(2023) Vävstuga Basics

Developed to give everyone the same foundation in Becky’s warping and weaving techniques.
(Why does everyone need Basics? Does our Video Basics class count?)

Instructors: Becky Ashenden & Eva Gaultney

Dates offered 2023:May 15–19, May 22–26, Jun 5–9, Jun 26–30, Jul 17–21, Jul 24–28, Aug 14–18, Aug 21–25, Oct 2–6

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. 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!

5 packed days, 3 projects

Blanket in twill – plan and make it from the very beginning on your own loom

Towel in plain weave on our “Lilla” loom, set up and ready to go

Block damask square in 100% linen on 8 shafts, set up and ready to go

Optional – wind a towel warp to take home

Mon & Tue

Setup days

In this five-day class, we spend the first two days dressing the looms. We wind warps with a multi-strand cross and pre-sley the reed to wind onto the back beam.

Hands-on topics include:

  • Time-saving techniques for warping using a warping mill
  • Beaming using a trapeze
  • Beaming for perfect tension
  • Comfort while threading the heddles and sleying the reed
  • Efficiency and accuracy of the Vävstuga tie-up system

Wed & Thu

Weaving days

Once you gain familiarity and comfort weaving on your blanket, we start to rotate onto the towel and damask projects.

Hands-on topics include:

  • Proper bench height for comfort
  • Winding a quill
  • Handling a shuttle
  • Advantageous use of hanging beater
  • Using a temple, and learning when it is and isn’t needed for a project
  • Making great selvedges
  • Fixing broken warp threads
  • Advantages of both the countermarch and counterbalance systems
  • Finishing and fulling your blanket


Classroom learning

We teach drafting using the Swedish method, which is very clear because “what you see is what you get.”

Classroom topics include:

  • Record-keeping, in the form of a detailed project sheet for each of our three projects
  • Introduction to drafting: what is it and why is it useful?
  • Analyzing tie-ups, threadings, and treadlings from drawdowns
  • Introduction to profile drafts
  • Multitudinous examples will bring the “on paper” drafting to life
Basics course

Basics blankets

Basics course

blanket closeup

Basics course

cottolin towel

Basics course

towel closeup

Basics course

block damask

Basics course

block closeup

Basics course

design class

Basics course

designing the blanket

Basics course

blanket warp on mill

Basics course

threading the blanket

Basics course

weaving the blanket

Basics course

ta-dah’ing the blanket

Basics course

planning & record keeping

Basics course

drafting class

Comments from satisfied Basics students:

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

Why does everyone need Basics?

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!

Does our Video Basics class count?

A: Yes! – AFTER we receive the following completed documentation from you:

  • Photo documentation of all 4 weaving projects in their entirety (4 tablecloths, 4 towels, 2 blankets, 4 damask squares)
  • Photos or scans of 4 project sheets filled out by hand (front and back)
  • Photos or scans of all 5 drafting sheets completed by hand
  • Photo of binder
  • Brief description of your experience taking the video class

A: You can experience these looms here on your first visit.

A: You can schedule a week to come and make your blanket here. Your work will be done independently using the video for instruction, and using one of our larger looms. Contact us for scheduling and pricing.

Prerequisites: none

Max enrollment: 6

Course fee: $950 (includes all instruction and studio time, course handouts, lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Thu)

Materials fee: $115

Days offered: Five-day session, Monday–Friday

Schedule: Instruction time 9:00–noon and 1:30–4:00. Exceptions: on the last day, instruction ends at noon, and checkout must be completed by 3:00. Once a session begins, the Barn studio is available at all hours.

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