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  • 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.

    Susanna Robbins passes on

    It is with heartfelt sadness that we inform friends of Vävstuga that Susanna Robbins passed away on April 1, 2009.

    A partner in the organization, she 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.

    Susanna Robbins

    February 2009

    Because of an outstanding enrollment in our February & March Basics classes we have added yet another Vävstuga Basics Class to the schedule, May 4-8th.

    Mark your calendars with Vävstuga Days April 28 – May 2. We are planning lots of beautiful Spring warps for your weaving pleasure. Bring your friends!

    The following week-long classes still have some openings:

    • Heirlooms, March 30-April 3.
      Come experience a variety of beautiful traditional Swedish techniques as well as fine-tuning your loom dressing and weaving skills.
    • Curtains and Drapes, May 18-22
      We have been researching some beautiful drafts for this class. We plan to have beams wound ahead of time to ensure more weaving time for each student.

    The following 2-day classes have openings:

    • Dubbelbinding Rug, March 23-24
      Striking designs are possible in this technique. the high quality linen warp along with either wool or cotton rags in the weft make a very sturdy and beautiful rug.
    • Traditional Rosepath, May 11-12
      Learn to design and weave these timeless geometric patterns. if you enjoy playing with colors, you will love this class.
    • Bound Rosepath, May 14-15
      This one-sided weave allows for very detailed geometric patterns, or actual pictures of people, animals, houses, or anything else imaginable that can be drawn symmetrically on a width of five squares. We will spend time learning to design as well as weave this intriguing technique.

    It’s a blog!

    The Vävstuga News has spiffy new infrastructure! We’re now running WordPress for a full-fledged interactive blog experience. Stay tuned for an update about how this will interact with your mailing list and other notification options.

    New books, new Basics class

    Check out our 8 new books in the bookstore!

    We have added a Basics class to the calendar for May 4-8.