Today marks the end of our first four of sixteen weeks of Vav Immersion Class. Four weeks = one month = 1/4 of the entire 16 week class! We all agree that time has flown by and that we love it here. We have weaving classes and time at our looms Monday through Thursday and occasionally on Fridays. Weekends are free, yet we are often are found weaving at the looms. In the evenings we gather around the fire while spinning, making bobbin lace, nalbindning mittens, talking and laughing alot. We have a good time together, and we each find a variety of ways to take time alone to rest and rebalance. We’ve enjoyed nature hikes, local farms, fiber talks at a nearby yarn shop, and discovering the towns nearby.
Draw Loom Design – We are learning to create patterns for draw looms. Shaft draw looms lift groups of threads to create repeated patterns and Single draw looms can create almost any image by lifting each thread individually. The items below were created on shaft draw looms – note the repeated patterns. Learn more on the Drawloom Basics Page
Materials Class – What a joy to see and touch Becky’s handspun linen woven into beautiful fabrics. In the spring we will learn to prepare and spin flax and then weave with our handspun linen thread.
And the we delighted in fibers wove with Swedish Linen. In the next month we will be designing linen table clothes similar to the plaid ones below.
Vav Immersion…in and around the studio. Scroll over photos….
Tonya’s Opphempta Draw Loom
Tonya’s table cloth
Elizabeth’s new Dishtowel Warp
Kate starts a rug
Kate’s Bread Cloth
Kay’s Opphempta Draw Loom
tammyweaves…Dish Towel and Napkin are finished! Scroll over photos for more info…
4 dishtowels each in a different twill weave structure and weft color
Napkin woven in an even plaid in cottolin
Samples of 4 colors in 4 different twills
Saturday, I enjoyed a visit with my daughter Allegra at Mount Holyoke College to celebrate her birthday and enjoy the spring garden show in the greenhouse. Afterwards, I missed the rest of the family and shared phone chats with Dan and Emily. It was good to connect with family.
Fiber Analysis – We appreciate Bettie’s kindness and knowledge of fiber as she helps our minds think “backwards”. Each week we look at a weaving sample and work together to decipher how it was woven, the details of the loom set up and what fibers were used. Here you see a small magnifying glass lit up to assist in the calculating of how many picks (weaving rows) are found in each centimeter.
Vav Immerson….in and around the studio – the weavings of my classmates!
Color change on the Goose-Eye Table Cloth from Kay’s red to Kate’s grey
Kate’s Goose-Eye Table Cloth
Elizabeth’s Basket Weave Bread Cloth
Kay’s Band Loom Project
Vickie’s Rug – under the loom
Kira’s first dish towel
Kira’s third dish towel
tammyweaves – I’ve woven 2 1/2 dish towels and have 1 1/2 more plus a napkin still to weave on the happy colors warp. Each towel is a different weave structure and I’ve chosen to vary the weft color for each one as well. The first weft was pink, the second green, the third orange. The fourth….we shall see!
There’s more to come….with so much happening here each day! Please click at the top of the page to “follow” this blog. You’ll receive notifications each time I write, so you never miss a post! And take a look at my Warp a Weaver Fundraiser which has raised 32% of my funds for Vav Immersion . Though it is “closed” online, you can contribute via post – click for details: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/warp-a-weaver#/
Designing wool blankets with watercolor paints. Celeste shared Becky’s paintings that inspired blankets she wove years ago. And we delighted in Becky’s blanket woven 35 years ago when she studied at Sätergläntan Institutet för Slöjd och Hantverk. She used the warp “waste” to create nålebinding socks. The socks have a bit of wear, but the blanket still looks new! We brought photographs with colors that bring us joy to use as a painting palette. And thus we continued the process of creating samples that might someday be woven into one or more blankets.
Materials Class: This week we focused on Rug Warp and String Yarn. Each week we make a sample card of each fiber and then see samples of each fiber in a woven textile. These fibers are almost always used in the warp, they are strong and long lasting, and are made of Cotton or Linen.
Vav Immersion, at the looms…scroll over photos for more information.
Kate at a Draw Loom
Kay’s Goose Eye
Elizabeth’s color sampling
Kira’s new towel warp
Tammy’s towel warp
Band Weaving – We began planning our plain weave bands this week. Becky encouraged us to close our eyes and choose 3 colors from our color samples and then wrap them as a possible sample for a band. We had fun and felt freed by the lack of decision!
From Left to Right: Kate, Kira, Becky, Kay, Elizabeth and Vickie
Vavstuga Basics – On Thursday Evening, Becky treated the Basics and Immersion Classes to a Swedish Candlelight Dinner at the Farm House. Afterwards she delighted us with music on her accordian. Friday, we arrived in town for lunch just in time to see the projects being cut off the looms and the end of Basics Class photo .
Weekend walks- down the road, Becky and Vickie tapping for maple syrup and a full moon walk.
Blue Skies, Becky’s house
A gas pump from long ago
tammyweaves (this section is where I show you what I’ve been creating)
Spinning brown Romney wool, painting blanket samples, attending a talk on rare wool breeds from England, and putting the warp on the loom.
This week Becky is at Vavstuga leading a Basics Swedish Weaving Course. Most days we still have a class with her for an hour after lunch. Celeste is our main weaving teacher for the week. Several years ago I read Celeste’s blog about her weaving experience in Sweden(the same school Becky and one of our Vav Immersion classmates studied at years ago) and am happy to now be her student.
Celeste is teaching us about design. This week we are painting colors that inspire us from life, photos, nature, fabric we love to create possible wool blanket designs that we will weave in the spring.
Class with Becky continues to focus on various weave structures, drafting and writing projects down with great detail – photos to come soon of my notebook..
Meet Tonya. Tonya is the current apprentice at Vavstuga. We have enjoyed her joining us in class and for meals from time to time and have delighted in her weavings!
tammyweaves…I’ve measured a new warp andam in the process of warping it onto the loom. Soon I’ll be weaving my “happy kitchen towels”. Note: sometimes even with the best intentions and measuring twice, mistakes can happen. While measuring the warp, one of my classmates pointed out that the warp was “too long”. Celeste came to the rescue and created puddles of thread to help me restart the measuring process.
Materials Class….Items woven with a cotton or cottolin warp. Weft is cotton or linen in most cases.
Swedish Bobbin Lace – our first class with Becky’s sister Kate!
Woven Projects Week Two… some are completed and others are nearing completion. During the next few weeks we will each have the opportunity to weave what we delighted in observing our classmates weave this week.
Rag Rug with Inlay
Draw Loom Pattern Weaving
Friday night we have story time around the fire with Becky and Lenny while we all work on various textile projects. Saturday night the electric went “out” just before our special dinner, thus we had a lovely candlelit meal.
tammyweaves….I started the week weaving two bread cloths in basket weave -blue and white. Because this is one of the faster projects to weave, I was able to move onto weave at one of the draw looms. You’ll see the pattern, only half the image is used to create a full pattern by pulling the levers.. My bobbin lace iis shown above, and below you’ll see a bit of my spinning and my “practice” of nalbindning – mittens soon to come!
With temperatures dropping below zero, Becky has generously allowed us to sleep wrapped in her amazing handwoven sheep skin coverlets. This absolutely beautiful piece of traditional Norwegian skillbragd (smålandsväv in Swedish) is inspired by a sheepskin coverlet from Kvam, featured in the book Om fellen kunne fortelle.
Structures class – plain weave, twill, basket weave, warp faced, weft faced, & rep weave.
Beginnings….6 new projects are being woven this week. Click photos for more info…
Basket Weave Bread Cloth
Kitchen Towel Warp
Kitchen Towel Warp
Goose Eye Table Cloth
Draw Loom Pattern Weaving
Rag Rug with Inlay
Spinning Class with Lisa Bertoldi…
Draw Looms – have individual control over single threads OR small groups of warp threads allowing the weaver to “draw” on patterns. This was our first class about drawlooms. We will have the opportunity to weave several projects on these amazing looms.
We finished Wednesday experimenting with paints, mixing colors and/or creating patterns. Next week we begin designing weaving patterns with these paints!
We have a daily class to learn the nitty-gritty details of weaving. We’ve begun the study of drafting, design, project records and weaving materials. I’ll share more about these classes in the days and weeks to come.
On Friday we delighted in a beautiful snowfall that unfortunately kept Lisa, our spinning teacher from driving to teach class. By Saturday, the snow had been cleared and by Sunday it had melted significantly. I delighted in a walk to the babbling brook, which sings magical songs of various tones along the way.
Since our spinning class was postponed, we spent Friday morning learning the ancient technique of Nalbindning. One uses short pieces of single ply wool to create stitches with a wooden/bone needle. The result looks similar to crochet, yet is a very different process. Textile friends will enjoy clicking on the nalbindning link above to read more! Next weekend we will each begin nalbindning our mittens, they will look something like this….
During the weekend we had time to walk in the snow, get some extra rest, discover various grocery stores, and sit around the fire practicing our nalbindning while sharing stories of life and textiles!
We focused on learning about Swedish wool yarns this week. Here are a few photos from our wool materials class – the variety of wool threads, colors and patterns are a delight!