Vävstuga Basics

Developed to give everyone the same foundation in Becky's warping and weaving techniques.
(Why does everyone need Basics?)

Instructor: Becky Ashenden

Dates offered 2020:
Feb 24–28, Mar 9–13, Jul 13–17, Jul 27–31, Aug 10–14, Aug 24–28 (class full; waiting list only)
Mar 23–27, Apr 6–10, Apr 20–24, Dec 7–11 (canceled for covid-19)

Want to get in sooner than the waitlist? We've added another opportunity for those of you who have not yet attended Basics: you can now join us for Vävstuga Favorites and set up an "EASY" level project of your own.

We use Glimåkra looms for our teaching because they are a joy to weave on when used correctly. Whether you are a beginner or master weaver, the Basics class presents excellent training in the fundamentals of warping, weaving, and drafting. Basics covers the broadest range of weaving skills we have to offer.

In this five-day class, we spend the first two days dressing the looms. We wind warps on a mill with a multi-strand cross and pre-sley the reed to wind onto the back beam. Topics covered include: time-saving techniques for warping, using a warping mill, beaming using a trapeze, and beaming for perfect tension. After focusing on comfort while threading the heddles and sleying the reed, students will learn about the efficiency and accuracy of the Vävstuga tie-up system. You'll learn about the advantages of both the countermarch and counterbalance systems.

The three weaving days that follow offer a variety of experiences, including the basic skills of winding a pirn, handling a shuttle and using the hanging beater. Students will gain confidence using a temple and learn how to create beautiful selvedges. Different methods of fixing broken threads are also covered. Becky will help you fit the loom to your body so you can weave comfortably.

We teach drafting using the Swedish method, which is very clear because "what you see is what you get." Drawdowns, tie-ups and record-keeping are taught in a classroom setting and are directly applicable to the projects in the class.

Each student may complete four projects in five days:

  • A small cotton tablecloth in plain weave
  • A twill towel in cottolin and linen
  • A wool throw in twill
  • A linen block weave on 8 shafts

These class projects are pictured below.

Blankets will be finished and fulled.

You will learn to use your loom to its full potential. Although we specialize in Glimåkra and other countermarch/counterbalance looms, the skills taught in this class will improve your weaving on any loom. This class offers plenty for everyone!

basics class

Some comments from recent students in a Basics class:

Thank you so much for the wonderful week of weaving. I had high expectations for the class - which were all exceeded. I really appreciated the logistics and choreography that went into planning and executing such a large amount of information for a diverse group of students. I learned more than I can currently process, so I'll have to come back!
--Kim Kortenhof, Two Rivers, Alaska

Having never woven on a multi-shaft loom before in my life, I was a bit apprehensive about what an intense week of weaving might entail. Thanks to you, I am, after just five days of Becky's fabulous teaching, now comfortable at the loom. I'm going home with beautiful projects, and perhaps even more importantly, a sense of how community works among people with a burning passion for the fantastic art of weaving. Thank you for an unforgettable week!
--Anna Bendiksen, Wheaton, Illinois

Many thanks for a fantastic unforgettable week of weaving, fun and fellowship. I now, finally, feel like a true weaver.
--Pat Billing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

What a great week of weaving boot camp, what fun. Becky, you're a terrific teacher; Susan, you keep it all together. Learned a lot, inspiration flowed, thank you! And shopping was very fun!
--Joan Namkoong, Kamuela, Hawaii

Was there a mistake I didn't make? Yes? I'll be back for another class to make sure I make it and learn to fix it. Becky and Susan, thank you for an incredible week of weaving and fabulous stay. I've woven not only cloth, but memories, friendships, and knowledge into all my weaving. Thank you! Looking forward to the next trip back.
--Mary Underwood, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Current projects

wool throw

cotton tablecloth

linen block weave

twill towel

Why does everyone need Basics?

Q: I am a very experienced weaver, so why do I need to take the Vävstuga Basics class?

A: Every experienced weaver has her own tried and true methods that work very well for her. These "tried and true methods" can vary dramatically from weaver to weaver, through years of practice and experience.

Throughout Becky's decades of production weaving and intensive teaching, she has developed her own unique set of skills and techniques which she is enthusiastic to share with other weavers. Even weavers with similar training to hers, who have developed their own style over time, are invariably happy to add more knowledge to their already vast repertoire. Each student will leave the class with as much new knowledge as he can retain. New weavers will have a rewarding and inspiring experience and retain what they can. Experienced weavers will be able to latch onto more details, which their presence in the class will inspire. Vävstuga Basics offers plenty for everyone!

Location: Water Street Studio

Prerequisites: none

Max enrollment: 12

Course fee: $850 (includes all instruction and studio time, course handouts, lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Thu)

Materials fee: $115

Room & board: $450 (includes lodging Sun–Thu evenings, breakfast Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Wed)

For more detail: See also costs & logistics, food & accommodations

Days offered: Five-day session, Monday–Friday

Schedule: Studio open 8:30–6:00, instruction time 9:00–noon and 2:00–5:00. Exceptions: on the last day, instruction ends at noon, and checkout must be completed by 3:00.