny scale. You could backstrap weave straps for bags, but I personally don't enjoy the process. It is difficult to backstrap weave just anywhere since you need the tension tied off on a doorknob or tree etc. The twining frame can sit on a table, in your lap, in the car (if you aren't driving) and seriously, it can go just about anywhere.

The frame with dowels is a modern adaptation of the original which was two sapplings either where they grew or dug securely into the ground.

The walmart frame I have is basswood and meant to be finished, but I have a half dozen or so frames and didn't finish any of them.

I will attempt to upload a picture of a warped frame. I will include warping directions later.

I am concerned though because my posts did not appear when I typed them. I am not sure why but got a message that my posts needed to be approved before they would show up. I do not want to have my daughter take up her spring break helping me make a tutorial if it isn't approved. It could be I will have to put it elsewhere if it is not accepted here. So if you don't see it here, I will put it elsewhere if you search for twining and docat.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:37 PM   #18
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The warped frame

Don't worry if I am getting ahead of myself. I will make a tutorial that will fill in anything missing...this is to give you a preview and some idea of what is involved in the twining process. I'm uploading a pic of a warped frame.

The frame is lightweight. It's one, walmart craft aisle "you finish" frame. It is also one dowel. I used that fattest one Walmart had. Then I cut it. I actually cut it smaller than in half because this particular one I wanted to be smaller, but if you cut yours in half, it's fine. Then I made a pilot hole and screwed in wood screws through the bottom of the frame to hold the dowels in place.

What I like about the walmart frame is that it is lightweight and I like the hole in the middle. Sometimes I will go in through the bottom to secure a knot, tie off or cut long yarns, etc...good for clean up, but you don't need it.

First I tied a slippery twine tight that I put around the top of the bag, I actually used nylon in the picture that goes horizontally around the dowels. I remove it when I'm finished, so I don't mind using the non-traditional material. It just helps to be able to slip the warps along it to make sure they are even in the beginning process. It helps in the first couple rows. I warp the hemp on this slippery twine that goes around the dowels.

This particular set up of warps is of polished craft hemp from Wally world. $5 in the beading section of Walmart. I measured double the length and a few inches extra for each hemp warp and I used what is called larkshead knots (you can google that ahead of my instructions if you like) that slide along the horizontal slippery twine. One thing I did in this particular set up was put a darker (comes in 2 colors)hemp every 5 because I wanted to do a pretty complicated pattern and knowing every 5 quickly was helpful to me. When I finish this, I plan to cover these warps, so it's just for me. For your first one, I think you would not need 2 colors

The pic is of the warped frame. I think you click on it to get it to enlarge.
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Last edited by docat; 03-15-2012 at 10:54 PM.. Reason: to be clear...
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:14 PM   #19
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I remember seeing a chapter on twined bags in the book "Ojibwa Crafts" by Carrie Lyford. I even tried it once but with beads instead of wool for the weft. cool stuff! Glad you are helping to keep this craft alive.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:50 PM   #20
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ALLRIGHT!!! Now we're cooking!!!
I'm going this weekend to Wally World to get the frame and twine!!

Good Start, docat!!
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