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Village life in northwest Spain – TVG visit the picturesque hamlet of Cristosende and ask what makes it so special…

Textile course in north Spain

Anna Champeney (r) with weave pupil Ana Roman (l) being filmed by Televisión Gallega for the regional magazine programme "Great Places"

Yesterday and today the habitual tranquility and silence of the picturesque Galician hamlet of Cristosende was broken as the village was taken over by the film crew of TVG for the making of Grandes Lugares (Great Places), a regional magazine programme.   Yesterday a good number of us villagers turned up at the old school, to share a glass of local wine, some empanada (traditional pie), and bread with a selection of cheeses and village-made chorizo and salchichón sausage, and explain to the film crew exactly what makes the village so special for us.

Is it the fact that the village has a stunning view over some of the most dramatic scenery in the Ribeira Sacra area of north Spain?  Or that, in a village of only about 30 inhabitants, there are no fewer than 3 local businesses –  the craft workshops with Casa dos Artesans holiday cottage, the Casa Grande rural hotel and bar, and Pepe´s bodega, Viña Perderneira.   Or is it simply the fact that the village has a pretty good atmosphere, with neighbours always willing to help each other out?

This morning the film crew came to Anna Champeney Estudio Textil and Lluis Grau´s basketry workshop to conduct interviews, both with the local craftspeople themselves and Ana Roman, a weave student who explained how satisfying it was to weave her own soft alpaca scarf on a loom – and how relaxing it is too (except, of course, when 5 members of a film crew are filming you!).

Well, we´re not going to tell you anything else for now, but will post up the video link when we know the date of emission, and invite you to watch – and meet all our neighbours here in Cristosende.

Padded doubleweave textiles – Doubleweave tuition option now available – Weaving holidays for intermediate level weavers in Spain

padded fabrics handwoven on the loom

Photo of padded double weave fabric (Anna Champeney Estudio Textil Spain))

double weave tuition available 2012

Weaving "quilted" fabrics with 2 shuttles on a Louet table loom

Giving an interview whilst weaving doubleweave with two shuttles is no easy task – it´s like trying to whistle and hum at the same time (and I only know one person who can do that!), so the TV crew had to wait and watch a little until the moment came to stop weaving and insert the stuffing into the “pockets” and “tubes” created by the double weave!  Weaving textiles on the loom in two layers opens the door to lots of magical and seemingly impossible options – from weaving a textile which is actually wider than the loom you are using to weaving a tube, to weaving two layers of fabric which intersect to create pockets – which can be filled with filling which gives you an effect rather like a quilted textile.  Applications?  Double weave is great for scarves and (using very fine yarns) for clothing fabrics which are really warm and insulating but which can still drape nicely, without feeling not lumpy or thick.   But the thick quilted-effect double weave fabrics can also be used for thick padded jackets, cushion pads, bedcovers and upholstery fabrics.  The only limit is your imagination.

Anna Champeney and Lluis Grau offer one-to-one tuition in their craft workshops and looms for hire to guests staying at their holiday cottage, Casa dos Artesans.  Their availability as tutors in 2012 is already limited so you are advised to reserve the cottage and any tuition well in advance.  Contact.