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  • July 2015

    Our fundraiser Barn Event on June 20 was beautiful, and it got our new non-profit folk school nearly halfway to our goal! A HUGE thank you to all of you who have participated so far. See our beautiful video of Donka’s spinning workshop in the afternoon. If you would like to donate to Fabric of Life non-profit, please click here.

    immersion-bassett-514

    We are planning a work weekend October 17-18.
    If you would be interested in joining us for gardening, painting, cleaning, and/or have other various skills in property maintenance and want to donate your time to our wonderful folk school, please reply and let me know! We will have a fun time!

     

     

     

    Our 16 Week Weaving Class  – Väv Immersion has been attracting a lot of interest! Anyone who would like more information on this in-depth weaving program, please contact us. Applications are due by September 1, 2015. We expect to have some scholarship money available for young adults.

    We still have just a few spaces in some of our upcoming classes – check your calendars and join us if you can!

    Vävstuga Basics August 24-28th – recently added and last one scheduled for 2015
    See below for Vävstuga Basics dates in 2016!

     Linens – Seed to Cloth August 31-Sept 4 – held at the beautiful Flax Studio

     linen-seedremoval linen-studio linen-pears

    Nordic Deflection Sept 21-25 – with Lisa Hill

    shift-bw  Lisa Hill

    Swedish and Latvian Knitting Weekend October 10-11 – with Beth Brown-Reinsel

    Latvian Mitts1000  beth-br knitting-twined 

    Swedish Classics Oct 12-16 – just one space left for our Basics Alumni!

    classics-0226AC classics-0224BV classics-0224BQ classics-0224BK classics-0224AY

    Backstrap Weaving – Three day Andean Pebble Weave Workshop October 23-25 – with Laverne Waddington

    backstrap-purplescarf  laverne backstrap-bands

    Flamboyant Blankets October 26-28 and October 30-November 1 – with Lisa Hill

    blanket01 blanket04 blanket02

    ANNOUNCING! Vävstuga Basics dates in 2016 – Early Bird Special – call to register by September 15th, 2015 – SAVE $30
    Feb 15-19, Feb 29-Mar 4, Mar 21-25, April 4-8, April 18-22, June 20-24, June 27-July 1, Oct 24-28, Oct 31-Nov 4, Nov 7-11

    June 2015

    Special Lilla Loom Sale for the New England Weavers Seminar (NEWS)

    Lilla loom

    Öxabäck Lilla loom

    Visit us at our Vendor Booth at NEWS July 9-12th

    Try out our Lilla loom and get a $100 discount if you buy it at NEWS and take it with you. You’ll save on shipping, too.

    Space-saving, affordable, and beautiful, the Lilla loom is an 8-shaft countermarch available in sizes: 60cm, 80cm, and 100cm. See our video of the loom in action.

    Can’t make it to NEWS? Call to order a Lilla loom between now and NEWS (Friday 7/10) and receive the same $100 discount!

    Our store hours are Tuesday-Friday, 9am-3pm (413) 625-8241.

     

    July 13-17 – NEW TREASURES!

    Choose your project and your price range!  Treasures projects are now priced by meter woven, so you can plan how much you want to spend as you weave these gorgeous projects!

    Check out our new Vävstuga Treasures page to see projects for our Vävstuga Basics alumni such as these beauties and more!

    Treasures Mora Shawl   halvkrabba-runner  cindys-stjerne

     For our Alumni and weavers new to Vävstuga we also offer our One-Day Wonders!

    One Day Wonders Block Damask tablecloth This 8-shaft Block Damask Tablecoth is a delight to weave. We have just a few of these left, and it is a perfect one day project for our Vävstuga Basics alumni. It is exactly the same weave  structure as the block weave you wove in class, just bigger and on a beautiful cottolin warp.

     

    For weavers new to Vävstuga you should see our feast of towels:Towels 1
    Towels 3No experience is needed. These cottolin warps  have endless possibilities of weft striping for your weaving pleasure.

     

     

    bands-rigidpatternslots2Beguiling Bands (independent study) New weavers will love our “one-room schoolhouse” setting, which puts new weavers together in an inspirational environment with experienced weavers.classblock-ragrug

    Swedish Rag Rugs Becky will coach new weavers with your own design using our broad array of rug samples and rag rug books for ideas. A warp of your color choice will be wound and beamed for you ahead of time. You will do your own threading and we will help you tie up the loom for weaving.

     

     Announcing Väv Immersion!

       A very special new 16-week class February 1 -June 3, 2016

    immersion-bassett-514Imagine being immersed in a beautiful rural environment, weaving by day and delving into other textile wonders at night, for an extended period of time.

    Inspired by the weaving class Becky took in Sweden in 1981, and her 35 years of weaving and teaching experience since then, Becky is excited to offer this extensive Väv Immersion program to pass on her legacy and expertise in the Scandinavian weaving tradition. Joining her will be a staff of professionals who will augment her program with additional technical and design offerings. See more details on the class page.

    Vav Immersion pic This comprehensive course includes challenging projects, extensive theory classes, and design inspiration resulting in an experience to be remembered for a lifetime. Acquire a deep foundational knowledge of, and capability with, this age-old craft.

    Space is limited to 4 students with lodging at our beautiful farm studios. Please contact us if you are interested.

     

     

    Fun at Vävstuga Classes!

    Our recent Drawloom and Swedish Kitchen classes were an absolute blast with beautiful results!

    IMG_6004 - Copy   IMG_5979 - Copy  Draw Loom Class May 2015   IMG_5987IMG_5960   IMG_5968  IMG_5963   IMG_5970

    IMG_6095 IMG_6067 IMG_6043

    See our website to plan your summer and fall weaving education. A few spaces still available.

    Barn Benefit Festival – Saturday June 20th – Noon to the wee hours!

     cropped-becky-john-wedding_128-m.jpg80 Bassett Road, Shelburne, MA

    Suggested Donation $35-$50 – or more if you can.

    DONATE NOW – through PAY-PAL

    See detailed flier to print: Barn Benefit Festival spin in 2015

    Balkan Brass Band Our Entertainment !!

    Members of Zlatne Uste – Balkan Brass extraordinaire
    Donka & Nikolay – Bulgaria’s Treasures
    Harris Br. Balkan Band – Party energizers
    Xopo Quintet – Our dedicated hosting band
    Balkan Mind Meld – Gawain-Lysander-Zoe
    Whirlwind Trio – “next generation of contra legends”
    (Aidan Murphy-Marta Bartholemew-Sam Zakon-Anderson)
    Steve-Zakon Anderson – caller

    SCHEDULE
    12-5 pm  A BEAUTIFUL AFTERNOON

    spinning houseWeave with Becky
    Spin with Donka
    Woods walk
    Balkan music

    5pm  POTLUCK SUPPER           Bring a  –  main dish  –  side dish  –  salad  –  dessert
    We provide  —  BEER ON TAP & SNACKS

    6 pm  CONCERT
    Enjoy the exotic tones of a rich variety of music by our incredibly talented musicians

     

    7 pm PARTY & KAFANA

    PARTY(downstairs)
    Contras-Whirlwind
    Zlatne Uste
    Donka & Nikolay
    HBBB
    Balkan Mind Meld
    Xopo

    KAFANA (upstairs)
    Food
    Games
    Tables
    Puzzles
    Fun

     

    Suggested Donation $35-$50 – or more if you can.
    DONATE NOW – through PAY-PAL

    Even if you regrettably cannot attend this event, we welcome you to donate to our cause. You will be doing your part to ensure that our youngsters continue to have the opportunity to learn what makes up the “Fabric of our Lives”.

    For more info contact: office@vavstuga.com

    Future Folk School at 80 Bassett Road

    Future Folk School at 80 Bassett Road

    We expect this to be the first of an ongoing series of fundraising events, the goal being to keep and maintain our property on Bassett road, for the purpose of educating the young, and the young at heart in Folk Crafts, Folk Music, Folk Dance, and in traditional agriculture and forestry as well. Our Folk School is already well on its way in the weaving Department. Those of you who have been to our Barn parties throughout the years know what a wonderful a location we have, and how important it is to continue to maintain and use the property. This barn party will be an opportunity to let people know of the new mission and to raise funds – both for operating expenses and for improvements. Of course, it would be a sample of things to come, too.

    Fabric of Life is an educational organization dedicated to the preservation and passing on of knowledge and skills that enrich our daily lives. We strive to see traditional skills flourish in our modern world and make these educational opportunities available to future generations. Working together creating practical things of beauty not only improves quality of life, but also strengthens communities.
    —————————-
    Vävstuga Weaving School will be collaborating with Fabric of Life on a new 16 week course of study at its Bassett Road Farm Studio.
    Explore our other weaving classes as well.

    May 2015

    Shopping for a new loom?Lilla loom

    Our Lilla loom from Öxabäck is space-saving, affordable and beautiful

    100 cm, 80 cm or 60 cm – 8 shaft countermarch

    • sturdy
    • high-quality craftsmanship
    • agreeable price

    Take advantage of the arrival of our new shipment from overseas. These little looms have been extremely popular. Contact us to reserve one while our current supply lasts.

    New shipment of yarns and equipment just in

    We are well stocked in linens, cottons, cottolin, and wools.
    Visit our beautiful new webstore and yarn playground (now available on iPad) for a really fun shopping experience.

    vav-store-nobanner-650

    Upcoming classes — a few spaces left

    June 1– -3, June 5-–7 
    Weave for the Swedish Kitchen class still has some openings, and we welcome you to choose your favorite colorway, so that you can have a matching set of placemats, napkins, towel, apron and more.

    Colorways #1-4 are on 4 shafts and colorways #5-8 are on 8 shafts.

    Swedish Kitchen classColor wraps 3 - 1 for Kitchen-2

    July 20-24
    Due to popular demand, we have added a new Vävstuga Basics class which is nearly full. Let us know right away if you would like to join this class.

    Basics class

    June 30 -– July 1, July 2-–3
    Come find out why Nordic & Baltic Bands are enjoying such immense popularity now in the US. In 2 days (or stay for all 4) you will learn enough band weaving skills to entertain you at home for a very long time.

    bands-lock

    July 13-17
    Vävstuga Treasures is only a month away. Take a look at our new page with more pictures than ever before to help you pick a beautiful project. Becky will be happy to coach you with your decision.

    Treasures projects

    Just let us know when you want to come and join in the fun.

    March 2015

    Summer weaving week for the young & young at heart

    We are excited to announce a Summer weaving week for ages 10 and up at our Farm Studio in the Barn. We have been asked for years to offer something for a younger group and here it is. We are going to have an absolute blast, so register yourself or your child early (or your neighbor’s or friend’s child).

    Vävstuga Treasures

    We have a Treasures session in full swing right now. We still have a few openings Mar 23–27, if you haven’t gotten around to joining us yet. Call us now! 413-625-8241, or e-mail for scheduling.

    ONE-DAY SPECIAL

    Special opportunity for our Basics alumni: come to our March Vävstuga Treasures session for just one day and weave this beautiful blue and white damask tablecloth. Special one-day price: $99 (plus materials).

    Blue and white damask tablecloth - $99 for one day (plus materials)

    Blue and white damask tablecloth – $99 for one day (plus materials)

    New to Vävstuga?

    Come weave a Rag Rug, Bands, Towel or a Runner this month. Come for a day or a week!

    April 13-17 Basics Class

    We have a few spaces in our April 13-17 Vävstuga Basics class, due to cancellations — join us now.

    Social Media

    We have added Pinterest and Instagram to our site. Join in the fun and check these out. You’ll find all our social media links at the top right of each page of our main site and blog.
    social

    In the news

    You will enjoy Devorah’s blog posts about her experience at a recent Vävstuga Basics class. In this series of posts, she offers wonderfully detailed descriptions and commentary, together with lots and lots of photos.

    Experience a Vävstuga Basics class through the eyes of a recent student

    Experience a Vävstuga Basics class through the eyes of a recent student

    February 2015

    Nordic & Baltic Bands

    Come and explore many styles of band weaving found in Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Lithuania, and beyond — such as Mora bands, Sami bands, Leksands bands, Estonian bands, and Norwegian bands.

    Nordic & Baltic Bands class

    Nordic & Baltic Bands class

    Weave for the Swedish Kitchen

    One warp, infinite possibilities! In this class you spend all of your time playing with colors while learning a variety of new techniques. Take home an impressive pile of beautiful things for your kitchen such as aprons, towels, tablecloths, runners, potholders, napkins and placemats.

    Weave for the Swedish Kitchen class

    Weave for the Swedish Kitchen class

    Two Linens classes

    Linen is an extraordinarily beautiful fiber to work with. Both classes will process flax, spin, & weave.

    Both classes will take place at our Farm Studio, using the quaint and cozy flax house in our spacious backyard, as well as the weaving studio in our lovely 1850s farmhouse. Depending on weather, we can move spinning wheels and band looms out into the garden to take in a breath of country air.

    linen-studio

    Linens: Seed to Cloth (Spinning Focus)

    No Prerequisite! — Everybody is welcome to join this class. We will spend more than half of the time processing flax and spinning, leaving the rest of the time for weaving with beautiful handspun and commercial yarns.

    Linens: Seed to Cloth (Spinning Focus)

    Linens: Seed to Cloth (Spinning Focus)

    Linens: Seed to Cloth (Weaving Focus)

    This class will focus on valuable techniques for weaving with linen, and will also include ample time for spinning and processing flax.

    Linens: Seed to Cloth (Weaving Focus)

    Linens: Seed to Cloth (Weaving Focus)

    Lapilised Vööd (Lapilised Belts)

    An absolutely beautiful band weaving book from Estonia, produced by the same group as the popular Eesti Kirivööd and with the same attention to detail. In Estonian. See our book preview video.

    Lapilised Vööd (Lapilised Belts) book

    Lapilised Vööd (Lapilised Belts) book, with preview video

    Norwegian Pickup Bandweaving

    A beautiful new band book English about Norwegian pick-up band weaving, from its fascinating history to beautiful bands you can make yourself, including more than 100 pattern charts from bands in museum collections. See our book preview video.

    Norwegian Pickup Bandweaving

    Norwegian Pickup Bandweaving book, with preview video

    Överhogdal Tapestries

    The enigmatic Överhogdal tapestries are one of Europe’s great textile treasures. In Swedish and English.

    Överhogdal Tapestries

    Överhogdal Tapestries book

    New product: warping trapeze

    Purchase our handmade trapeze uprights, crossbars, and trapeze trappings, sold separately, to warp by yourself with ease the Vävstuga way. See also our video about Using a warping trapeze.

    Vävstuga trapeze uprights

    Vävstuga warping trapeze

    Welcome to Emily, our new apprentice!

    We are pleased to welcome Emily Walsh as our new apprentice.

    emily-llamas-optim

    In the news

    Blog and newsletter articles featuring stories and photos about Vävstuga:

    New class offering: Sagas, Stripes & Fluff with Weft

    February 2–6, 2015

    We offer a special opportunity during the first week of February.

    This class has no prerequisite, though some weaving experience is recommended.

    If you’re intrigued by our new class but are not available at such short notice, please do let us know of your interest. That will help us plan our scheduling in the future.

    Amazing variety of textiles

    Learn new techniques with Becky in this special new class and discover the multitude of weaves that focus on weft. Experience first-hand the amazing variety of textiles — fluffy or flat, drapey or dense — that can sometimes even be woven on the same warp. Come away with beautiful new weavings destined for rugs, bags, hangings, yardage, upholstery, or your other favorite project.

    Photo gallery

    Gubbatäcke

    Master the mystery behind the famous Swedish Gubbatäcke. This six shaft weave will keep you endlessly entertained as you create your own “saga” behind the motifs.

    Corduroy

    Weave your own pelt coverlet backing in Corduroy. Not all of us can afford those sheepskins, so here is your chance to learn how to weave your own fluffy backing.

    Rosepath

    Rosepath, Bound Rosepath, Krokbragd and Dubbel krokbragd can amazingly be done all on the same warp with the same threading. Combining all
    four of these techniques in one piece will mystify your weaving comrades.

    Weft-faced Ticking

    Weft-faced Ticking in linen or wool makes an elegant and durable upholstery fabric. Becky learned this weaving technique in her initial class in Sweden in 1981, but this is the first time she has presented it to one of her own classes at Vävstuga.

    Dubbelbindning with rag weft

    Dubbelbindning with rag weft. Dubbelbindning is a double-faced block weave that can make some of the most beautiful rugs, whether the weft is rags or wool.

    Plain weave

    Plain weave can create lovely drapey fabric for clothing when the right sett is used. What a joy to weave, being so simple, yet visually complex.

    Dubbelbindning with wool weft.

    Dubbelbindning with wool weft. Dubbelbindning is a double-faced block weave that can make some of the most beautiful rugs, whether the weft is rags or wool.

    Flossa and Rya

    Seeing the color deepen as you cut the pile of your first Flossa and Rya knots is magic. Tying these knots on the warp quickly becomes addictive once your hands try it out.

    Details

    Instructor: Becky Ashenden
    Max enrollment: 8
    Course fee: $850 (includes all instruction and studio time, course handouts, lunch Mon–Fri)
    Materials fee: $95
    Room & board: $450 (includes lodging Sun–Thurs evenings, breakfast Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Thurs)
    Schedule: Studio open 8am–7pm, instruction time 9am–7pm (studio closes at 5pm on Friday)
    Dates offered: February 2–6, 2015

    Special discount

    Vävstuga Basics class is not a prerequisite for this course, so we are pleased to welcome all weavers. If you are one of our alumni, invite a friend new to Vävstuga to join you, and each of you will get 10% off the course fee.

    December 2014

    Vävstuga has been bustling this month with our usual flurry of projects, including the setup of a warp-weighted loom gifted to us during December Vävstuga Treasures. We offer you 3 new book reviews on YouTube, flax for spinning, and several other exciting new products in our web store. Happy browsing…

    New in our webstore

    • Flax & spinning equipment:
      We now have flax stricks back in stock, for spinning your own beautiful linen yarns. We are excited to announce also an entire new Spinning Equipment section of our store, featuring a selection of quality spinning wheels and accessories made by Ashford Handicrafts in New Zealand. Our popular Linens class offers a great opportunity to come spin and weave with fellow enthusiasts.
    • Öxabäck warping mills and tube stand:
      We now carry Öxabäck warping mills in two sizes, and a beautiful new Öxabäck tube stand that holds 13 tubes, along with our range of other warping equipment. In our product demo video, Becky shows off the perfect proportioning and admirable stability of the tabletop warping mill.
    • Glimåkra reeds:
      We now have Glimåkra reeds back in stock in a wide variety of sizes. These are an economical choice and are lightweight, made in the traditional way with cord wrappings on a wooden spine. The flexible dents are made with thinner steel than the American reeds, which can be an advantage in sleying the reed (especially fine reeds).
    our new Spinning Equipment department

    our new Spinning Equipment department

    New books & book previews

    This month’s additions are especially centered around the theme of flax and linen, in celebration of our newly added spinning equipment. Check out our signature preview videos that Becky has created, where you can watch her leaf through the book and describe its charms.

    Warp-weighted loom

    We have an intriguing new toy in our studio: Deb Holcomb was kind enough to gift to Vävstuga a beautiful replica of a warp-weighted loom that her husband built.

    The warp-weighted loom is an ancient and simple loom which may have first been used during the Neolithic period in central Europe (around 7,000 BC). The loom has two vertical upright poles that lean against a wall, with the warp yarns hanging freely from a horizontal warp beam at the top. Bundles of warp threads are tied to hanging loom weights, which keep the threads taut while two horizontal rods are moved to create the shed. This type of loom was common throughout Europe and Asia and has remained in use in Scandinavia into modern times.

    warp-weighted loom

    L: Deb Holcomb at the warp-weighted loom; R: Becky channeling her inner Viking while weaving

    Treasures class photos

    Our last two Treasures classes of 2014 were filled with gorgeous projects woven by wonderful weaving friends. Here are just a few of them — by Lisa, Laurie, Mary, Barbara M., Francine, and Barbara H. — for your admiration and inspiration. See these and lots more cameos of student work on our FaceBook page.

    Treasures projects Nov-Dec 2014

    Highlights from Treasures Classes Nov-Dec 2014

    Ravelry & social media

    Calling all Vävstuga alumni who have been requesting a place to stay in touch and share all your beautiful projects with your classmates! We now have a brand new Vävstuga Ravelry group, open to all interested fiber artists (it’s free and easy to create an account on Ravelry). You can post photos, participate in discussions, and draw inspiration from friends old and new. We also have an active FaceBook presence, and you can subscribe to our increasingly active YouTube channel if you’d like to know when we’ve posted new book previews or product how-tos.

    Join our community on Ravelry

    Like us on FaceBook

    Subscribe to us on YouTube

    Follow us on Twitter

    Vävstuga group on Ravelry

    Vävstuga group on Ravelry

    November 2014

    Brand new loom: The Öxabäck Lilla

    We are excited to be offering the Öxabäck Lilla loom — it’s a dream come true! This high-quality loom is beautiful, sturdy, compact, and it’s even collapsible to save space in your studio. Best of all, the pricing is surprisingly affordable. It’s available in weaving widths of 60 cm (24″), 80 cm (31″), or 100 cm (39″). Place your order now for February delivery.

    The Öxabäck Lilla loom: beautiful, sturdy, compact, and affordable

    The Öxabäck Lilla loom: beautiful, sturdy, compact, and affordable

    New book: Estonian Bands

    Check out our unbelievably gorgeous new band weaving book, Eesti Kirivööd (Estonian Bands). The pictures and printing are of extremely high quality; each of the over 200 intricately patterned antique bands is accompanied by a clear multicolored draft. This is truly a miraculous treasure chest of material that would otherwise only be available if you travel to Estonia and do extensive museum research. Please pass this information to all of your band weaving friends: we never know how long a foreign book will be available, so it is good to take advantage of this opportunity now.

    Welcome to our apprentice Melissa

    We welcomed Melissa Rudder to the Vävstuga family last July as a part-time apprentice for this late summer/fall season. She is weaving beautiful things, as well as doing invaluable work for us here at the school.

    Vävstuga apprentice Melissa Rudder

    Vävstuga apprentice Melissa Rudder

    Good news for iPad users

    We are pleased to report that our amazing Yarn Playground shopping tool is now accessible on your iPad or other tablet.

    playground-mora-600

    Class photos

    We’ve just had three wonderful back-to-back classes full of enthusiastic Basics students. For more photos of happy students and their proud accomplishments, visit us on Facebook.

    students from one of our recent Basics classes show off their fine handiwork

    students from one of our recent Basics classes show off their fine handiwork

    October 2014

    ENROLL NOW!

    There’s still plenty of space available in our 2015 Classes.

    Some of our new offerings:

    • Linens: Seed to Cloth

      Experience the entire invigorating process of growing flax, turning it into various types of linen yarn, both tow and line, and then weaving it into cloth.

    • Linens class

      Linens class

    • The Swedish Kitchen

      Weave tablecloths, aprons, towels, and napkins of exquisite and complementary design.

    • Nordic Deflection

      Explore multi-shaft structures that perform amazing grid-defying feats, using loom-controlled structures with interlacements that allow for movement, texture and curving lines.

    • Deflection class

      Deflection class

    • Flamboyant Blankets

      A special weft-faced technique produces a thick and luxurious blanket, with front and back sides showing two different colors and patterns.

    • Garn to Garment

      Weave exquisite yardages in a variety of our beautiful yarns and sew something to wear.

    Band weaving opportunities:

    • More Swedish Classics

      A rare opportunity to delve into a whole smörgåsbord of projects including rep weave, bands, smålandsväv, lace, jämtlandsdräll, and ticking.

    • More Swedish Classics class

      More Swedish Classics class

    • Vävstuga Treasures

      An opportunity to receive individual coaching and create beautiful handwoven items that you might not tackle at home.

    • Backstrap Weaving with Laverne

      Scandinavia meets the Andes: compare their different traditions of pickup band weaving. Becky is looking forward to taking this class herself; come join in the fun.

    The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that a couple of our newest classes now have slightly different titles. We are so excited about some of our new offerings that as the ideas develop and improve, so do their names.

    New in our webstore

    Interview with Becky

    Karen gives us a followup interview with Becky, part 1 and part 2.

    Karen's interview includes some charming photos

    Karen’s interview includes some charming photos