April 2017


Setting up Smålandsväv

Smålandsväv is a double harness weave that can be woven on a large framed loom without the need of a drawloom attachment.

I fell in love with Smålandsväv  last spring at Vävstuga.  My notes, blog and memory, along with Becky’s video – Dress You Swedish Drawloom and the book – Damask and Opphämta guided countless hours of preparation and set-up.  I am grateful to Becky for her attention to details both in class and in her video. And I appreciate Betsy, a local weaver, for gifting me this classic book which is out of print.  My new weaving friend Taeko spent several days discovering the ways of Smålandsväv while assisting with the set up.  We had many “learning experiences”, laughed a lot, and proved that “many hands make light work”.

The 4 rows of  heddles near the reed create the pattern and are hung with elastic bands on shaft bars borrowed from a smaller loom to allow the shafts to be pulled down into the loom.  In addition, two rows of  large-eyed heddles are hung closer to the warp beam to support the plain weave.  These shafts are counterbalanced with pulleys and held with elastic bands for extra support.

As I sampled, I had occasional errors in the plain weave.  The book showed the plain weave tied to the middle treadles and with this tie up,  I could not get a good rhythm. Finally, after multiple errors and increasing frustration while sampling, I recalled (and saw in my class notes) that on the Smålandsväv loom at  Väv Immersion, the plain weave was tied up to the treadles to the right and with the pattern on the left and middle treadles.  Once I made this change, there were no more plain weave errors!

Smålandsväv, like many drawloom set-ups has a narrow shed.  The Glimåkra damask shuttles fit well in the pattern shed, provided I advanced the warp regularly.  However, the the damask shuttle would get stuck in the shed while weaving the plain weave.  I adjusted the narrow shed to create a bit more space and then recalled that Bob, a weaver from the local guild, had gifted not only me, but our entire group of local weavers, with beautiful slim shuttles he had hand crafted in his woodshop.  This shuttle slid with ease through the narrow plain weave shed and gave an extra damask shuttle for the pattern weave, thus allowing fewer quill/color changes!  Many thanks to Bob for this amazing shuttle!

The warp is a beige 16/2 cotton set at 30 ends per inch in a 15 dent reed.  The weft pattern uses various colors of 16/2 cotton doubled and a white 16/2 cotton single for the plain weave.  The warp is long to allow plenty of sample space and length to weave 7 or 8 scarves/table runners. Like an empty canvas, the warp awaits to be woven with a variety of colors and designs!

* * * * * * * *

The winter and early spring brought other textiles pleasures as well – all in various shades of teal.  I knotted the fringe and helped with finishing touches on friend Renee’s beautifully woven scarf – her very first handwoven textile!  The cottolin bath towels woven at Väv Immersion continue to be a delight to use – no more bulky, fuzzy towels for me!  These handwoven towels are light as a feather, absorb with ease, and wrap comfortably around one’s body.  I also appreciate the lightweight when I swaddle my hair with these towels.

Night-time knitting produced a lovely warm hat that actually covers my ears and my first lace knit scarf.  I was fortunate to be a part of a Brooklyn Tweed knitting group at SPUN, our new local yarn shop.  Participants were guided by Christine, Pattern Support Lead for Brooklyn Tweed and Carol, Co-Owner of SPUN.  It was great to increase my knitting skills and get to know other fiber artists in Ann Arbor.

* * * * * * *

Spring brought forsythia to brighten the window which houses the new year’s paper stars that gave sparkle to the house during the dark of winter.  And now the days are becoming too warm to enjoy my new scarf and hat.  And so I’ll trade them happily for time in my garden.  Happy Spring to you all!

5 thoughts on “April 2017

  1. Hi, Tammy,

    Thanks for the blog entry. I actually understood some of it! I love the idea of a handmade slim shuttle. For the past few months, Jay and I have been watching the old Mary Tyler Moore shows on Netflix. We recently saw an episode where Barbara Barrie played a newly divorced woman. Murray visited her apartment and I noticed that she had a small table loom on a shelf behind them. Interesting detail, but it was the ’70’s so more folks did handiwork like that.

    We had nice walk in the woods and fields on Easter. Do you know the name of this flower? There was so much of it around.

    I was looking forward to going to the All Choir Gathering in Oregon (and seeing some of the AA group!), but Wren just got scheduled for surgery two days before I would have to leave, so I may skip it for this year. Since I am taking on the leadership of our rehearsals, I thought that the timing was good and that I would learn a lot. But I feel like being a part of the AA group has given me a good sense of various ways to lead the group. We are sharing various jobs like you do in AA. Deborah will probably leave for San Antonio in late June. We just had a member move to California and one will go to Bloomington soon. But we have three new folks coming on. Our daytime singers are limited in number right now but I am eager for more to join us and learn a lot of songs!

    Cute garden tip picture

    My new movable garden – I can scoot it around to catch the sun since my yard is pretty shady. It contains a few herbs, large and small tomatoes and will have spinach and nasturtiums. I will probably do the farm share again this summer, but I might have to share some of my share this year since so much comes some weeks.

    Happy weaving! This is a happy weaver.

    Love, Robin



    1. Hi Robin, If you attached photos of plants, they didn’t show up, so try sending them to my email! It is so neat that you caught a glimpse of a table loom on the Mary Tyler Moore Show – that is really awesome!!!
      I am not going to Portland either. I’m sorry the timing doesn’t work for you to go. I will be happy to talk with you about leading if/when you have questions. Best advice…talk often and soon about any concerns! And sing with all your heart! My love to you and Wren. May the surgery be successful and healing come with ease. And may Wren be happy. Your movable garden sounds really fun – what a great idea! I’ll look for photos in my email~ tammy


  2. The last time I was at Vavstuga, they had Smålandsväv on a loom and I was fascinated. Your work, in those bright colors, is gorgeous–and I’m so glad you put on a long warp, since it sounds like dressing the loom is hard! Spring has just about arrived in upstate New York and we have SO much work to do outside! And all I want to do is weave . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kerry – I recall photos of the Smålandsväv that was recently on the looms at the Vävstuga town studio. It had a variation on the set up that we used in the Immersion class that I’d like to learn more about. Spring is blossoming here as well and calling for dozens of outdoor projects. And like you…all I want to do is weave! I tell myself that I know I must go out and help those flowers I’ve planted over the years and soon summer will come and there will be more time to weave.:)


    2. Smålandsväv isn’t really hard…it just takes a bit more time and patience to set up. The long warp has lasted a long time, since I needed to pause from weaving. Now it is getting attention and I’m loving all the variation that is possible.


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