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  • December 2006

    The 2007 class information is now online. Becky’s Väv Stuga will be turning over into our new business, Vävstuga Swedish Weaving and Folk Arts, on January 1st. We have many more activities planned for the next year than Becky’s Väv Stuga was able to offer in the past. You will see that as well as the week long live-in classes, we are also offering many two-day classes. In addition to that we are introducing the Vävstuga Club. Check out the advantages of being a Vävstuga club member.

    The mini movie for this month demonstrates a great way to attach the front and back tie-on bars to the loom using cord loops.

    I am expecting the two new rag rug books to come in within a week or two, as well as Väv Kalendar 2007, so stay tuned.

    I have warped a loom this week for 140 cm wide tablecloths of 30/2 cotton in a 10-shaft satin block weave. I will weave it with single ply linen. One of the tablecloths will be in use at the new school next year. I’ve enjoyed recorded books while threading and sleying the more than 3000 threads!

    November 2006

    My video Dress Your Swedish Drawloom is out on DVD now. Dress Your Loom the Swedish Way, my first video, is due to come out on DVD as well later this month.

    The schedule for next year at the new facility is nearly complete. In addition to the week-long intensive classes, we will be offering an array of two-day classes, as well as Vavstuga Club days, during which we will invite members to come and weave with us. Details will be forthcoming later this month. Be sure to sign up on our mailing list if you want notification.

    I am currently weaving some hand towels in halvdräll according to a Swedish book from the 1920s, using 30/2 cotton warp with 20/1 linen weft. Come take a class with us so you can use them to wipe your hands before dinner! I have also wound three blanket warps using up old cones of Swedish blanket yarn, which makes for very colorful designs. These blankets will also be in use at the new school.

    October 2006

    Weave Structures the Swedish Way by Ulla Getzmann is at the printer right now and delivery is scheduled for mid-October!! I am delighted I can finally make my translation of this book available because the writing is so clear and concise on the subject of drafting. I am taking orders for this book now and will ship them in mid-October.

    I am currently making both of my video available on DVD. Dress your Swedish Drawloom is being duplicated now. Watch my publishing page for updates on when I will be getting them in. I have already started the process for my first video, Dress Your Loom the Swedish Way. I will post updates as things progress.

    The mini movie for this month is about sleying the reed with a buddy.

    [update 10/12/06]

    Weave Structures the Swedish Way is now officially in print and is available for purchase!

    August/September 2006

    There are two new books in the bookstore this month, one in Swedish and one in English. Norwegian Tapestry Weaving is a real gold mine of techniques with great diagrams throughout. The other book, En Annan Bild by Doris Wiklund (the author of Det Gamla Linneskåpet), has a wealth of tapestry and picture weaving techniques as well.

    The mini movie for this month features flossa bars, the tool used to make woven pile rugs.

    The new in town location for Väv Stuga classes continues to progress. We now have windows in place, new shingles and new chimneys. My partner in this new venture, Susie Robbins, and I have gone window shopping at IKEA for furnishing ideas. The new school will have a very Swedish feel to it and we are excited to see it coming together. The connecting alley between the school room and the store is going up this week and we get to consider options for yarn shelves.

    I harvested my small crop of flax at the end of July and we did some retting and breaking and scutching, etc., during the summer linens class.

    July 2006

    The vavstuga in Shelburne Falls is progressing by leaps and bounds and we expect to be moving classes to this facility early next year. The building is right next to the renowned Bridge of Flowers and has an exquisite view of the Deerfield river out the back. There will be ample lodging upstairs with a kitchen and common room. Meals will be served downstairs on the beautiful all-season back porch.

    I have several new mini-movies ready to go but due to technical difficulties they’ll just have to wait. Check back next month.

    June 2006

    The main news this month is that I will be out of town for the entire month of June and back to work the 2nd week of July. Look for more news around mid-July.

    Happy Summer!!

    May 2006

    My pricelist and catalog for looms and weaving equipment are now accesible online!

    I will be away the entire month of June. Any orders taken in May will be shipped promptly but other shipments will have to wait until July.

    As many of you know, I have developed a new tie-up system for Glimakra countermarch looms that eliminates the need for all the little plastic pegs to be used under the treadles. This tie-up is now viewable online. I will be adding photos to this page by and by.

    The mini movie of the month is the art of “puddling.” My students will know this refers to technique that is frequently useful for fixing mistakes while winding a warp.

    I finally have news to share about my translated drafting book. No, it’s not available yet, but I do now have a signed contract with the rights holder to publish the most recent edition of the book. (That is not the edition I started with, which is only one of the reasons that this project is taking so long.) The new final copy is nearly ready and I need to send it to Sweden for a three-month check-over by the rights holder. After that I have permission to print, which will take another few months. There is some light at the end of this tunnel!

    April 2006

    Doris Wiklund’s books are coveted by weavers who collect Swedish weaving books, and when the supply is gone they are difficult to find used. Her newest book, Det Gamla Linneskåpet, now available in the bookstore, is a real beauty with many drawloom patterns as well as conventional weaving patterns. Om Fellen Kunne Fortelle is another Norwegian treasure on coverlets mostly in skillbragd (smålandsväv) technique. It has gorgeous photographs and very clear threading and treadling drafts. This technique is a featured chapter in my Dress Your Swedish Drawloom video.

    The Glimakra maufacturers and I have designed a new warping trapeze that is simple to use and of the same high quality craftsmanship as the looms. It comes with two upright pieces and locking braces. You can buy or use your own counterbalance beam for the upper cross bar, or you can use any piece of smooth sturdy wood or a metal pole. A similar trapeze can be seen my mini movie. The new trapeze costs $95.00 and will be listed in my store soon.

    I custom ordered two styles of weaving swords: a thick one for weaving sword damask, and a thin one for weaving opphamta, as seen in the book Damask and Opphämta as well as in my video Dress Your Swedish Drawloom. The price of each style of sword is $18.00.

    Also in stock now are 10-shaft Ideal 100cm countermarch looms. Some of the parts are thinner to accommodate the extra shafts and treadles.

    The manufacturers also made me a special treadle beam which will allow my 120cm loom to hold either 10 regular style treadles or 16 thinner treadles in the same space. This means that I can now switch back and forth between the regular 10-shaft setup and the 16-shaft setup without taking the loom apart each time to switch treadle beams.

    A new mini movie may appear later this month, so stay tuned.

    March 2006

    The mini movie for this month features a warp stick collector that can be mounted on the back treadle beam. This is a convenient for both warping and storage.

    I’ve completed many new sample pieces for my intro class. There is a napkin or apron in plain weave of Swedish 8/2 cotton, a blanket of Borgs Tuna yarn, a cottolin runner in a warp-dominant plain weave, an eight-shaft block weave in 16/2 linen, and goose-eye square in 16/2 cotton. The towel will have cottolin warp and 8/1 tow linen weft. The projects are designed to give a well rounded introduction to Swedish yarns as well as the looms and techniques. Come join the fun and sign up for a class!

    I have also been preparing for my Swedish heirlooms class later this spring by weaving a halvdrÄll runner with cottolin warp and linen weft. A tablecloth in m’s and o’s is on another loom with two colors of 16/2 cotton in the warp and two colors of 16/1 linen for weft. I will be serving meals on it during my first class of the season, which I’m looking forward to later this month.

    February 2006

    January has been a month of cleaning, reorganizing, and designing a totally new set of projects for my introductory weaving class. All of the projects will be using the high-quality Swedish yarns that have been finding more and more room on my shelves. Students will now become familiar with at least 7 of these yarns in 6 different projects including cottons, linens, cottolin and wool.

    This month’s mini movie features two students who were here last November. They demonstrate the delight of sharing the experience of weaving with a buddy. Weaving a blanket with two people can really feel like less than half of the work. Do try this at home and let me know how you like it!

    I will be teaching a special one-day session later this month that has been organized by a local group of weavers. It is a Swedish language class for weavers. It promises to be a fun and rewarding day and it has pushed me to work on the Swedish-English weaving glossary that I have been working on. I do plan to offer this glossary for sale in the near future in the bookstore.

    [update 2/10/06]

    My new email announcement list is now working! If I already have your email address, you have been subscribed automatically. If not, please do sign up if you’re interested in hearing concise e-mail updates from me a few times a year concerning class schedule changes, book publications, newly stocked equipment, and anything else newsworthy. I do not plan to send out any more postal mailings so I encourage you to join this list if you want me to stay in touch.

    January 2006

    The new mini movie for this month shows a cute little floor loom that weaves bands.

    I’ve recently ordered two new books for the bookstore that have been requested by many of you. One is titled Det Gamla Linneskåpet by Doris Wiklund. She has made many wonderful weaving books and this one is no exception. It is a good source for drawloom patterns as well as many regular weaving designs. I have also ordered another great Norwegian book on traditional Norwegian coverlets titled Om Fellen Kunne Fortelle which includes several skillbragd smålandsväv patterns. These two books should be in stock in February or March.

    I have received a shipment of special band weaving supplies from Sätergläntan, where I learned to weave in Sweden. I have been weaving a pick-up patterned band with twelve red wool pattern threads on an 8/2 unbleached linen ground warp. The patterns are from a local traditional band that I graphed last September while I was at the school. The new band weaving equipment is in stock and available now. It will also be appearing in the form of a mini movie soon, so stay tuned.

    The other piece of very exciting news is the possibility of a sister Swedish weaving/fiber arts school starting up near here in Shelburne Falls. This school is only in the very early stages of discussion and we welcome any feedback or suggestions of any kind. The school could provide opportunities previously unavailable at Becky’s Vav Stuga such as:

    • Specialty weekend classes with various guest teachers
    • Weaving instruction not limited to intensive weeklong classes
    • Open studio use

    Subjects beyond floor loom weaving could include:

    • Band weaving
    • Bobbin Lace
    • Nålbindning (“needle looping”)
    • Straw ornaments
    • Baskets
    • Knitting
    • Birchbark vessels

    Please send your suggestions.

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