Väv Immersion Class – Week Fifteen continued…

tammyweaves – Rolakan tapestry woven in wool-started and completed, cottolin bath towels with hand towel sampler-completed, Smalandsvav sampler-started and completed, and Opphampta circles-almost complete.  It has been a very busy week of mostly blues mixed with power pink!!!


The Bridge of Flowers –  amazing blooms, mostly pink, a beautiful week in May!


Equipment Class – Shuttles, quills, temples…how to choose the right one for each project!


Vav Immersion – everyone has been very busy this week!

Kate’s plaid wool blanket, Elizabeth’s overshot

Kate’s Rolakan, Kate’s Smalandsvav, Vickie’s curtain yardage with inlay

Vickie’s curtain yardage inlay#2, Vickie’s curtain yardage, Elizabeth’s Opphampta

Kira’s Rosepath, Kira’s Bound Rosepath, Elizabeth’s Rolakan


A little more Rep Weave – the end of class display – fantastic!  And such a lovely group of weavers!



A visit to Becky’s home studio to see the 280cm she weaves upon, complete with a fly shuttle!



And a trip to Lisa Hill’s Studio and to see her 24-shaft Toika computer assist loom.


BBQ and Sundae Bar at the Farmhouse – Sunday evening to celebrate the end of week 15!


What’s Next???  We’ve been ask this question by weavers in the week long classes and blog readers as well.  So, I’ll feature various members of our Vav Immersion Class a they answer this question.  Tonya, Jones, the 2016 Apprentice at Vavstuga, has often been with us these past four months.  She was the first to answer the “what’s next?” question.  Tonya says: “I will be apprenticing through July. Come August, I will be a Vavstuga employee – a hostess for students, setting up looms for class, shipping orders, and any other random tasks – till the end of the year (2016). During that time I plan to dive into the drawlooms and explore a possible career in that (weaving with drawlooms).”

We recently visited Tonya and she shared several of her first weavings, several quilts and her amazing cross stitch quilt – all hand quilted (close-up shown of this queen size quilt).  It was great to see her work “before Vavstuga”.  And we can’t wait to see what she creates this summer on the drawlooms!

Väv Immersion Class – Week Fifteen

tammyweaves – Birthday Party Pink!  On Tuesday I celebrated my 56th birthday.  I was showered with wishes woven in love by friends and family and was delighted to receive a singing card from my classmates reminding I was born a “long, long time ago!” along with these beautiful Gerber daisies – in pink of course!  I’ve enjoyed weaving this amazing round design on the Opphampta drawloom – it is my new favorite!  I love defying the angles of weaving to create the illusion of a circle and am calling this piece”birthday party pink!”.  I’m almost finished with towel #2 – woven with the robin egg blue weft.  The spring here is so lush and green, what beautiful place to spend my birthday weaving at Vav Immersion.


Väv Immersion – Vickie’s yardage for curtains, Elizabeth’s Rolakan – woven back side up to manage all of the thread changes, Elizabeth’s opphampta,  Kate’s wool blanket, Kay’s damask tablecloth, Kay’s smalandsvav, Kira’s smalandsvav, and Kira’s wool blanket.


Rep Weave Class – I took a peak at the looms in town…wow, four months ago I had no idea Rep Weaving had so many variations!  Look at all they are doing!


Photography Class – Becky’s husband Leni set up a photo area for us to take photos of our weaving.  Great lighting, a black background, a good camera and computer for editing are all important aspects when taking photos of one’s textiles.



How was this woven?  We spent a very quick class playing the game which of these fabrics have the same weaving structure….here are the groups of textiles woven on the the same loom.  Only the colors and treadle tie-ups have changed!


Väv Immersion Class – Week Fourteen continued….

In the Flax House… Becky Demonstrates spinning flax from a distaff and also from the flax tucked under one’s belt.  Kira spins her home grown flax on a spinning wheel made for tow linen. And Elizabeth enjoys returning to flax spinning.  This was my first time to spin flax into linen thread and by the end of the evening I I started to enjoy and relax.  I admit the thread looked a bit more like rope at times, and I know that is part of the learning process. I look forward to more evenings spinning in the flax house!


Väv Immersion -Kira’s Rolakan (tapestry), Elizabeth’s Rolakan begins, Kira warping her wool blanket, Kay weaving her tow linen table cloth, Vickie’s white yardage going on the loom, Kate begins weaving her wool blanket, Kate’s damask tablecloth and Kay’s rosepath.


Kay’s Yardage – First came our color and design classes with Celeste, who encouraged us to look at photos for color inspiration.  Becky followed with a designing stripes class for our yardage.  Later one evening, Kay and I spoke about using the Fibonacci series for design.   And then after one of her walks, Kay was inspired by her photo of the moss on the tree to design her yardage.  photos by Katherine Jane Kirk (Kay)


Drawloom Basics – a few more photos from this lovely group of 4 weavers.


Bettie  – after our fiber analysis class this week, Bettie shared her beautiful Silk Wedding Jacket and coordinating vest for her husband Steve.  And also a mitten, tie and overshot scarf.  Oh, I wish I’d taken better photos, these items are so beautiful.


Cindy Gimbert– was the apprentice at Vavstuga during my basics class.  She spent the week assisting with the guidance for all of us at the loom.  And helped in so many other ways as well.  I appreciated her attention and loving kindness, it was wonderful to see her again.  As a bonus for Cindy, when not helping out, she wove this beautiful overshot tablecloth!


tammyweaves – The striped yardage continues….below in the photo with many pins is where I sampled a variety of colors as the weft.  I then requested the Vav Immersion and Drawloom students vote on their favorite(s) weft color.  The olive green had the most votes, and it was my favorite too, yet I did not think it was the right color for my white tile and a light robin egg blue bathroom. So in the end I choose a white weft of two threads of 16/1 line linen woven together for the first towel which is now complete:). The second towel will be woven this week with a cottolin “robin egg blue”,which is in between the two blues in linen linen sampled below.


Being human – The past two weeks my body insisted that I  take more time caring for myself.  So…my priority has returned to food preparation, supplements and sleep.  With the calendar counting down in a way similar to the “last weeks before finals”, this has been challenging timing and another life lesson about self-care.  Kim came to the house with our meals this week and filled the house with flowers, which was a perfect balm to my slower days.



A Room with a View – Just outside my window the lilacs have been blooming for two glorious weeks!  It’s quite a change from the snowy February winter view. As my time here is almost complete, I feel a tug on my hear strings, I am going to miss this place.  The mountains, the quiet serenity, the babbling brook, the powerful river with it’s famous glacial potholes have become the views I delight in.

Väv Immersion Class – Week Fourteen

Bedfellows Blankets – Today we visited Peggy Hart‘s woolen mill that houses several 1940’s  Crompton and Knowles Looms. Since 1982 Peggy has woven on these “looms made of steel” with wool from local sheep.  It was fascinating to see looms that in many ways are built just like the looms we use, and yet very unfamiliar to us.   The reeds are just like our reeds, but longer and come in so many increments that Peggy can adjust the sett of the threads precisely.   The dobby components create complicated patterns, fly shuttles travel at a speed you have to watch carefully to see, and the loud bellow of the machine hard at work all reminded us that these are very different looms indeed.  You can read more and watch videos on the Bedfellows Blanket website and also the Fort Pelham Farm blog.


Drawloom Basics Class #2 – We are fortunate to have four delightful weavers  in the house this week.  Here’s a sampling of what they are creating…


tammy weaves… I’ve put the cottolin stripes yardage warp onto the loom and had just enough time last night to weave in a few pics of 16/1 line linen to give it a “test”.  Today I will play with more colors in the weft in my sampling before the real weaving begins.  This yardage will be cut and sewn into large bath towels/sheets.  I am looking forward to having these amazingly absorbant towels in my bathroom!


Vav Immersion – there is so much more to show you…most of my classmates have been in the barn this week and I’ll have photos soon of their work.  Plus we’ve had many lessons on drawloom weaving along with the Drawloom Basics Class.  As you can imagine, there are so many weaving facts floating around in our heads.

Our time is drawing to the end and I am having very mixed feelings about leaving this weaving haven.  All the while, I’m dreaming of going home and weaving non-stop for the next few years to use and reuse my new skills, learn and relearn all of the knowledge we have gained in these glorious four months.  Two and one half weeks to go….and so much more to learn and weave!

Väv Immersion Class – Week Thirteen continued…

Deflected Double Weave – Here they are…a collection of our Deflective Double Weave – which is also known as Nordic Deflection.  Yet to come…the fulling (purposeful shrinking) to let the warp and weft floats dance and play together!  You can see examples of this by looking at Lisa Hill’s finished pieces further down on this post and also in the previous post.

Linen Placemats – woven with 16/2 Line Linen – design by Elisabeth Hill, warp colors  by Tammy


Cottolin Medallion Towels #1 – woven with 22/2 Cottolin – design by Paulli Andersen – warp colors by Kira and woven band by Kira


Cottolin Mosaik Towels – woven with 22/2 Cottolin – design by Elisabeth Hill – warp colors by Vickie


Cottolin Pebble Towels – woven with 22/2 Cottolin – design by Lynn Tedder – warp colors by Elizabeth

Cotton Yardage – woven with 8/2 Cotton – design by Mariana Eriksson and Kerstin Lovallius – warp colors by Tonya


Wool Pillow Top – woven with 6/2 Tuna Wool – traditional weave design – warp colors by Kate

Cottolin Medallion Towels # 2 – woven with 22/2 Cottolin – warp colors by Kay


More Deflective Double Weave from Lisa….you can see the draw-in of the warp floats in Lisa’s DDW since they are all fulled and finished!


Drawloom Basics…these four weavers wove a lot in 4 1/2 days!  wow!  We ate together daily and had some lovely conversations about weaving.  But mostly they wove from 9 to 9 and so did we!

A week without Becky…I found myself missing Becky all week.  After 12 weeks of weaving time with her, it felt odd that she wasn’t present in the studio with us.  I was grateful when towards the end of the week, she too commented, “I’ve missed all of you this week!”.   She did serve her traditional Swedish Dinner on Thursday evening.  And then surprised us on Friday afternoon when she came to help us finish up the samples and cut the weaving off the looms!

Vermont Visit... On Saturday I treated my self to a trip to Vermont to visit my Aunt Audrey and her son Brian and his family. Her daughter Betsy telephoned and I hope to visit cousin Stephen in the future!  We enjoyed time at the farmer’s market, sharing lunch and dinner, a show and tell of my weaving, and several great rounds of Chinese Checkers.  It’s been years since I’ve played – it was one of my father’s favorite games – and I can’t wait to play again soon.  I’m tempted to drive to Vermont one more time to get in a few more rounds of the game!   What a wonderful day it was!!!


Väv Immersion Class – Week Thirteen

Lucky Thirteen – Week Thirteen brings us the sunshine, warm spring days, and cold evenings.  Trees, shrubs, ferns and flowers are everywhere one looks!  Our flax spiral is growing too!


This week we’ve been weaving at Vavstuga’s town studio with Lisa Hill  sharing her skills and knowledge of deflective double weave (ddw).  Below are a few of the delicious  deflective double weave textiles Lisa brought to share as teaching tools and inspiration.  Lisa is kind, funny, creative, wise and so much more.  I’ve spent the past few years reading her blog and longed to participate in one of her classes…so it is amazing gift to spend this week as her student.



Technical Difficulties –  My computer is experiencing a variety technical difficulties. Thus it seems miraculous that I could send out this mini-post.  I promise more Deflected Double Weave with Lisa Hill and plus photos from the Drawloom Basics Class with Becky at the farm house as soon as possible!!!

Väv Immersion Class – Week Twelve continued…

1938 Sophia Marie Trost Renner with Noel Hill St Pleasant Hill Happy Mother’s Day!

Thank you for all of the love you share in this world. Each time we share our love – whether as a birth mother or dear friend, we make the world a happier place.

I love this photo my paternal grandmother, Sophia Marie Trost Renner holding her fifth son, my father, Noel Edwin Renner.

Marie, as she was called, graduated from Normal School, preparing her to teach in a one room school house where she earned and saved enough money to purchase her first house. Soon after she married my grandfather Harry Russell Renner and began their family.  I grew up in that same house and my sister lives there to this day.

Five generations of women in my mother’s family….

Left column top to bottom – My great grandmother, Caroline Claudia Calloggera Sciacchitono Ciregio – was born in Sicily and came to NYC at the age of 13.  She was soon married and raised a family of 6 children in Piqua, Ohio. Caroline’s oldest child, my grandmother Rose Mae Ciregio Kerns, was proud to be the first in the family to graduate from high school.  Her father died young and her siblings worked together to raise vegetables in the family garden to earn money and feed the family.  As a young women she worked long hours in a t-shirt factory to support her mother and the family. She had one child, my mother Claudia Jane Kerns Renner, who is pictured holding her first child – me!

Middle – My grandmother Rose Mae with me in her kitchen.  I loved visiting her – we enjoyed cooking, baking, gardening and sewing together.  These are still some of my favorite things!

Right column top to bottom – My mother with my sister Brenda and I.  And the two flower fairies who bring magic and love to my life, my daughters  – Emily Rose and Allegra Anna.


Out in the barn.  Our ancestors kept their large looms in the barn, some were even built right into the barn beams.  Today at Vav Immersion more than a dozen large looms fill the barn and are being prepared to weave yardage, blankets, tablecloths and tapestries.  I love sitting in the barn where one can here the magic of the babbling brook, the birds and the wind.  As I weave, I imagine my joy is similar to the delight of women of the past after a long cold winter.  Becky wore a “new to us” tunic beautifully woven years ago of a silk blend and is still fabulous today!


Tow Linen Tablecloth –  I enjoyed being in the barn (with tack piano ready for folk dances and  just for fun!) while weaving the tow linen table cloth.  You’ll see the supply basket, the measuring tape I created to keep the weft stripes the same size as the warp stripes, thus creating a lovely plaid, and a variety of shuttles I experimented with to get just the right feel (I preferred the one on the right for the combination of shape and a bit of extra weight to get it across the  100 centimeter warp),and view upon completion both above and below the loom.  This will be my happy summer table cloth!


Drawloom and Linen Treasures Class – Trish at the the largest of the drawlooms and holding up her two pieces just cut from the loom.  One more of Sarah Jean’s opphampta  weavings(bottom left) and Myra holding her lovely spring happy honey bee and floral drawloom piece.  It was great fun to meet these weavers and have new faces in the house!


Vav Immersion – more and more beautiful textiles are created each day!

First column top to bottom – Vickie’s damask tablecloth, Kate’s daldrall/overshot, and Elizabeth’s rosepath.

Second column top to bottom – Elizabeth’s rosepath, Kate’s blanket, and Kay’s yardage.


Yardage become clothing – First Kira created a muslin sample of the top she wanted to create.  Then while wearing and testing the sample, she created a beautiful piece from her woven yardage!


Sneak preview…Friday afternoon we had the treat of seeing samples of Nordic Deflection.  Next week we will be at the studio in town weaving under the tutelage of weaver Lisa Hill. Look for samples of our Nordic Deflection weaving next week!


Mother’s Day Garden Photos – Dan’s gift this Mother’s Day was to send these wonderful photos of the flowers I love from our home garden in Ann Arbor.  And then there were long lingering skype chats with Dan, Emily and Allegra, and a bit of chocolate too!