Väv Immersion Class – Week Eight

Week Eight of Sixteen…we are warping the looms with very fine single ply linen warps.  “If you can weave on a linen warp, you can weave anything!” says Becky.20160329_152558

Daldräll (overshot) – the 28/1 fine half-bleached line line warp above will be woven into beautiful daldräll square in the pattern shown below in natural linen.


Smålandsväv or Trampad  Opphämta (Swedish), Skillbragd (Norwegian), Treadled Opphämta (English)…the design is treadled – no need to use a drawloom to achieve these repeated patterns.  This is one of our upcoming projects and we began drawing various patterns on graph paper to plan our projects.


Upholstery Sample…. providing us the ability to weave for our homes in the near future!


Väv Immersion – Elizabeth’s shaft draw flowers, Becky’s demo of threading the opphämta drawloom, Elizabeth weaving her table cloth, Kira warping her loom,  Kay’s monk’s belt, Kate’s shaft draw, Kira’s band for kitchen towels, Vickie’s single unit drawloom project (can you guess what it will be?) and the warp for our future damask tablecloths.


tammy weaves – multiple shuttles and designing on the loom has been a theme for me this week.  First you see the monk’s belt I am currently weaving.  I learned to create the leno (lace pattern) by twisting the threads together, holding the threads twisted with a weaving sword, and then weaving into the twist with the help of the sword to hold the twist.  I really like the effect.  The loom was set up for the monk’s belt pattern and I planned to use traditional muted colors of blue, green, red, yellow.  Yet I had a yearning to weave this in pinks, and pinks it is!  As I wove, I varied the colors and size and shape of the design.  I’m having a great time with this piece.

Earlier in the week I wove an upholstery sample this was also designed on the loom, so it was a very playful project.  Since I have a beautiful brown velvet sofa, (sounds weird 70’s, but really it is modern and everyone loves it!) I wanted to weave a sample that I might weave into fabric for a chair or foot stool in my home. At first the brown was too dull, but then I spiced it up with a darker brown (see the difference between the two stripes in the bottom left photo) and then it was “just right”.  I enjoyed adding the orange, it really brighten the piece up.  Before I would create upholstery fabric for my home, I think I’d play a bit more with a variety of colors.  Any ideas?


Spring flax planting –  We planted Swedish flax seeds close together in a spiral with hopes to grown thin tall plants that will be great for spinning into flax.  (photos by Kate Bullen)











Väv Immersion Class – Week Seven continued…

Signs of Spring – flowers  blooming, moss, and a visit from a starling (photo by Kay Kirk)!


At Vavstuga Basics….Apprentice Tonya’s miniature tulip yardardage fresh off the loom, dish towels and block weave, final day photo with projects and another beautiful table setting for lunch.


Materials Class – Plied Line Linen.…so many possibilities!


New Band Project Demonstration – Pattern Bands on a Rigid Heddle


Vav Immersion – monk’s belt planning(square pattern), Kay’s monk’s belt, Kate’s line linen tablecloth (white/lavender), Kay heming goose-eye tablecloth, Kay’s amazing knit scarf,  Pysanky Eggs dyed with Becky’s sister Kate,  Elizabeth’s rag rug,  Kira’s upholstery sample, Lamb Cake baked by Elizabeth, & Becky and Lisa admiring linen fabric.


tammyweaves…a new bobbin lace pattern, a collection of my lace, and the floral single unit drawloom piece woven to completion!  Bobbin lace has become delicious to me.  Though it’s slow (several hours just for a few inches), I love the the rhythmical movement of passing the bobbins back and forth while the lace appears as if by magic!  And I enjoy weaving on the drawloom so much I found myself not wanting to finish the piece.  Like a good book, I want it to continue forever!


Easter Sunday with Becky’s family…


(photo by Garath Ashenden Thomas)



Väv Immersion Class – Week Seven

Vav Immersion – We returned to week seven ready to begin a variety of new projects.  New warps were planned and measured for upholstery samples, linen table squares, monk’s belt and the opphampta draw loom.  Weaving continued on the shaft unit and single unit draw looms and the rug loom.


Monk’s Belt is a traditional Swedish weaving pattern that creates square “flower patterns”.  We were shown both traditional and modern versions of monk’s belt and have begun to create our own monk’s belt patterns.  It is woven with two shuttles – one holding the “background color” – which is linen, and the second shuttle holds the “pattern color(s)” which is wool.


tammyweaves – I’ve spent the week at the single unit draw loom and will soon complete this spiraling floral design that was reconstructed from a historic damask table cloth.

Vav Week Vacation – March

I have just returned from a week in beautiful Oro Valley, Arizona visiting my sister Brenda and brother-in-law John.  My husband Dan joined me for a great week of warmth and sunshine.

While on the plane, I couldn’t help noticing the woven pattern on the seats.  If any of you “complex weavers” want to analyze the pattern, please do share!

Saturday afternoon – Here are my  first views out the car window after arriving at the Tucson airport.  My mid-western eyes were amazed by the sights of the desert.


Sunday – Brenda and John suggested our first tour be at the Tuscan Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Magic.  We were thrilled with their suggestion and loved walking through a variety of desert and temperate climates along with the magic of the butterfly house!  We learned about the diversity of desert plants which prepared us for the week of hikes.


After a yummy lunch we continued our day walking the Nature Trail Catalina State Park.   This trail has a large variety of of cactus including the famous and local only to the area – saguaro – which looks like a person standing tall holding their arms in the air.



Monday – The magic continued as we traveled to Mission San Xavier del Bac.  Here the mix of culture, beauty and spirituality create a very sacred space.  This was a place to linger out of the sun and enjoy the deep sense of the divine.


We had a fun walk in Honey Bee Canyon  walking on the loop trail that took us through the arroyo (also known as a wash).  I was amazed by a totally different group of flowers and found myself creating weaving patterns out of the various plant and stone combinations.  I look forward to seeing how my future weavings will be inspired by our desert walks.


Tuesday – I requested we find place that featured weavings of the Native People and off we drove to the Tucson Desert Art Museum  which  has 4 rooms full of weavings from various cultures and time periods.  The museum did not allow photos to be taken.  Below you will see a photo I copied from their website.   I was taken by the variety of weaves, style, purpose, colors, and size and could have stayed all day to talk and ask questions.  I’ll be looking for books on the topic.  Any suggestions?


We continued on to drive to the area’s tallest mountain – Mount Lemmon.  Brenda played an educational audio tour  that describes how the vegetation, geology, climate and animal life changes as one ascends the mountain.  I had such fun looking and listening.  I forgot to take photos.  So I’ve included a few of John’s car – very fun and very retro!


Petraglyphs Sequaro National Park was our last stop of the day.  Once again we delighted in the new plants and flowers along our paths.  And the petraglyphs, which remain a mystery caused us to wonder why the people who were there @ 800 to a 1000 years ago choose to carve into the stones.


Wednesday – Our Uncle Ivan Renner  lived a good long life, just a few weeks shy of his 91st birthday.  We learned of his death on Wednesday morning and honored his life by looking at family photos and sharing stories.  Ivan was a the eldest of five brothers and is at the far right in this photo.  Next to him from right to left is Uncle Leon, Uncle Emily, Uncle Olin, and my father Noel.  His family, our large family of Renner’s and our home town of Pleasant Hill, Ohio will miss Uncle Ivan’s kindness and family stories.



Evenings –  We finished almost every evening in one of two whirlpools at Encantada at Dove Mountain where Brenda and John are renting.  Star and moon gazing in Arizona is a real treat and John shared views through his telescope allowing us to take a good look at the moon, the stars and Jupiter with several of it’s moons!  Here are a views from their balcony at sunset and one of the housing complex featuring the pool and whirlpool.


Thursday –  We returned to the  Catalina State Park to walk the Romero Canyon and Pools Trail.  We were warned we would need to cross water and could use the stepping stones or walk through the water.  However, Brenda had a big laugh when we came to the “wash” as the water was completely gone in the place they had walked just 10 days before.  The pools did have water and once again, the trail gave us new plants and sights so different than those on the path we walked on Sunday.


Our last evening together was at the Ritz Carlton.  There we were were told a short story of the history of the Hohokam Indian tribe followed by a flutist playing on the mountain.  We all agreed that we were very calm after hearing  the healing songs of the Native flute.  The moon was rising just to the right as the magical music came down from the mountain and echoed all around.  Afterwards we enjoyed a sunset dinner, fabulous food and one last evening of delightful conversation.  (though you may not see him, the flutist was in the mountains @ in the middle of this photo)


Friday morning – Thank you Dan, Brenda and John for a wonderful week in the desert!

Väv Immersion Class – Week Six

Week Six at Vavstuga – spring flowers, Kira’s birthday, warm weather and tons of fun!


Designing Yardage.  Have you noticed all the amazing handwovens that Becky wears?  Her beautiful clothes started as “yardage” –  3 to 4 meters of fabric woven with the specific purpose of becoming clothing.  Below Becky is shown with the dress that was a result of her striped yardage design class in Sweden.  After seeing many fabulous examples of her hand woven striped clothes, we began to design our own personal stripes with a variety of striped and colors.


Twill class…this week we reviewed twill and have the challenge of creating a twill of our own design.  I’m pondering the endless possibilities.


Amy came to weave as the sole member of this week’s Drawloom and Linen Treasures.  We enjoyed watching as she wove a variety of patterns on both the Opphampta and Damask Shaft Draw Looms.


Vav Immersion (and Tonya the apprentice too!)…..Weaving, warping, on and off the loom!  It was a very busy week!


tammyweaves…I enjoyed getting into a rhythm and completing the lilac band.


And then with a lot of support from Becky, I completed a floral pattern for the single unit draw loom.  Watching the pattern come to life on the loom is great fun!


We took a visit to the  Smith College Rare Book Room.  Barbara Blumenthal, rare book specialist shared an amazing collection of textile books.  Thank you Barbara for a wonderful afternoon of beautiful books!


Holiday week – we have a week of holiday March 14-18.  I’ll be taking some time off from the blog too!  Look for another post next week!  And consider the schedule Vickie created for week six for your next week!


Väv Immersion Class – Week Five continued

At Basics Class this week, we welcomed new weavers.  Being from Ann Arbor, MI I was surprised that four of the eight students were from Michigan!  Tonya began the first of three double weave blankets, and we delight in the table runners and napkins set at the luncheon table!


Line Linen Class…such beautiful items made from this smooth, strong, thin linen.  And on a Glimakra Loom one can weave linen with ease!  (Well, it requires skill and wisdom!)


Bands… as we work to complete our plain weave bands, we begin plans for weaving “pick-up” bands on a rigid heddle.  We will start with simple patterns and then later if we like can try something a bit more complicated!


In and around Vav Immersion Class….Kate’s inlay rag rug, Vickie’s dishtowel going on the loom, Elizabeth’s hand spun linen thread, and Kira’s single pull draw loom project (top and bottom).


tammy weaves…I’ve really enjoyed making bobbin lace – this new pattern is so pretty, I could imagine wanting to decorate all sorts of textiles with it.  I’m almost finished with the Goose-Eye Tablecloth.  And in planning for a wool blanket to be woven this spring, I was inspired to choose colors from a favorite William Morris print.


My dear friend Renee – the one who first told me about Vavstuga and drove me here because she “just knew I’d love it” – delighted me in a visit to the Smith College Spring Flower Show.  These colors could inspire spring time weavings.  And the aroma was an amazing delight.  And if that wasn’t enough, I visited with two other friends who introduced me to weaving many years ago.  Thank you Renee, Amy and Belinda!

Väv Immersion Class – Week Five

Week five brings us to new beginnings, new projects and a bit of spring.  And all the while we are in the midst of completing what was begun in our first four weeks of class during the wintery month of February.  Today Kay found snowdrop flowers outside and once inside she shared her discovery with me, knowing they would bring me joy.  And so I visited these dear little ones and thanked them for reminding us that spring is coming!20160302_131204.jpg


We are designing plaid tablecloths to be woven from tow linen.  We start by playing with the colors and then wrapping, painting and/ or drawing them on cards to see what they might look like when woven. Notice that two of these photos show tablecloths woven on the same warp with different weft colors, to create an entirely different look.  It’s amazing!


The kitchen towels we’ve been weaving are woven with simple twill patterns.  Now we are learning about twill derivations.  Our goal is to gain understanding of these patterns so we can look at each textile and tell you the twill name and how it is woven.

Vav Immersion…in and around the studio!


tammyweaves….I’ve begun two “new to me projects”. On the left is  a close up of a goose-eye twill tablecloth.  To the right you will see I’m weaving on a band loom – note I’m learning how to balance the “beat” to get the same width – easier said than done!.  I enjoy the classic colors of the goose-eye and the spring lilac colors of the band!  I hope you do too!