Me and my looms

5 Choosing material

The best situation is when you can just pick material from your store. When you have woven enough shawls, you have yarn at least for designing. It is easier to choose colours when you can put them side by side.

Sometimes you have a certain colour, and you count the amount of shawls upside down: as much you have yarn so many shawls you can weave. This is more difficult counting yet interesting.

Yarn shops sell you also yarn colour maps which you can use for designing.

Self coloured yarn and the original material.

4 Wool is an excellent material

Wool comes better when it is worn, wool heels and warms even if it is wet. Wool does not need to be washed daily, it needs fresh air and you can wash it with snow. A good woollen shawl stays fine over decades. Wool has it own grease, lanolin, to keep water away. Wool does not easily get crumpled and smoothens easily. Wool is a good material inside and outside. Wool breaths and warms. Wool is an ekological choice and sheep like to give their wool away.

Wool is warm.
Natural wool.

3 Different styles

A dream of owning a woollen shawl is often a dream of a unique one. Some wants to have a red shawl but wishes other colours in stripes than there is. Some wants to have a shawl matching her jacket or car or anything.

I have not yet woven unique shawls, usually in the same warp are at least two shawls and the warp is then 2,5 m long.

A traditional Lappish shawl is square, size of 100 – 140 cm each side plus ends, which length varies along the size (8 – 15 cm).

Neck scarfs and small shawls I wove freely in different colours, materials and patterns.

Three triangel scarfs on a snowy stone. Colours winered, yellow-green and autumn. Back lake Inari.
Scarfs made by knitting machine.


2 Designing a new shawl

Self coloured yarn
Homemade colours from birch and wild rosemary.

Cultural heritage

I respect traditional colours and I want to design and make shawls with right things. I have had an opportunity to learn from Inari women, my friends in Lapland.

I have red lot of literature on handicrafts and I am also interested in traditions in Petsamo, where my husband´s origins come and Kainuu, where I come from.

Cultural history

When I arrived to Inari to handicraft school I made acquaintance with Teuvo Lehtola, a historian in the area, Anni Äärelä, the master of Sami handicrafts, Anneli Kaarret, the teacher of weaving and designing and Anja Kinnari, sewing. My woodwork was born under the watching eyes of Ilmari Laiti and Kari Pakarinen.

The history itself came familiar because of my own curiosity, listening and learning.


1 All starts from designing

My red shawl and scenery to the lake Inari.

Collecting information

I collect models and inspiration of colours from nature, traditions, old ladys in Inari and even from internet

The best colour and pattern ideas I have been given from the old weavers who visit the same evening school as I

The first woollen shawl (in the back picture) I vowe thirty years ago when I started my handicraft studies in Inari. Then we counted more thread amounts than about colours but still that model is one of my favorites and in my production big and small.

I can pick some colour ideas from TV. For example in da Vince –code movies there was a very beatiful huge shawl, which colours I used to make few shawls.


I prefer Finnish material and material made in Finland. Sometimes I have to buy different material to be able to have the colours I need. But still the more Finnish the better.

Different material come out differently and sometimes the outcome is not what I wanted. But every day I learn more about yarns and there ways of acting when weaving.