Come experience a tranquil time at Vävstuga where you will receive individual coaching, one project at a time.
Instructor: Becky Ashenden (available 9 am – 7 pm, except for a mid-day break)
Max enrollment: 9
Session fee: Session I (Mon–Wed) $225, Session II (Thu–Fri) $150, plus $30 per project (includes a project sheet and studio time). Pre-payment is required and non-refundable; see our cancellation policy.
Materials fee: $50+ (we weigh the woven projects and charge by the ounce)
Room & board: lodging available $55/night; meals not provided
Schedule: Studio open 9 am – 7 pm (except last day of each session, which ends at 5 pm); Becky will be available during these hours except for a mid-day break
Dates offered: (2012)
November 12–14 (class full; waiting list only);
(2012) Session 2:
November 15–16 (class full; waiting list only);
(2013) Session 1: Apr 8–10, Nov 11–13;
(2013) Session 2: Apr 11–12, Nov 14–15
Take advantage of this opportunity to step beyond your realm of experience, no matter what that level might be. Students will be able to concentrate on their selected project and Becky will be on hand to get you started and to assist you as needed. We offer a Mon–Wed session and/or a Thu–Fri session. The larger projects require all five days.
Each piece may be large or small, simple or wildly complicated. (See below for more about choosing a project.) We offer you the opportunity to create beautiful handwoven items that you might not tackle at home. We hope that you might chose a fiber new to you, a new technique, or simply a wonderful combination of many colors that you have not tried before. And, of course, our beautiful Swedish yarns will be well represented in the project choices, enabling participants to familiarize themselves with the variety of materials that we have to offer.
Possibilities could include but will not be limited to:
- Elegant single ply linen tablecloths (plain weave, damask, and beyond)
- Exquisitely traditional tablecloths (overshot, halvdräll, såldräll, jämtlandsdräll)
- Luxurious and cozy blanket or coverlet (multishaft twill, overshot, double weave or smålandsväv)
- Beautifully patterned traditional Swedish rep rug (16/2 cotton warp and string yarn weft )
- Yardage for clothing (2–12 treadles, using a variety of yarns and structures)
- Refreshing curtain panels (using some of our finest cotton and linen yarns)
How to choose a project
Follow these steps to select your first project for each session. Participants will then be allowed to move to new projects as other looms become available.
- Please peruse our Vävstuga Treasures photo gallery below to choose your first project in a session. Note that for most projects, you have a broad choice of weft yarn colors; we have also notated each project's approximate width, along with its loom type (Standard or Ideal) and size. If in doubt, just call or email us and we'll coach you on an appropriate choice.
- Once you have selected a project from the gallery below, check to see whether it is still available: the Treasures Calendar (coming soon for 2013) indicates which projects are already reserved for specific days.
- Please contact us to place your requests. We'll discuss them with you, as there are loom logistics to be worked out.
If you especially want to work on something that's not in our current lineup below, in some cases we are able to set up a custom project. (See our Past projects and Project wish list for inspiration.) This option requires a $400 nonrefundable deposit. Please contact us if you'd like to pursue this path.
Current projects, 2013
damask linen tablecloth 16/1 linen warp, 16/1 linen weft colors, width 121 cm [150 cm Standard]
Woven on 10 shafts. A genuine satin damask tablecloth in singles linen is such a gratifying achievment! Come find out what a pleasure it is to experience the methodical and relaxed rhythm of weaving linen while creating this heirloom piece.
Inspired by the popular book Östgötadräll: Vävda sängtäcken från Östergötland (Woven coverlets from Östergötland) by Ann-Sofie Svansbo, this seemingly complex coverlet is relatively easy to weave, requiring only one shuttle at a time. It is the same concept as our block weave from Vävstuga Basics class, using four treadles for each of the two blocks, for a total of eight treadles. Endless amounts of fun can be had choosing colors for this piece. A tablecloth could also be woven on the same warp using 16/1 linen, creating a totally different magnificent heirloom.
The original inspiration for this piece is a Norwegian coverlet traditionally mounted on a sheepskin backing, but it could just as easily be woven into a beautiful table covering, or yardage for just about anything you can imagine. The fine yarn and small float size could even make it appropriate for clothing. Imagine a blouse or dress with delicately patterned stripes or borders. Every color of the rainbow will be beautiful on this solid black warp.
monks belt warp & weft 16/2 and 8/2 cotton warp, 16/2 cotton weft colors, width 90 cm [100 cm Ideal]
We have all fallen in love with this adorable tablecloth, which uses a supplemental warp for monks belt patterning in the warp direction in addition to monks belt stripes in the weft. This requires a total of 6 shafts and 6 treadles tied up in their own special way. Our warp of 2 greys can be swayed in any direction color-wise, depending on weft color choices. An apron can be easily woven on this warp as well as yardage for a wide variety of purposes.
monks belt pick up 20/2 linen warp, Fårö weft colors / width ~65 cm [loom size TBA]
This exquisite piece is also extremely engaging to do, and as far as pickup goes, it doesn't get easier than this. You can copy the design from our source or use it as an inspiration to create your own. The monks belt motifs are woven on a weft faced ground in our beautiful Faro single play wool.
krabba & rosepath 16/3 linen warp, Fårö weft colors / width 56 cm [70 cm Ideal]
Krabba is an extremely engaging pickup technique woven upside down on the loom. We have been amazed how the hours just fly by as the pattern slowly emerges. No boredom here, and endless possibilities for color combinations and patterns! This technique has a very strong tradition in southern Sweden where the "well to do" farm girls had enough time on their hands to create incredible works of art. Becky studied this technique (among others) with Gunvor Johansson in Sweden for a week in September 2011. She came back with inspiration and enthusiasm to share with her students.
dubbel krokbragd rug 8/3 linen rug warp, Mattgarn weft colors / width 66 cm [70 cm Ideal]
Our Double Krokbragd rug has produced breathtaking results for each student who has taken the plunge. Since it is entirely weft faced, the use of color presents an opportunity for the artist in each one of us to come out, whether we knew it was there or not. Most weavers start in the comfort zone of copying a motif or two to gain an understanding of how the treadling creates the patterns, then it becomes easy to diverge from that and create your own endless patterns -- all made with just three treadles.
rya and flossa 8/3 linen rug warp, Åsborya wool weft colors / width as requested
Weaving Rya or Flossa (longer sparser pile, shorter denser pile) rugs is a time-consuming and extremely engaging and FUN process. The experience is entirely different from throwing a shuttle, but it definitely has its own rhythm and is very satisfying. It is an opportunity to "paint" with the yarns, blending colors to create every nuance imaginable. Pattern choice is of course overwhelming, because it can be absolutely anything. We have incredible resources in our library that Becky can direct you to, which can be a very helpful for planning your project. There is no need to work this out ahead of time, it can all be done here and is considered part of the entire process. (See our YouTube movie about this project)
Barbro's daldräll 30/2 cotton warp, 16/2 linen weft colors / width 78 cm [100 cm Ideal]
Barbro's Daldräll is an absolutely beautiful overshot tablecloth. Becky's sample is woven entirely in cotton, giving it a very soft and lovely hand. There is no reason it could not be woven in linen if you desire. Something that sets this use of overshot apart, is that one of the "tables" (square area of pattern) uses only one of the four pattern treadles, while the other "table" uses the other three pattern treadles. The end result gives rather open-looking areas around the tables, which is one of the reasons this piece is so attractive.
Viktoria linen plainweave 16/1 linen warp, 16/1 linen weft colors / width ~90 cm [100 cm Ideal]
Weaving a plain weave tablecloth with single ply linen as warp and weft is a unique experience. Our high quality 16 singles linen is strong and lovely to work with. There is a unique feel to the beater each time it hits the fell, that is the quintessential linen weaving experience. The selvedge is reinforced by using our 35/2 linen lace yarn, and combined with proper handling of the shuttle, the student gets satisfaction out of making beautiful linen selvedges.
Current projects, 2012 only
Greek wall hanging 12/6 cotton rug warp, Mattgarn weft colors, width 58 cm [70 or 100 cm Ideal]
Why Greece, you may ask? This is in fact out of an older Swedish book so some of you may recognize it. It uses a technique commonly found throughout the world known as "krabba" to Swedish weavers. This is a counted thread inlay technique that is extremely engaging once you get going. You weave the piece upside down, and due to the heavier weight of the fibers, it is easy to see the pattern, count the threads, and it grows more quickly than the traditional finer patterns in the same technique. We have enough warp left for just one of these.
duk fest ("party cloth") 8/2 cotton / width 100 cm [100 cm Ideal]
As our Vävstuga Basics alumni know, 8/2 cotton is a breeze and delight to weave with. This tablecloth offers the opportunity of weaving with this friendly yarn, in a situation requiring many color changes and an even beat. Weaving this tablecloth with us will reward you with many tips on how to achieve both of these with ease.
double width blanket Tuna wool warp, Tuna weft colors / width ~110 cm (opens to ~220 cm) [120 cm Ideal]
Satisfy your curiosity about the mystique of weaving a double width blanket. This blanket gets woven in two layers with a fold on the left hand side. When you take the blanket off the loom, you unfold it and voila, there is your full width blanket. Simply amazing!
rutor, daldräll square 20/2 cotton warp, 16/1 linen weft colors / width 45 cm [70 or 100 cm Ideal]
"Daldräll" is the Swedish word for overshot. This beautiful little square is delicate and fun to weave. It can also be woven as a runner by elongating the middle, or simply repeating the square motifs, or by any other creative means. The project is threaded on four shafts; it has two tabby treadles and four pattern treadles.
damask runner 16/2 cotton, 16/1 linen weft colors / width 52 cm [120 cm Std]
This black satin warp has two blocks of five shaft satin, using a total of 10 shafts and 10 treadles. The color choices and the size of the blocks are completely up to the weaver. Many of Vävstuga's alumni have woven this already, each piece being unique and stunningly gorgeous. It is pleasant and fun to weave, requiring only one shuttle at a time, and a comfortable "thunk" with the beater. It could even be a beautiful pillow cover woven in wool.
6 shaft Smålandsväv
24/2 natural cotton warp, Tuna weft colors / width 100cm [120 cm Std]
We are proud to offer this incredible opportunity to weave a small coverlet in this beautiful 6 shaft Smålandsväv technique. This technique has a challenging and exacting threading using two sets of shafts. Plain weave shafts sit at the back of the loom, and each thread also goes through a long-eye heddle at the front of the loom. Take advantage of this opportunity to weave something you might not tackle at home that is stunningly beautiful. These coverlets are traditionally mounted on sheepskins, and we are currently working with a local sheepskin tailor to re-create these timeless beauties once used in sleighs and on beds throughout Scandinavia. The smaller ones are still currently used by Scandinavians and baby carriages, as they have their babies take naps outside year-round even to this day. Sorry, this project is sold out.
tablecloth in stramalj
16/1 linen warp, 16/1 linen weft colors / width 116 cm [120 cm Std]
This unusual tablecloth woven in 16 singles linen both warp and weft. It is exquisite and delicate, but fairly quick and easy to weave. The ground weave is a basket weave, using two threads together in warp and weft, and the lacy part is just a larger scale basket weave. This combination of structures does require 10 shafts and 10 treadles, giving this project the feel of being big and fancy, but without the frustration of being overly complicated to execute. The neutral tones of the sample are beautiful as they are, but using other colors to weave with can bring this piece to a whole new dimension. Sorry, this project is sold out.
red/gold rep rug
16/2 cotton warp, string yarn weft / width 99 cm [120 cm Std]
This powerful red and gold rep rug uses the timeless monks belt motif in a stunningly successful contemporary fashion. Choosing to come and weave this rug here with us saves you threading the thousands of threads onto 10 shafts, not to mention sleying the fine reed and tying up the 10 treadles. The weaver is not restricted to weaving the original design, as each block (10 possible blocks to pick from) can be woven to the length desired, giving the opportunity for endless design possibilities. Sorry, this project is sold out.
wool shawl in twill
Mora (20/2) wool, Mora weft colors / width ~140 cm [150 cm Std]
We are offering this very special shawl on our widest loom, with fringe on all four sides. It is woven in 8 shaft twill using four colors of our finest wool yarn, the soft 20/2 Mora wool. The warp was prepared for you by winding over 20 skeins of this very fine wool onto drums in order to wind the warp, which has then been beamed, threaded, sleyed, and tied up to 8 treadles for your weaving pleasure. This piece has a wide throw of the shuttle, but a soft beat, creating a light and delicate shawl as a result. Sorry, this project is sold out.
Photos from Mera Fint att Vava used with permission from Ann-Kristin Hallgren;
photos from Gamla Svenska Vavnader från nor till soder used by permission from Doris Wiklund;
photos from Favorite Scandinavian Projects to Weave used by permission from Tina Ignell.