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  • February 2010

    Becky's new handwoven ski skirt, gaiters and belt. They were a blast to ski in for a week in Maine.

    Becky's new handwoven ski skirt and belt, and John's handwoven gaiter project. They were a blast to ski in for a week in Maine.

    We continue to build synergy at Vävstuga with the core team consisting of Becky Ashenden (Sole Proprietor) and Susan Conover (Operations Manager). Two talented women are now “veterans” of the Vävstuga apprenticeship program: Celeste Johnson from Naples, NY (March-September 2009) and Lisa Bertoldi from Williamsburg, MA (September 2009-February 2010).

    The 2010 class format has been altered to address the many requests from our alumni. We are now providing specific classes so that you may concentrate on a larger project for the duration of your visit (see Vävstuga Treasures) or explore a multitude of techniques within a week-long class (see Vävstuga Classics.) Each of these two classes does require completing the Vävstuga Basics class, which continues to enjoy a waiting list. Speaking of Basics, our Scholarship Fund is accepting applications for this excellent foundation class (and only this class) at the present time.

    We’ve seen major upgrades to the studio with state of the art lighting and air-conditioning throughout the entire building (even the dorm area). Don’t be surprised to hear jackhammers in the background if you phone us. The retail store and office areas are getting a “roof” lift.

    As always, if you should have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our store/phone hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 2-5pm EST.

    We are certainly looking forward to the coming year with eagerness!

    ~Becky & Susan

    December 2009

    We are in the midst of our Holiday Vävstuga Days and have 12 looms dressed with beautiful seasonal warps! This event has been a great success and we look forward to our Spring Vävstuga Days, May 11-15, 2010.

    Many of our classes for 2010 are at 50% enrollment at this time. We have added photos to our Vävstuga Treasures page, which should inspire anyone who desires a week of continual weaving on a major project. The Alumni Week has an expanded explanation as well as photos.

    The new Vävkalender 2010 is now in stock. It’s full of new and beautiful home furnishings in the form of towels, tablecloths, pillow covers, curtains, a wool blanket, a rep rug and more. Many techniques are represented and beautiful colors abound. Let each month give you weaving inspiration. The Vävkalender 2010 is priced at $22 plus shipping.

    Our newest arrival in our bookstore is Kalasfina Vävar by Ann-Kristin Hallgren. This is a wonderful compilation of the more popular designs from the 2006–2009 Vävkalander years. Feast your eyes on the plentiful towels, runners, tablecloths, upholstery fabrics, curtains, blankets and rugs. Many of the warps are capable of creating more than one type of finished product. Ranging from traditional to more contemporary, every piece is so tastefully designed you’ll be inspired by every page. Most projects require only 4 shafts, with a handful of 8 shaft patterns thrown in. The threading and treadling drafts are very clear, so even an English speaker can make very good use of this book. Our Swedish–English glossary will be of assistance in translating much of the basic instruction. Kalasfina Vävar is priced at $39 plus shipping.

    Wishing you all a merry Christmas and happy New Year!

    October 2009

    Our 2010 class calendar is available! We are taking class registrations now. You may phone in your registration Wednesday through Saturday 2–5pm. We also accept registrations via fax.

    We have a new apprentice, Lisa Bertoldi, from Williamsburg, MA. Lisa will be with us through the end of January 2010. If you are an alumna of our Basics course, you too may be a candidate for this advantageous program. We are accepting applications for the time slots of January–June 2010, as well as December 2010 onward. Visit our apprentice page for further details. Do not hesitate to contact us via email if you should have further questions about the apprenticeship program.

    The sale on September 19th was a great success and we thank everyone who participated. Becky was thrilled to rid her stash of yarn and equipment. Susanna Robbins’ weaving supplies and books were donated by her family to fund the new Vävstuga Scholarship Fund. All in all, the weather cooperated, we chatted with visitors, met new friends and enjoyed a day of camaraderie with like-minded souls. Visit our Vävstuga Scholarship Fund page for more information, including details on how to submit your application for the 2010 calendar year.

    Last but not least, the Rep Placemats class on November 2–3, 2009 has two openings remaining. Please let us know if you’re interested.

    Enjoy your autumn.

    Big sale on September 19!

    We’re having a BIG SALE at Becky’s house to benefit the Vävstuga Scholarship Fund.
    Don’t miss this epic event, and the chance to see Becky’s house and studio.
    (driving directions)

    Saturday, September 19
    9am – 4pm

    Detailed list below.
    Come early to get the good stuff / Stay late to get super bargains
    NO PRE-SALES. Prices subject to change.


    150cm Swedish loom (not Glimakra)

    double back beam
    regular warp beam & sectional warp beam
    counterbalance beam
    8 shafts
    10 treadles
    upper lamms
    needs tie-up parts (pulleys and horses, or countermarch, and cords etc.)
    $900 as is

    Older 150 cm counterbalance Glimakra loom

    4 shafts and 6 treadles
    pulleys and horses
    some cords

    150 cm single unit draw attachment

    (Older style Glimakra system)
    older style extension
    overhead beam for pattern lashes
    1 reed for pattern cords
    high countermarch to accommodate draw attachment

    120cm Swedish loom (not Glimakra)

    10 shafts
    10 treadles
    upper lamms
    counterbalance beam
    damask pulleys
    needs tie-up parts
    $900 as is

    120 cm Andersson loom

    10 shafts
    10 treadles
    countermarch with cords
    upper and lower lamms

    2 red Julia looms

    prototypes (2 shafts), could be expanded
    $400 each

    4 meter warp mill

    $200 as is

    Warping boards

    These good sized warping boards are collapsible to save space
    $40 each

    11 Various horizontal countermarches with lamms

    120 cm, 8 shaft vertical – $100 (older)
    120 cm, 8 shaft horizontal – $100 (older)
    120 cm, 10 shaft horizontal – $200-$300
    150 cm, 10 shaft horizontal – $200-$300
    150 cm, 12 shaft horizontal – $200-$300
    160 cm, 12 shaft vertical – $200


    Lots of used reeds will be for sale (American reeds)

    Double warp beams

    70cm – $200
    150cm – $300

    Upgrade kit, 100 cm Ideal from 4 shafts to 8 shafts

    includes countermarch

    Upgrade kit, 100 cm Ideal loom to from 8 shafts to 10 shafts

    augments existing 8 shaft countermarch
    all new shafts, thinner
    all new lamms, holes closer together
    New treadle beam and treadles

    110 cm Opphamta attachment

    with 20 pattern shafts

    10’x10′ canopy

    with sides, great for outdoor shows


    (back issues)

    Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot
    Knitting magazines


    Susie Robbins’ books have been donated by the family to the scholarship fund. In addition to weaving books there are books on gardening, knitting, sewing, other crafts, and various other interesting things.


    (Becky is purging her studio)

    8/2 cotton (American)
    16/2 cotton (American)
    36/2 cotton (American)
    cotton flake (American)
    2/2 cotton, (Borgs)
    Bartletts wool, sport weight and worsted
    Maysville rug filler
    Halcyon rug wool, 2 ply and some singles
    Harrisville Highland
    Fine single ply wool from an old NH mill
    Other various other things.


    There is bound to be some.


    Some of that too.
    (More of it as the day progresses)

    August 2009

    We have had such a demand for our Vävstuga Basics class that another one has been opened up for the week of November 9-13, 2009. The first 5 students to enroll will have an opportunity to lodge at Vävstuga, and the remaining students will need to provide their lodging elsewhere. If you would like to enroll, the deposit for the course is $200; the remainder is due at the time of the class.

    Becky reports on her recent trip to Sweden:

    I just got back from a wonderful week at Sätergläntan taking a class in life at the fäbod (Swedish Summer Farm). We made cheeses and butter 19th-century style. Garlands, brooms links and whisks were made of birch branches. We spent a day making a section of fence and a day learning to mow hay with proper use of a scythe and hay rake. Their weather is so wet in the summer that you need to hang the hay on a big rack in the field, which we learned to do as well. Our teacher Ralf Mååg was an endless source of knowledge and stories. Ralf’s assistant, Matthis, helped us with a wood carving every afternoon, among other things. It was a wonderful language immersion for me.

    summer farm in Sweden

    summer farm in Sweden

    time for fiddling

    time for fiddling with Ralf

    July 2009

    There are still 2 slots left in our Linens class starting July 27th, in case any of you can get away at the last minute. This beautiful fiber has no equal.

    Linens class

    scutching fibers in Linens class

    Our recent shipment of Rya yarn in every color has us eagerly anticipating our Rya class on Monday and Tuesday of Labor Day weekend. We are still accepting registrations for this class.

    We just had a fabulous three day Drawloom class as part of NEWS (New England Weavers seminar) with eight students. We are tentatively planning a week-long class in Drawloom techniques late next winter, so if you’re interested please let us know now, and we will keep you posted as the schedule is confirmed.

    last weekend's Drawloom class

    last weekend's Drawloom class

    All of our Basics classes are full for the rest of the year. We are still accepting names for the waiting lists.

    Check out this recent blog, wonderous woolerie, by one of our June Basics students.

    Our first apprentice, Celeste, has honored us with her presence for 4 months so far and 2 more to go. She has been doing some fabulous weaving and we will be announcing our incoming Fall apprentice soon.

    Becky is off to Sweden for a week to experience the culture of the fäbo (Mountain Summer Village) in a week-long class.

    June 2009

    We have several changes to our bookstore, including a couple of new titles:

    The new, more affordable band looms are here!

    Enrollment for our Basics classes is nearly fully subscribed. Please contact us if you are counting on taking this class this year.

    May 2009

    We are delighted to announce our new apprenticeship program at Vävstuga! Every apprentice will have the rare opportunity to be immersed in the world of Swedish weaving for a concentrated period of time.

    We are also pleased to introduce Susan Conover, who came on board as our new operations manager on March 1, 2009.

    We want to draw your attention to a new blog concerned with local Fiber Arts, Valley Fiber Life. Check out their recent article about us!

    Vävstuga days was a very successful event for us here last month. Our loom room was bustling and full every day.

    April 2009

    We invite the public to come and weave during our Spring Vävstuga Days! This event will be next week Tuesday-Saturday, April 28-May 2. We will be open each day from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and the looms will be fully dressed with beautiful spring projects. If you are interested in signing up to weave with us next week, please contact us right away — our Friday schedule is already completely full.

    A couple of our upcoming classes still have some openings:

    Memorial gathering, Tuesday 7 April

    Obituary notice for Susan Robbins, business owner in Shelburne Falls, MA

    Susan Lynn Robbins, 56, of Shelburne Falls, died on April 1 in Waltham after a long illness.

    Born in New York City on June 6, 1952, she was the daughter of Jean Robbins and the late Dr. Jacob Robbins. She grew up in Bethesda (Maryland), and graduated from Walt Whitman High School. She studied violin from the age of five and during high school years attended Greenwood Music Camp in Cummington and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.

    In 1990 Susan moved to Shelburne Falls, where she opened a weaving shop, Textile Arts, on Bridge Street. In 2000 she remodeled the former Shea House on Water Street and moved her shop to the small building next door, adjacent to the Bridge of Flowers. In December of 2005 a fire demolished the interior of the Shea House, home to the restaurant “A Bottle of Bread.” Susan spent the following year rebuilding the house and creating space for a weaving school. With business partner Becky Ashenden, in 2007 Susan created Vävstuga Swedish Weaving & Folk Arts in the refurbished building, using the top floor for rooming accommodations and as a bed and breakfast.

    Susie (Susanna) will always be remembered for her kind friendship and eye for beauty. It shone through in her weaving, gardens, and the lovely details of the building that houses Vävstuga Swedish Weaving & Folk Arts.

    She is survived by her mother, her sister Alice Robbins and husband Walter Denny of Amherst, her brother Mark Robbins and wife Robin of Seattle, and their children Andrew, Katherine and Jennifer.

    The community will host a Memorial Gathering open to the public on Tuesday, April 7, from 4:30 to 8pm at Vävstuga, 16 Water Street in Shelburne Falls, MA 01370. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Vävstuga Scholarship Fund at the above address. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.