Happy New Year 2017!


Happy Hands, Happy Hearts, Happy New Year 2017!


Several years ago we began a family tradition of creating art together.  For over a decade we had taken classes individually at both Talking Colors and Rush In Art Academy.  Then five winters ago, the four of us took a painting class all together for the first time with Natalyia at Rush In Art.  We had so much fun we took another class the next winter.  The following winter when Natalyia went on vacation, we decided we would continue the tradition at home.  At first we all painted a similar theme, then different themes and this year we’ve mixed textiles and paper folding along side the painting.


In honor of the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st in Washington D.C., we gathered with dear friends to knit warm woolly pink hats which are part of the Pussy Hat Project. Local yarn shop Spun is hosting it’s second knit-in on Sunday, January 15th to finish off the hats and send them to Washington DC.  There are Sister Marches all around the USA and the World!  Locally in Ann Arbor the Women’s March will be held downtown – January 21, 2017 • 2:00 PM.  I plan to participate – where will you march?


December 2016

Evergreens, beewax candles, stacking dolls, dalarna horse, along with my handwovens brought cheer to welcome the winter.


Balsam Sachets – I was inspired this summer to make little balsam sachet pillows after reading KerryCan’s  Love Those “Hands at Home” Blog post about her balsam pillows.  I immediately ordered two large bags of ground balsam fir to insure I would follow through on the project.  Throughout the late summer and autumn the aroma drifted from the balsam bags calling me to create a handwoven fabric worthy of this amazing scent – colors that said balsam, evergreen, winter.  Then in early December, I wove with Swedish cottolin using the last of the M and O’s dishcloth warp alternating three to five shuttles of colors to create the fabric I’ve dreamed of for many months.

Then…came the decision of shape.  I was inspired by Tonya’s Handwoven Ornaments and decided to create a sachet to represent the balsam tree.   After chatting with Tonya about her process, went to a local quilting store to find the best interfacing to iron onto the handwoven fabric.  My goal was to support the fabric and also keep the balsam from poking through the handwoven threads.   Some people ask me if it was hard to cut my handwoven fabric.  My answer, no….I wove it to cut it.  The hard part was really just the slow part – stuffing the balsam into the small holes created by machine sewing and then hand sewing them closed.  These were gifts for the family and they all delighted in this first trial of tammyweaves balsam sachets!

After completing my dishcloth warp for my fundraiser, I still had a few dishcloths that needed woven, so I put on a new warp and wove up 15 more dishcloths for gifts to be given. As I took the dishcloths off the loom, I  noticed my color choices had changed  – they were darker – reflecting the colors of the early mid-west winter.


As winter continues here in Ann Arbor, I ponder the joys of 2016 and the amazing weaving opportunities I have experienced.  The quiet winter morning and the magic of Jack Frost at sunrise awakens my spirits to dream of the warps to soon dance upon the loom.

And, I wonder what creative dreams you are having.  Do share!



Warp a Weaver – December 2016


Last year this time I was in the middle of running Warp A Weaver – an Indiegogo Fundraiser created to fund my attendance at Vävstuga‘s first Väv Immersion Class.  I happily raised %33 of the total amount and took out a soon-to-be-paid loan for the remaining fees. Contributor’s were offered a perk/gift in exchange for their financial gifts. The gifts ranged from handwoven cottolin dish clothes and tea towels to piano and voice lessons.



A few daring souls signed up for the weave your own dish cloth opportunity.  This was the best deal offered during my fundraiser – @ 3 hours of weaving, instruction and materials all for the same price as the pre-woven dish cloth.  Though only five people chose this gift, it was my favorite, as it allowed me to share my love of weaving.


The perks/gifts were woven in my studio on beautiful Swedish handcrafted Glimåkra looms and hemmed on the old featherweight sewing machine my grandmother gave me years ago.  Today I popped the last of these gifts into the mail.  I smile in anticipation knowing that for many of these recipients, it will be the first handwoven item in their home.  And with a bit of luck, it will not be their last!



Loving Your Handwovens

When your package arrives from tammyweaves  – open with care if using a sharp object- for example scissors, as this could cut into your new textile. Feel the difference of handwoven Swedish cottolin. Touch, enjoy, savor the experience.


Your handwoven’s first bath: Soak gently in a bowel of warm water with just a few drops of soap. Gently rinse and squish out water, without twisting or applying strong pressure.  Blot out excess water with a thick towel.  Block your handwoven by laying it to dry so that it is “square” with itself.  Dry on a flat surface or on your favorite clothes line/drying rack.


Ongoing washing:  Your handwoven textiles will become more and more absorbent with each washing. When using your cloth in the kitchen or bath – wash at least once a week. Toss it in the washing machine with towels of similar color or wash by hand in hot sudsy water. Remove from the wash and take a moment to square up and flatten the edges as needed. Line drying is recommended, though my mother always preferred to toss hers in the dryer.  Either way they will shrink a bit with time.  The Swedes put their towels through a mangle to press, so if the iron is your friend, you may delight in ironing your towel and if not, you can simply put your towel back to use as is!

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Dish Cloths: tammyweaves dish cloths have been used daily in my kitchen for over 15 years. Handwoven of Swedish cottolin – a mix of cotton and linen, these cloths will last for years. Note: washing sharp knives with the cloth, risks cutting through the fibers, and is not recommended.  Other than this, you can clean and scrub away at your sink, in the bath or in your home!   Rinse out with hot sudsy water after each use and hang over your facet/sink to dry.  Notice that the cottolin does not mold or hold odors.  This is the beauty of natural fibers.


Tea Towels:  Enjoy these generous sized towels in your kitchen or bath to dry your hands or your dishes.  If you really “just can’t” use it as a towel, enjoy it in your bread basket or  to decorate the top of a table or dresser.   In the Swedish tradition, I’ve sewn loops of woven tape onto the ends of the towel for ease of hanging.  Handwoven in a traditional Sålldräll pattern(M’s and O’s in English) with Swedish cottolin – a mix of cotton and linen, your tea towel could become a family heirloom.  I now have a kitchen drawer filled with handwoven tea towels and wonder how I ever lived without them!


Thank you for your generosity which allowed me to follow my dreams.  Learning, weaving and developing my creativity at Vävstuga may be the very best four months of my life.  I am so very grateful. ~ tammy

Tammy Winding Warp

Tonya’s Wovens

Tonya recently celebrated the completion of six months of Apprenticeship at Vävstuga.  She is now working at Vävstuga and continuing to create and sell her amazing handwoven textiles.

When I visited Vävstuga recently, Tonya gave me a personal show of her many textiles. I was amazed at all she had woven during the summer.  It was close to midnight and after a long day of driving, thus the photo quality varies quite a bit!

Tonya’s Tulip Yardage transformed into a skirt, a reversible apron and beautiful buttons!20160901_22113220160901_22120420160901_22134520160901_221311


















This gorgeous fabric is woven in Jamtlands drall which is known as “crackle” here in the USA.  It was woven durin ghte Vävstuga Treasure’s Class.  Imagine setting the table upon this elegant cloth!






Tonya’s double weave blankets were woven in the early months of the year, but I hadn’t seen them all together.  One warp, resulted in 3 amazing blankets plus Tonya wove a lovely pillow  in shadow weave (photo does not do the pillow justice) to accompany them!


The Rep Class at  Vävstuga happened in May.  And while the Väv Immersion students were busy completing our last few weeks, Tonya was finishing off the Rep warps at the town studio weaving placemats, table runners and rugs.


And she wove tablecloths and bright colored dishtowels in a variety of weave structures, colors, sizes and designs.


And for a bit of fun…Delightful Rosepath Farm scenes, bands, more Rosepath and a yummy wool blanket.


Drawlooms – Tonya and I both fell in loved with them at Vävstuga.  She just keeps designing and weaving more amazing pieces.  These two were woven on the Shaft Draw loom that creates a repeating pattern across the fabric.


These cute Christmas Trees were on the Single Untit Drawloom during my visit.  Tonya plans to make them into something special for the holidays.   I can’t wait to see them.


The Single Unit Drawloom has become a favorite of Tonya’s  Here is her new “weaving sign” – woven of course, with several of her new designs.  Each design takes hours to create on graph paper, and then woven row by row, adjusting the loom to create these each individual pattern.




Tonya’s Wovens Open House

“Come see my handwovens on Friday and Saturday, October 14 and 15, between 5:30-8:30pm and on Sunday the 16th between 1-4pm. Bally Mennonite Church, 1481 Route 100, Bally, PA 19503 .  There will be light refreshments.”

Read more on Tonya’s Wovens Facebook Page

This final photo is of Tonya’s Single Unit Drawloom masterpiece – the Farm.

I hope you have the opportunity to see it in person, as the photo does not do it justice!

Visiting Vävstuga – September 2016

The Barn Studio – What a delight to return for a brief visit at Vävstuga.  The Barn on Bassett Road was filled with looms and handwoven linens.  A beautiful display whispering the delight of the Linens Class which was held in August. I found myself “Ooo-ing” and “Ah-ing” as I walked from loom to loom to display table!  Becky continues to create the most magical weaving spaces!


There’s no place like Vävstuga!  

  • Familiar faces, familiar sights.
  • A beautiful table set by Kim.
  • Kim’s smile as she calls everyone to lunch.
  • Becky, Tonya and Bettie review preparations for the Nordic Classics Classes.
  • The wall of shuttles, reeds and pulleys.
  • Temporarily removed from the loom, this colorful warp remains threaded through heddles and awaits to be retied and woven.
  • Sarah Jean models the first of two aprons woven and sewn during the Swedish Kitchen Class.

At Vävstuga the weaving vibration resonates  so deeply, it pulled me like a magnet to the looms!  I was here to mangle(see tammyweaves – below), with no plans to weave,  yet I had to refrain from begging “please let me weave”.  After weaving daily for four months during Väv Immersion, not weaving at Vävstuga feels like sitting at the dinner table with delicious food aromas wafting about, without eating. So during my visit, when not mangling, I devoured the beautiful weaving books and poured my soul into the joys of what others had woven.


Vävstuga Treasures – I snuck a photo just before the official class photo.  The enthusiasm of these six weavers and their instructor (Becky, joining in on the left) was delightful. Bubbling with joy from a week “beyond the basics” of weaving and instruction, they lingered as long as possible, rather than running out the door immediately after class. How fortunate for me.  I saw photos of beautiful beaded jewelry and hooked rugs, admired apron’s created during another class, assisted with color choices in the store for future weaving projects, and heard stories from the week along with plans for the future.


Bridge of Flowers – Even with all of the excitement from the Swedish Classics weaving class, I desperately wanted to weave.  A walk outside along the bridge of flowers distracted me.  I was reminded that with planning, watering and consistent gardening, one can grow a garden with ongoing blooms late into the summer.  The multitude of pink dahlia’s were my favorites (you are probably not surprised) and there were oh so many varieties!


tammyweaves – Knowing my daughter Allegra would return to college in MA this fall, I planned to combine the trip with a day visit to Vävstuga.  In my big plan, I would spend the entire summer hemming each and every project from the Väv Immersion class and return ready to mangle them all for a beautiful pressed finish.  In reality, life took my energies in a variety of directions.  Still, I was able to hem and thus mangle several of my favorite projects. And what about the lace?  It is Allegra’s beautiful lace – it grew to twice this length – @ 24 inches long.  She is happy now at college and I’ve just returned from a whirlwind trip to Vävstuga – making new friends and visiting with many dear to my heart.  And now the looms, hemming and bobbins call to me….what calls you?

Coming Soon…July/August 2016 tammyweaves – a bit of belated blogging

  • tammyweaves – setting up the weaving studio
  • books from my public library – the essentials and those to delight the senses
  • the garden in July/August – herbs, greens and blossoms

And a Special Interview….Tonya’s Weaving

  • amazing projects woven by Tonya during her 6 month apprenticeship at Vävstuga










tammyweaves…June 2016

Lavender, Father’s Day, Weaving Books

      and the Flax Garden at Vävstuga!


Weaving Lavender Wands welcomed summer to tammyweaves.  The first of two classes met this week to delight in the aroma of lavender and weave wands.  Lavender wands have been woven for centuries and placed in cupboards as a moth repellent while bringing a fresh garden smell one’s clothes.  They last for years – even decades, simply give them a little squeeze to awaken the aroma.


Weaving Books – A weaving book needs to be inspiring, instructional and a delight to read.  I find myself continuing my Väv Immersion  habit of reading weaving books most evenings. Today I’ll share Swedish Weaving books that have made their way over the years to my bookshelf.  These books are sold at Vavstuga and each one is a treasure.


Weave Structures * The Swedish Way   The text for Väv Immersion.  Learn to read Swedish Drafts and understand all of the basic structures in weaving.

The Swedish Weaving Book  ” a fundamental guide for calculating and setting up projects on the loom”. Along with finishing techniques.

Dress your Loom the Vävstuga  Way –  aka “Flippy” A step by step photo guide to warping your loom as taught in Vavstuga Basics.



Warp With a Trapeze & Dance With Your Loom

Kati Reeder Meek  first inspired me to warp with a trapeze and use live-weight tension. I refer often to this book.  Kati is inspiring and wise.










Warp and Weft – Lessons in Drafting for Handweaving  isa great compliment to Weave Structures.  Simpler explanations, more structures.

The Big Book of Weaving is the book to have if you want only one Swedish Weaving book.  It shows how to set up a loom, how to weave, has 2 dozen projects, finishing info and my favorite part – troubleshooting problems and errors!

Old Swedish Weavings from North to South – In January, I would have said, “this book is a beautiful document of projects and I understand how to weave about half of them.” Post Väv Immersion I can say, “I have the ability to weave each project with ease. I love having this new knowledge and am pondering which projects to choose !”


Handdukar (Handtowels) in Swedish  A gift to myself after Basics, this is perhaps my favorite book.  Handtowels, simple and not so simple -I could be inspired to weave forever just from this one book!

Simple Weaves  The projects are simple, yet elegant – blankets, rugs, tableware, pillows, curtains, handtowels and a bathrobe!

Kalasfina vävar (Fine Party Weaves) in Swedish A step up in complexity from Simple Weaves with a similar collection of projects.

Father’s Day….a delayed post, but not forgotten!

Early in our relationship, I knew my husband Daniel Corwin would make a great father as I observed him playing with his younger cousins with joy and delight.And indeed he has dedicated his life to being an amazing father creating stories that continued night after night, creating a pottery tea set, building wooden toys and sharing his love of nature and beauty with our daughters.  While I was at Vavstuga weaving, Dan cared for our home, our daughters and studied drawing, awaking his artist within.  It’s good to be together again.


My father Noel Renner, holding the basketball next to his brother Olin, grew up on on a farm, working with animals, tractors, machines and plans.  I love growing herbs, vegetables and flowers thanks his persistence in the garden each summer. My father loves Hudson automobiles,  which were produced until the mid-1950’s near Ann Arbor in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  My sister and I grew up riding in the cars he restored as we traveled to various cities to gather with other Hudson lovers.  People telephone my father for advice on how to repair their cars, scooters and just about any thing else that has an engine and he almost always has an answer, which still has me in awe!


My father’s father, Harry Russell Renner, started a car dealership and repair shop in my hometown of Pleasant Hill, Ohio.  He taught his five sons not only to repair cars, but to be inventors and create new ways, better ways.  He invented his own helicopter before he ever saw one fly, sang in many choirs with a deep bass voice and  wrote with a beautiful Copperplate hand.


From Vavstuga…the flax garden in full bloom.  In August the flax will be harvested during the Linens: Seed to Cloth class.  Leni also send a photo of one of the groundhog chucklings that frequently visited us at the flax house in May/early June.


Coming Soon…

  • tammyweaves – setting up the weaving studio
  • books from my public library – the essentials and those to delight the senses
  • the garden in july – herbs, greens and blossoms